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RGU architecture students among first in the world to release their work as NFTs

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Hyperloop station
Students from the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment will be among the first in the world to release their work as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

The students, studying MSc Advanced Architectural Design, have been developing a series of forward-looking projects for the North East of Scotland and have now released their work on the OpenSea.io NFT marketplace.

NFTs are unique digital objects which are housed on a blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies. They are best described as a registration licence number for a particular unique object.

NFTs provide a platform for artists to break through previously inaccessible markets, or in this case, for architectural designers creating original designs. NFTs are currently trending due to the sale of popular digital assets such as the first ever tweet by the founder of Twitter and the original image behind the 2005 Disaster Girl meme.

The students, inspired by the theme “automata”, have designed hyperloop and vertiport stations, high-rise towers and community centres in Aberdeen. These architectural designs address future challenges, with a particular focus on zero-carbon issues.

Theo Dounas, Learning Excellence Leader at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment, commented: “Our work on the applications of blockchain technologies in architectural design expose the MSc AAD students to the cutting edge of Digital tools that can be used for design and design management.

“To connect our research into building information modelling and blockchain with our day to day teaching activities in the MSc Advanced Architectural Design, we set up a week-long, intensive workshop where the students were able to design and model their own designs on the blockchain.

“The students were excited about the workshop and working with blockchain technologies, as it allowed them to develop new business and operational models for architectural designers and their engagement with decentralized communities.”

The Scott Sutherland School has already built mechanisms to create NFTs for building components and use the blockchain as an information layer for a circular economy for the Architecture Engineering and Construction Industry.  

Additionally, the School recently hosted the second research workshop in blockchain in construction along with the Construction Blockchain Consortium.

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