Master Thesis Project
Final Synthesis Lab 2
Politecnico di Milano
Interaction Design, Speculative Design
In an era defined by the meteoric rise of the Metaverse, the digital realm has transcended its boundaries,
giving rise to profound questions within the domains of technology and design. As the Metaverse burgeons,
so does curiosity about its potential to reshape the evolution of the internet — a vessel of digital memory —
and the novel roles that brands may play within its virtual expanse. This Master's thesis project, titled
"Beyond the Brand's Grave," takes root in these ideas. It embarks on an exploration that delves deep into
the heart of these inquiries, unraveling the intricate relationship between brands, the internet as a container
of digital memory, the consequential evolution of digital identity, and the transformative power of the Metaverse.
At its core, this project envisions the afterlife of brands within the Metaverse, shaped by their real-world actions
and the extent of their sustainability, transparency, and ethics. This speculative exploration bridges the known and
unknown, prompting contemplation about the metamorphosis of digital identity and brand presence. The project not only
delves into the ethereal afterlife of brands but also scrutinizes how ethical considerations can guide their abiding
existence in this digitized realm.
The thesis explores the Internet and the emerging Metaverse. With the prevalence of the mobile web, the line between online and offline existence blurs, as individuals spend around 6.40 hours daily on digital devices. This engagement becomes an archive of routines, online narratives, and social media contributions. In the context of the Metaverse's evolution from the Internet, understanding this shift hinges on recognizing the Internet as a reservoir for suspended lives, memories, data, and information.
The project envisions a speculative design scenario set in 2050, where the Metaverse functions as a digital afterlife. The Brand Afterlife Meta Agency (BAMA) is introduced, focusing on resurrecting deceased brands within the Metaverse and transforming them into avatars. BAMA navigates ethical evaluations of brands' conduct and societal influence before creating avatars that mirror consumers' perceptions and experiences.
The project focuses on generating avatars based on brand transparency, ethics, sustainability, and user perception. These avatars feature anthropomorphic elements, avoiding excessive realism. Modular components such as the head, torso, legs, and arms are ethically evaluated and influenced by users' perspectives. The resulting 3D avatars maintain the essence of the brand while embodying symbolic forms. Converted parameters, which include intrinsic, visual, ethical, and user-entered data, drive these changes. Each user who creates an avatar obtains a unique brand avatar, fostering a personal connection to past brands and shaping brand identity in the Metaverse.
Davide Sisto (expert in thanatology, digital culture and posthuman), Osservatorio Realtà Aumenta e Metaverso by Polimi