A Token Gesture is an exhibition and research project to introduce, explore and critique new public interactions and ownership of digital art via ‘non-fungible tokens’ – more commonly known as NFTs. In this project, members of the public in Edinburgh will be able to: Generate unique pieces of digital art through a street-level, walk-up interaction Register their artwork for display in the exhibition via the InSpace City Screen Mint, claim and own a non-transferable NFT, representing their piece of art, that will allow them to control how their piece is displayed
The proposal is a new decentralised and systematic approach towards architectural design, fabrication and funding in which the community are both the designers and investors leading towards an emergent structure that evolves and grows over time. In this proposal we set forth a new role of the architect – no longer the ‘Master Builder’ of The Fountainhead – but rather one of a systems designer who weaves together innovative technologies to empower communities and enable local craftsmanship. Rather than designing architecture elements ourselves we proposed to build an NFT generative tool in which individuals could design and “mint” (the process of creating and authenticating digital ownership) their own objects. This project is the first step towards empowering citizens to become stakeholders of their own built environment.
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.
Community Design Rather than designing architecture elements ourselves we 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 our NFT generative tool, we provide a parametric setup 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 our 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.