Meet Tobias Schmid Who Builds in the Metaverse
“When you read this, you are still early.” — A typical expression in the world of crypto and web 3.0.
While this is true for all fields that come into contact with this topic, it is perhaps even more true for architecture.
Even though metaverses or virtual worlds such as Cryptovoxels, AltspaceVR, Sandbox, or Decentraland are gaining traction, we yet have to hear about popular architects to build in these worlds.
It’s a huge opportunity to expand into new territory, with massive creative freedom, and a lot of empty space to be filled with beautiful structures.
Archdaily.com puts it like this:
For architects, the metaverse is a virgin territory full of possibilities, and a Utopia without the constraints of the physical world. Architects can create unique designs backed with NFT for people who like to collect one-of-a-kind assets. Architects can also build digital assets like cities, buildings, furniture, sculptures, point clouds, textures..etc, and sell them multiples times to virtual worlds, games, and movies.
Thus, I am particularly happy that I got to meet and chat with Tobias Schmid — who is an architect in a range of architectural fields such as Sustainable Architecture and Engineering in Building Design, Fair and Exhibition Design, Corporate Architecture, and Parametric Architecture.
His office Paratecture also offers their expertise for the conception and building of special applications in architecture. One example is the algorithm for the fabrication of the sunshading that was used for the Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet by BIG-Architects.
Another example is the work for KUKA Robotics:
Tobias is currently exploring the opportunities for architects in the world of web 3.0.
From Theory to Clubhouse to the DeSo Blockchain
Clubhouse is where Tobias’ theoretical knowledge about blockchains met the digital world. Since he took a deep dive into the technology he is convinced that the future is on-chain.
It was in April 2021, when Tobias joined a Clubhouse room where people were talking about the Decentralized Social Blockchain.
Will Mitchell — founder of StartupBros.com — was there to onboard people. Tobias began to watch his YouTube videos and jumped right in.
The technical aspect of the DeSo blockchain got him hooked. He knows that that’s probably not the most interesting part to a lot of people. Many connect the world of web 3.0 with making a quick buck. But he — particularly when it comes to DeSo — is fascinated by how well the blockchain operates in terms of speed and price.
“The most exciting thing, in the beginning, was the technical aspect of the DeSo blockchain. It’s fast and the cost is super low. That’s crazy! There’s nothing like that in other blockchains. That’s why there’s no real competition. DeSo is the only real web3.0 social app.
If you want social media on blockchain, it can only work if it’s as inexpensive as DeSo. That is impossible on Etherium and won’t work out on Solana or Cardano either.”
Another advantage of DeSo he sees is its community.
Finding a place where people work together to build something for the sake of web 3.0 — and not just to gain for themselves, is an aspect that Tobias finds intriguing. It differs from his experiences in the NFT space.
“The NFT space is full of single artists who are complaining if they got a hard time selling their stuff. At DeSo you have a whole group of people — a real community. They help each other. I buy the NFTs on DeSo because I got to know the person and like to support them. On OpenSea I only buy from very close friends or tickets for metaverses, such as Frogland.”
And through close contact with DeSo’s community, Tobias learned more about crypto and blockchains.
“Actually, everything I know about blockchain I learned on Bitclout [first app on DeSo]. It’s the perfect place to learn all about it. People on DeSo are no maxis [maximalists = people who think that their web 3.0 related coin/platform/project is superior to others]. They also recommend other platforms. From my experience, outside of it, it doesn’t happen like that. People don’t come across as independent.”
Independence is another keyword when it comes to social media. Keeping control over your profile and being able to grow your account without buying ad space is important to Tobias.
On DeSo you get to decide what you want to do with your account. There is no censorship. And your account cannot be blocked or terminated.
Money goes directly to the creator through diamonds, creator coins, NFT sales, or royalties.
Plus, if there’s a disruption in one of the apps/nodes built on the blockchain, there are a number of other apps to access your profile.
DeSo is Tobias’ place to connect with like-minded people in the web 3.0 space. Plus, he gets to try and test what he creates and receives feedback from the community.
