The winner of TAB 2022 Installation Competition is Fungible Non-Fungible by IHEARTBLOB. Their installation sets forth a new role of the architect – no longer the ‘Master Builder’ of The Fountainhead – but rather one of a system designer who weaves together innovative technologies to empower communities and enable local craftsmanship through the usage of Blockchain, specifically the emergence of Non-Fungible Token (“NFT”), and Artificial Intelligence (“AI”).
The integration of such technologies enable the design of a pavilion that evolves and grows both physically and digitally. Furthermore IHEARTBLOB, rather than designing architecture elements themselves, have built an NFT generative tool in which individuals can design and “mint” – the process of creating and authenticating digital ownership – their own objects. As part of their NFT generative tool, a parametric setup is provided for users to design within constraints (e.g. grid systems, predefined interlocking components, timber materiality, etc.) and the initial minting fee can therefore be calculated to cover the budgeted costs of material and overheads (labor, fabrication, etc.) to manifest a physical object of this digital design. In essence, every NFT minted by their tool funds a physical twin that is used in the pavilion. The digital objects can then be sold, by the owners, on secondary marketplaces as a way for the community designers to generate returns on their design/investment.
The application for designing a piece will go online from June and the platform will be open until 1 July, when the construction is set to begin. Fungible Non-Fungible by IHEARTBLOB will be built in August 2022 in the lively pedestrian green area facing the Estonian Museum of Architecture and will open to the public during TAB 2022 Opening Week on September 8th, 2022. The structure will remain in place until the next edition of the event in 2024.
IHEARTBLOB is an award winning architectural design studio and research collective formed by Aleksandra Belitskaja, Ben James and Shaun McCallum, currently based in the UK. The studio has a strong focus on the Architectural Object, yet, draws on core tenets from an array of philosophical and theoretical principles whilst exploring new models of architectural thinking and constructing.