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How will NFT change architecture and the architecture profession? An interview with Jedrzej Lewandowski.

14 of April '22

Wiktor Bochenek: What can be done with NFT?

Jedrzej Lewandowski: This is where the second aspect comes in. NFT can be single, but it can also occur as a collection of elements. For example, ten thousand elements of a whole project. Anyone can buy a share of such a project. It is probably easier to sell thousands of small elements than one large one. House on the Water in the experiment also represents a collection of 100. computer-generated tokens. Each of them will certify in the future for a share of virtual ownership. That's the deal, I give my word. We are at such a stage of technological evolution that it is hard to talk about the usefulness of such tokens. But some time from now it may turn out that they will gain value with the spread of the concept of "virtual ownership" and the emergence of virtual worlds.

House on the Water

© Le 2 Workshop

Wiktor Bochenek: You don't think this could be a fad?

Jedrzej Lewandowski: At first glance, the NFT market bears all the hallmarks of a financial pyramid - a Ponzi scheme in which continuity of financing is provided by new users of the system. For a long time I thought it was purely an innovative way to extract funds from people. But the blockchain technology that ensures the flow of information on NFT is a unique development in IT. Through its decentralized nature, it does not allow interference with the history of transactions made. It can be said that this system allows for true digital ownership. Why are digital currencies exchangeable for real money? For example, people believe in the value of Bitcoin, of which NFT is a development. Bitcoin is the result of a calculation that generates a specific string of characters. The number of bitcoins is limited by the algorithm for their calculation. Each bitcoin is, in practice, a unique string of digits starting with a large number of zeros, and represents the same value whether we bought it yesterday or five years ago. Its value is also due to the fact that, thanks to blockchain technology, it cannot be counterfeited. The creation of each bitcoin is preceded by a large number of costly calculations (electricity consumed) and is eventually recorded, confirmed and stored in a "digital ledger." In NFT technology, the circulation of information looks similar, but each token is different - it has a distinct value and ownership history. Bitcoins are created by a complex algorithm, while NFTs are created by complex people.

Wiktor Bochenek: Let's imagine a situation, a client comes to you who wants to build a tokenized project. Is there no conflict of interest here?

Jedrzej Lewandowski: This is not regulated in any way. I would assume that if someone pays me with cryptocurrency for the project, I give him the rights to build it. This is a matter of an independent contract between the buyer and seller. NFT itself does not, for the time being, give any offline rights. I will also give another example. If I generate a thousand NFT pizzas, I can treat them as discount coupons or club cards, giving holders certain benefits when they visit the restaurant. By the way, I know that there are only a thousand coupons and they have their own owners. You can't eat NFT pizza, but you can have it.

Wiktor Bochenek: What does the NFT process itself consist of for an architectural project?

Jedrzej Lewandowski: NFTs operate on the Ethereum cryptocurrency network. In order to create and acquire tokens, one must join some sort of blockchain - a system of distributed ownership information. Users of such a network have virtual wallets with which they verify the transactions they make. The process of creating an NFT is called minting, i.e. choosing a blockchain and performing calculations to get its own address in it. We have to pay for the calculations that change the values in the blockchain network - it is the computational work of other users' computers that verifies the state of the network and confirms the correct conclusion of a transaction or the creation of a new value in the network. We assign a graphic, 3d model, plans, sound or other type of data to the address thus created. Eventually we get an address with assigned content, which the network assigns to our virtual wallet.

I recommend reading about the concepts of "proof of work" and "proof of stake". These technologies are very much in development. In a moment there will be numerous developments of the Metaverse or other virtual worlds that will be built by users. There is a real need to record virtual ownership in these worlds and NFT is the first step in that direction.

House on the Water

© Le 2 Workshop

Wiktor Bochenek: How do you see the future of Blockchain technology, including NFT in the context of the architecture profession? More projects will start to appear and architects will also become interested in selling NFT, or will there be rather little interest?

Jedrzej Lewandowski: I think it will be an additional, separate branch for designers. Building virtual reality requires the professional experience of architects. Otherwise, all virtual worlds will be designed for us by programmers. Fortunately, the IT world is open to developers and willing to use their services. I don't think programmers want to spend time designing virtual architecture. That's why it all looks "weird and messed up" now. Virtual objects are often designed by people who are somewhat forced to do so - it was the same with the first computer games, whose graphics were designed by their programmers. You can't show code, and something has to be displayed on a screen or virtual glasses as part of a technology demonstration. At the end of the day, everyone cares about combining excellent technologies with great aesthetics. It's worth not underestimating the potential of the virtual world, because you could miss a huge development opportunity. Besides, the virtual world accepts all concepts.

Virtual reality does not yet allow users to take full advantage of their NFTs, but the situation is changing rapidly. As the technology develops, new opportunities and benefits will emerge. We must remember that this is just the beginning.

Wiktor Bochenek: Thank you for the interview!

NFT House on the water can be seen and purchased on Opensea(See here).

elaborated Wiktor Bochenek

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