Vice Media Group has partnered with BIG architecture firm to launch Viceverse – a virtual office and ‘playground’ in the metaverse. Rose Dykins reports
Vice Media Group has established its presence in the metaverse with Viceverse – a virtual office and creative headquarters for both employees and members of the public to explore.
The first building in the metaverse to be created by Danish architecture firm BIG, Viceverse is hosted on the Decentraland platform – an open source meta-platform where users create virtual avatars of themselves.
The virtual hub is intended to be an innovation lab for Vice’s creative culture agency, Virtue, where employees can work on developing Non Fungible Tokesn (NFTs) and digital projects.
Viceverse will also be accessible for members of the public, so they can explore some of the innovations in the metaverse as they take shape.
It will also be a space for Virtue to virtually collaborate with its clients – which include Coca-Cola and Beats by Dre – and host meeting, briefings and walk-throughs of metaverse projects, demonstrating its possibilities for the creative marketing realm.
Viceverse’s design is centred around a ‘parametric wayfinding tunnel’ embedded into a larger cube-shaped exterior. The virtual building will initially consist of two floors – as well as a secret one – and will include an NFT gallery, along with other interactive and functional spaces.
Ten more floors will eventually be added, with each floor being continually upgraded with new features. As visitors to Viceverse progress upwards within the building, they can take part in digital experiments or engage with “meta-mentors” who can advise on pursuing a creative a career.
Chris Garbutt, co-president of Virtue Worldwide, says: “We’re stretching the capabilities of what brands can do in the metaverse to give audiences new and impactful experiences. We see Virtue Futures as the playground where we can continue to innovate from a front row seat.”
Viceverse itself will serve as an organic virtual field of research into “the sociology of digital communities”. At a time where the metaverse is in its infancy, and brands are still experimenting with its potential for engaging digitally with consumers, Vice Media Group’s meta-world is expected to be a hotbed of virtual breakthroughs.
Bjarke Ingels, founder and creative partner at BIG said: “What architect doesn’t dream of building something free from the limitations of material cost, building regulations and even the laws of physics?
“The metaverse is a new space, and we’re all still figuring it out but we believe that as designers we have an obligation to dream big and make it as beautiful and functional as anything in the real world.”
Nancy Dubuc, CEO of Vice Media Group adds: “Vice has always been about being inside culture, going to places where our audiences are. This is a new frontier filled with potential and once again, we’re proud to be pushing the boundaries.”