Dezeen Magazine

Roar Meta Space rendering of pavilion in a digital landscape

Roar to open Meta Space studio to design property in the metaverse

Emirati studio Roar has announced it is expanding its architecture and interior design business to the metaverse, where it has purchased land for its new showroom.

Roar has bought two plots of digital land in the 3D virtual world Decentraland and intends to turn them into Roar Meta Space – a studio to design and develop property for the virtual environment.

It sees the Roar Meta Space housing a commercial art gallery, a furniture showroom and store, a creative and business event space and an "experimental hotel of the future".

Metaverse "not a passing fad", says Roar founder

The studio's founder and creative director Pallavi Dean said it was "vital that Roar puts a flag in the ground in the metaverse".

"The metaverse is clearly a lasting commercial phenomenon, not a passing fad, so we want – and need – to be there," said Dean. "We're already in advanced discussions with several clients about really exciting projects."

Rendering of an office cafeteria social space with bright blue walls
Roar's studio in the metaverse will design and develop virtual property

Expounding on her vision for the metaverse, Dean said that the metaverse had the advantage of removing two main barriers to creativity in architecture: safety regulations and budget.

However, she plans to employ restraint, as she believes that successful design in the metaverse will be "relatable instead of ultra-futuristic or sci-fi".

Meta Space an extension of designing with AR and VR

Dean also encouraged architects and designers to view the metaverse as an extension of their current practice rather than a disruption.

"This is not unchartered territory for us," said Dean. "Designing with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is second nature; it's how we work. They're the tools of our trade."

"Traditionally we would hand the designs to engineers and builders to create a physical space – the metaverse simply cuts out that part of the process," she continued.

Roar bought its plots in Decentraland for 18,600 Mana (the platform's cryptocurrency token) or approximately US$36,000 (£27,000). The studio says the land is situated in a desirable area close to the fashion district.

Pallavi founded Roar in 2013 and the Dubai-based studio has since created numerous physical spaces across the region, including homes, hotels, offices and schools.

Its recent projects have included the Drop Coffee cafe interior and the technology-equipped AREA 2071 nursery school, both in Dubai.

More designers and brands experiment with metaverse

Roar is not alone among designers and architects in entering the metaverse, the emerging digital universe that enthusiasts believe will form an increasingly important part of our work and personal lives.

Artist Krista Kim sold the first NFT digital home last year, while artist Andrés Reisinger and architect Alba de la Fuente recently designed a Dieter Rams-inspired house to sit in a wintery metaverse.

Many companies have also embraced the technology, such as Adidas, which has begun producing virtual versions of its clothing that can be worn by metaverse avatars.

The images are courtesy of Roar.