The metaverse meet-up is the first in a series of events organised by Dezeen Club, a virtual membership club that is due to launch later this year.
The 7 April event will be held in a specially configured digital Dezeen Club on a digital rooftop terrace overlooking a virtual cityscape.
Dezeen Club's rooftop bar
The club, which features a bar, seating areas, a green room and a lecture theatre, has been built in Gather, a spatial video-chat environment that has been described as "Minecraft meets Zoom".
Gather allows you to walk around a virtual environment using an avatar controlled by the arrow keys on your computer. As you approach other guests, you are able to video-chat with them.
At the event, 250 invited guests will be able to network and enjoy a panel discussion exploring how the design world is migrating to the digital world to both work and socialise.
Welcome to the metaverse
The term "metaverse" is increasingly being used to describe the emerging digital universe in which people can experience a parallel life to their real-world existence.
The metaverse consists of environments such as Gather, gaming world Fortnite, VR platform AltspaceVR and virtual world Second Life. People can work, shop and socialise in these spaces using avatars, which they can dress in virtual outfits.
The panel will also discuss the phenomenal rise of the market for virtual objects such as artworks and furniture pieces sold with non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Panelists working at tech's cutting-edge
The five panellists are all working at the cutting edge of digital technology:
Andrés Reisinger is an artist and designer who is exploring the boundaries between the digital and real worlds. His Hortensia chair (above) was one of the first pieces of furniture to be sold in digital form and he recently sold a collection of "impossible" digital objects in an NFT auction.
Amber Jae Slooten
Amber Jae Slooten is co-founder of digital fashion house The Fabricant, which creates garments for digital avatars. The ground-breaking studio made history last year when it sold the first virtual dress at an auction (above).
Architects Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg of Space Popular have pioneered the development of virtual architecture. Last autumn, they designed the world's first architecture conference to be held in a VR environment (above).
The event will also feature musical performances by interior designer Katerina Kovalenko (above), leader of music group Kei Kei Kju, and Agnė Sabulytė (below), a classically trained singer from Lithuania.
In addition, Maurizio Stocchetto, owner of legendary design watering hole Bar Basso, will tend the digital bar.
About Dezeen Club
Dezeen Club is a response to the fact that while the architecture and design world has adapted well to remote working during the pandemic, people are missing the social contact and chance encounters of real-world events.
The club, which will initially be invitation-only, will give members access to enhanced functionality on Dezeen's websites as well as access to VIP events in both cyberspace and the real world.
As we wait for the world to return to normal, we hope that these occasional get-togethers in cyberspace will provide our community of friends and associates with an alternative social platform.
The inaugural Dezeen Club metaverse meet-up takes place from 5:00-7:00pm UK time on Wednesday 7 April. The venue is accessible via email link and password. This event is invitation only.
If you are interested in joining Dezeen Club or would like to apply to attend the event, email [email protected].
For an up-to-date guide to architecture and design events around the world, visit Dezeen Events Guide.