TAB 2022 Installation Programme competition to be carried on by IHEARTBLOB with the “Fungible Non-Fungible” project

Due to unforeseen circumstances Tallinn Architecture Biennale announces a new winning proposal for TAB 2022 Installation Programme Competition: “Fungible Non-Fungible Pavilion” by IHEARTBLOB (AT), as Simulaa had to resign the commission.

IHEARTBLOB completely re-thinks the requirements of the pavilion by presenting a new decentralised and systematic approach towards architectural design, fabrication and funding in which the community are both the designers and the investors leading towards an emergent structure that evolves and grows over time.

In their proposal they set 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”).

This project would be the first ever blockchain-funded architecture. It would serve as a test for the new decentralised architectural design model, which can lead to works that are more reflective of community and environmental awareness. The outcomes are physical-digital hybrids that balance the ‘slower’ constantly evolving physical components with real time reactive digital updates.

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 result is a pavilion composed of unique parts each with different designers and owners, and ultimately reflective of a broader community demand and aesthetic sentiment.

The application for designing a piece will go online from 1 May and the platform will be open until 1 July, when the construction is set to begin. The installation will be built in July and August 2022 in the lively pedestrian green area facing the Museum of Estonian Architecture and will open to the public during the TAB 2022 Opening Week on September 7th, 2022. The structure will remain in place until the next edition of the event in 2024.

All the projects by Stage II participants will be displayed at the TAB Installation Programme exhibition, and published on the TAB 2022 website and in the catalogue.