How much would you pay for a 3D rendering of a sofa? Last month, a line of “virtual furniture” conceived by Andrés Reisinger earned its creator nearly half a million real dollars on Nifty Gateway, one of several online auction sites for blockchain-backed digital assets.
The collection includes computer-generated blob-shaped couches, a discombobulating set of drawers, and one pink swivel office chair.
Reisinger intends to eventually manufacture physical versions of five of his designs, including a custom-designed piece that sold for $68,000.
Reisinger’s desire to create real versions of his virtual furniture makes him unique from other crypto-artists. It’s also a move that can potentially impact how furniture is made and sold.
A typical chair takes about four years to gestate, with legacy manufacturers going through rounds of R&D and product testing. And when the finished version is finally ready, introducing it to the public involves a lot of effort. From pitching the piece to magazines, printing marketing materials for it, and entering it in design fairs like the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York, NeoCon in Chicago, Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, imm Cologne, and a global network of other festivals where a discombobulating number of brands vie for attention.
Reisinger skips all that and gauges demand by posting a rendering on Instagram before going into production. He believes that designers should only physically create what is already in demand.
Working with product designer Júlia Esqué, he’s produced a physical version of Hortensia, a dreamy armchair inspired by the hydrangea flower. Selling digital editions on Nifty Gateway gained him the capital for manufacturing.
For virtual furniture to be truly meaningful, creators should be mindful of the ethical supply chain of their creations, in light of the growing awareness about the alarming scale of throwaway furniture.
According to 2018 data from the US Environmental Protection Agency, 80% of the 12 million tons of furniture Americans throw away each year ends up in landfills.
A 2019 study suggests that 30% of adults in the UK have discarded perfectly usable furnishings for the sake of changing things up. Interior design makeovers and renovations are a significant factor in why the building industry is responsible for 40% of global annual carbon emissions, a 2020 study suggests.
NFT-based transactions are contributing to the problem, too.
Activists are calling on NFT auction sites for greater transparency about the energy usage of their transactions. A petition is even underway for the adoption of more sustainable transaction protocols.
But with 3D2GO, we assure you that the whole process for your 3D projects is continually monitored. Our artists and employees are very open to suggestions and questions regarding our process.