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in early 2020, iheartblob proposed a speculative, immersive virtual city titled ‘9 square grid’ to challenge and expand our notions of work, play and meditation. this virtual city foiled and opposed traditional, 2-dimensional, flattened spatial experiences that we had become accustomed to during the covid19 pandemic. one year later, ‘_spaces’ represents a reflection on and expansion of the ‘9 square grid’ proposal. flattened screens have slowly become supplanted, subverted and modified by immersive video calls, ar and vr hangouts. ‘_spaces’ is not a digital hangout space but rather a digital city to inhabit and explore – standing as a testament to the importance of digital spatiality today. architects are often beholden to clients and planning regulators or shackled by confined budgets. however, new concepts of decentralisation and virtual spatiality have enabled the architect to design without constraint, without budget… in a world without gravity or building code. blockchain contracts enable architects the opportunity to create non-fungible tokens (nfts) and directly distribute digital architectural space without the consent and approval of governmental legislation. ‘_spaces’, is a decentralised city – a 1/1 unique non-fungible token – which speculates on the future of architecture.
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