It is a spatial experience of sorts to glide inside the freshly 3D printed metaverse studios of Chandigarh based cross disciplinary design practice NOOR Architects Consultants.
‘Our deep-rooted modernist ethos has lent a clean, an almost monumental scale space that is encased by inclined surfaces printed out of soil’ says Noor Dasmesh Singh, the Principal of the practice. ‘There is inherent paradox in imagining the use of ‘earth’ or ‘clay’ to create a structure in the metaverse which is an imaginary space void of earth. A material with properties similar to the soil shall be discoverable in the meta and may directly translate to sustainable building block’ hypothesizes Singh. He insists on calling it ‘Earth – perhaps the Metaearth’, he’s quick to coin a term ! The materiality is consciously imagined to arise from the metaverse ecosystem.
The studio space is a culmination of elements from varied cultural references that have influenced the practice over the years. Tossed thoughtfully in the studio space are works of the artist Mark Rothko, design objects of Pierre Jeanneret to the life size model of Chandigarh’s ‘Open Hand’ in exposed concrete. The floor of the studio space is treated in raked sand abstracted from the Japanese aesthetic of yohaku-no-bi and the karesansui gardens.
‘The ensemble of the Capitol is a symbol that holds a special space in our hearts, so we ended up bringing in this reference to the metaverse too. The design intent is to bring these strands into one melting pot – call it our studios.’ adds Singh. A space that is flexible in its function and open to multiple uses – be it engaging in a design charette, an ongoing exhibition for all, a creative immersion, ideation, contemplation or simply a walk-in, walk-out experience that transports one’s mind into the alternate reality of the Metaverse experience.
The studio will develop a range of non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) to be sold to meta visitors with digital crypto currency. The first of the products to be offered is a perennial favourite, the Pierre Jeanneret chair, or the Chandigarh chair as we lovingly call it. Also the Kangaroo chair will be up for grabs – available in authentic teak wood stain and rattan back. More such products that are in-line with the studios’ philosophy will be added in near future. NOOR Architects Consultants pioneering design studio from India to venture into the metaverse, the space shall also be open for commissions for clients wishing to build in the Metaverse.
The entry experience of NOOR Architects Consultants’ Metaverse studios reveals a stunning union of sea and mushrooming sand dunes. The sweeping studio structure with its round plan has a living terrace of wild grasses in luscious hues of Sakura blossoms which is approached from inside via an architectural ‘stairway to heaven’. The rim of the terrace cut-out is a digital screen embedded in the terra structure has ‘Jataka tales’ dating back to 300 BC from the intriguing stone cut caves of Ajanta in Pali and Sanskrit script against a layer of soft relief printing.