Master Thesis Project
Politecnico di Milano
Interaction Design, Speculative Design
In an era marked by the rapid rise of the Metaverse, the digital realm has transcended its boundaries,
sparking deep research in technology and design. As the Metaverse burgeons, so does curiosity about its potential
to reshape the Internet - a vessel of digital memory - and the new roles brands can play within the virtual world.
These are the concepts behind the "Beyond the Brand's Grave" Master thesis. It explores the
intricate relationship between brands, the Internet as a container of digital memory, the evolution of digital identity,
and the transformative power of the Metaverse. At the core is the envisioning of the afterlife of brands within the Metaverse,
shaped by their real-world actions and the evaluation of their sustainability, transparency, and ethics.
This speculative exploration bridges the known and the unknown, provoking reflections on the paradigm shift of digital
identity and brand presence. The project not only explores the afterlife of brands, but also investigates how their
ethical endeavors can shap their existence in the afterlife in this digitized realm.
With the prevalence of the mobile web, the line between online and offline existence blurs as individuals spend about 6.40 hours per day on digital devices, which is why the Internet becomes a repository of routines, online narratives and social media contributions. Understanding the evolution of the Metaverse is based on recognizing the Internet as a reservoir of suspended lives, memories, data and information.
The project involves a speculative design scenario set in 2050, where the Metaverse functions as a digital afterlife. The Brand Afterlife Meta Agency (BAMA) is introduced to resurrect deceased brands within the Metaverse and turn them into avatars. Through the BamaVerse portal, the organization ethically assesses the behaviour of brands and their influence on society before creating avatars that reflect 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 head, torso, legs, and arms are ethically evaluated and influenced by users' perspectives. The resulting 3D avatars maintain the brand's essence while embodying symbolic forms. The converted parameters, including intrinsic, visual, ethical, and user-entered data, reflect the brand's spirit. Each user who creates an avatar gets 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