“I use DeSo a lot to test. This is how I will figure out which way to go.
For everything I try out, there’s a chance to make a collectible series within a few days. The algorithms I use, I am also teaching at the university. This is what my students learn in my Parametric Architecture course.”
Just As Web 3.0 Never Sleeps, Tobias Is Also Always Awake
It would be an understatement if you’d say Tobias is an extremely busy guy.
He has 3 architecture and engineering offices, teaches at university, and has a family with 3 young children.
Next to that, he’s active with the Global Art Exhibition: “An international multidiscipline project that aims to converge talent in a brand-new and authentic way for the modern world”. The project was founded together with Stefano Escargot during the pandemic to allow showing different areas of art to the public. After a number of notable NFT drops the team managed to organize real-life exhibitions in Paris, Hong Kong, Rome, and an ongoing one in Sharjah.
At the time of our interview, he was wondering if he should make the trip to Sharjah. His workweeks are already 90+ hours, so any additional project he takes on needs to fit where he wants to go.
Building for Metaverses: Which One Will You Choose?
“When I start building in the metaverse for real it will be an architecture project. These can take up to 4 years. I will have to decide which metaverse to go for and then buy the land. What I will build needs to live up to my own expectations. It’s going to be a big investment in terms of time and money.”
Meanwhile, Tobias works on smaller tests. He build a gallery for his NFTs called “Trapped in the Ice” in Monaverse.
“I wanted to figure out how many polygons fit into it. By trying this I understood it’s relatively fast to implement existing models into Monaverse.
I really love that metaverse at the moment. It gives me the freedom to try out my architecture projects. It’s easy to use with Unity. You don’t have to buy land. The assets can be sold via OpenSea.”
DeSo has its own metaverse and/or virtual reality projects. One of them is Astronation. It’s a virtual reality open world that lets you interact in real-time with other inhabitants of an endless star system. Pre-alpha locations have just been minted and sold. The teams who were able to grab one of the NFTs are about to start building on their space stations.
Tobias is on board and definitely excited to create something together with the team.
“I’m really looking forward to building on Astronation. That will be great. Also, it’s something I can really commit to. I’m doing this with a great group of people.
I really had to buy that space station. In the end, I even outbid myself.”
Metaverses will definitely gain from architects that bring in their experience. Creating a 3-dimensional online space that you love to hang out in is not a simple endeavor that can easily be done by everyone.
“Architecture and the metaverse are a good match. You can bring real life and the metaverse together. What I work on for my day job can easily be transferred into the virtual world.”
The question remains which metaverse to go for.
Which one will stand the test of time?
Where to invest money and time?
Where to settle?
In the end, it will probably be the one that does its job best as Tobias quotes:
“Don’t make me think.
Don’t make me ask.
Don’t make me wait.”
Being Early, and Enjoying the Ride
For Tobias, the quest will most definitely continue. He wants to be there when architects begin to venture out into web 3.0, the metaverse, and all that comes with it.
So, he consistently shows up on DeSo, in different metaverses, in discussions about web 3.0 on Clubhouse, Twitter, Connect.Club etc.
He learns, interacts, and supports. When times are low, he does it even more.
For DeSo, he knows that it might take a little longer to catch on big time. But he likes it and will continue to be active there. He believes in the blockchain team, that has delivered on their roadmap promises. What he finds missing is more transparency on what else is planned, and what is about to come in the future.
“So far they have implemented all of the things they said they would. So from that perspective, I believe they will do the right thing.
But if you think about it as a businessman, it’s hard to plan. It’s not 100% clear what comes next.
I know in the beginning, it was possible to mine DeSo — like you can do with Bitcoin — and then from one day to the other, it was not possible anymore.
So if people plan with that, invest in the hardware and all that, it’s frustrating.
I understand that. For me, it doesn’t matter so much. I like the community and where it’s at already.
The DeSo blockchain itself is already a big step. Now, it’s up to the community to fill it with life.”