Interview with Christiana Tudor | Metaverse Architect | Founder of SINOPPIA
Updated: Dec 28, 2022
Christiana Tudor is an Entrepreneur and Architect who is shaking up things in the Metaverse world.
She started off her career as an Architect and has successfully applied that knowledge in her entrepreneurial journey, and the Metaverse sector, which she first encountered in 2021.
In 2019, she founded SINOPPIA, a creative company inspiring innovative solutions through visual thinking. SINOPPIA aims to offer architectural design and consultation, regardless of the layer of creativity in which their clients wants to express.
In our interview with Christiana, we explore her entrepreneurial journey and passion for the Metaverse.
Thank you Christiana for participating in this Q&A session. We would like to start by asking why you chose Architecture as a career?
Christiana: I think every Architect’s journey starts with “I simply loved to draw as a kid.” Since I was young, I’ve always been fascinated by drawing.
I first started drawing with crayons on the walls of my room, but quickly shifted to pen and paper, to my mother’s joy. I was eager to understand and be able to replicate everything I saw around me.
I wanted to learn, but also to create… I remember stealing wood from the fence my father was building and drawing sketches, in order to create the perfect doll-house.
At the age of 12, when I first started to play Sims, I knew I wanted to be an architect. But when sci-fi and fantasy movies became an attraction to me, I wanted to be part of that world. There were no cinematics focused studies in my country, and Art University didn’t seem to open many doors... so I went back to my previous love and decided to study Architecture. It was the best choice of my life.
Architecture is a careful mix of art and science. It challenged my way of perceiving things and strengthened my strategic and logical thinking. It taught me how to adapt and experiment. Without Architecture, I don’t think I would have become an entrepreneur, since I would have lacked the vast set of transferable skills that this field taught me.
Analytical approaches, problem solving, social research, communication...there’s no surprise how many Architects we encounter in emerging creative industries.
It is the conventional Architect's role to shape a space based on the user’s culture, and although we are creating in a new layer, the modern architecture principle of ‘form follows function’ still applies. Christiana Tudor
What originally attracted you to the Metaverse, and what role does architectural design play in it?
Christiana: I had my first “encounter” with the concept of Metaverse in February, 2021. The global economy's shift from the physical to the virtual was gaining more momentum. Crypto and digital economy became popular subjects for those who wanted to escape the worldwide epidemic reality.
A new wave of artists began emerging in the crypto sector, and NFTs became a significant tool for many creative people, including me. The Metaverse was originally a buzz-word that gained a lot of traction in the Web 3.0 family, and I was curious to understand what it actually meant.
As an Architect mostly focused on visual marketing and concept process, I had previous experience with both virtual and augmented reality. I dabbled with the digital world through various architectural and gaming projects, and was very fond of virtual environments because, unlike the real world, where as an Architect, I was limited by physical and legislative constraints, the virtual world was a new layer where I could push the formal boundaries and redefine what ‘space’ can be.
Anyone with a creative and wild imagination can design a virtual space, but the Metaverse is more than just a 3d environment where you can express yourself artistically. In my opinion, the Metaverse is the next phase of social reality, it is the immersive layer of the internet where corporations and retailers will augment or substitute different aspects of economic and social interactions. I believe this is the point where architectural design will play an important role.
It is the conventional Architect's role to shape a space based on the user’s culture, and although we are creating in a new layer, the modern architecture principle of ‘form follows function’ still applies.
Architecture is a careful mix of art and science. It challenged my way of perceiving things and strengthened my strategic and logical thinking. It taught me how to adapt and experiment. Christiana Tudor
Is there any difference between architectural designs in games, animations, virtual reality and the Metaverse, or do they all go through the same design process?
Christiana: At a technical design processes level, there’s no difference between building a virtual space for games or building it for the metaverse. We use the same 3d tools, from Blender to Unreal Engine, we have the same optimisation practices, we “bake” the final products in the same manner.
The fundamental difference lies in the way you approach the concept design. In essence, we always create a 3d environment, but its purpose changes based on its ‘destination’. The Metaverse is more than a game. It’s a 3-dimensional society, and designers will need to respond to social and cultural problems.
Conventional Architects are prepared in dealing with the socio-cultural aspects of building, and their job will be to guarantee that the Metaverse is an inclusive and vernacular environment.
For the Metaverse, you not only need to create a visually pleasing 3d space, you need to comprehend human psychology, learn what certain communities' needs and desires are, and apply this knowledge to the constructed environment.
In my opinion, the Metaverse is the next phase of social reality, it is the immersive layer of the internet where corporations and retailers will augment or substitute different aspects of economic and social interactions. Christiana Tudor
What’s the origin story behind your company SINOPPIA? We would like to know why you started this company, where the name came from, and what value proposition it offers in the Metaverse?
Christiana: I love answering this question! SINOPPIA is a company built from passion and soul, and is very close to my heart. I wanted to convey this in the name as well. The name comes from the term ‘sinopia’, also known as ‘sinoper’ which is a dark reddish-brown natural earth pigment. In Ancient times, it was mined in Cappadocia and exported to Europe through the port Sinop. “Coincidentally”, the sinopia pigment is also the colour of my hair, a colour that grew to be part of my visual identity.
In the Renaissance, Italians used sinopia pigment for the preliminary sketch of a fresco - also known as the conceptual layer, a formal drawing expressing the artistic intention. SINOPPIA strives to be exactly that, a fundamental layer in the design process that can help you contour an intention, an idea, a vision. It is a creative technology studio, focused on digital & virtual experiences related to architecture. We aim to offer architectural design and consultation, regardless of the layer of creativity in which you want to express yourself, whether it be in web2, web3 or beyond.
As an Entrepreneur has your career been influenced by any current or past leaders?
Christiana: Of course. A big influence comes from the Architects who’ve developed entrepreneurial mindsets (also known as Starchitects): Frank Gehry, Bjarke Ingels, Zaha Hadid or Jonathan Segal are innovative minds, who did not stop from exploring new avenues for design, product creation or even adapt new technologies and alter the architecture process.
I’m lucky to have been able to collaborate in my architectural journey with offices such as BIG or Zaha Hadid Architects on innovative projects that have certainly opened my mind and pushed me to discover and adapt to new realms such as the Metaverse.
There are also a few bright minds, who are part of Web3.0 as well, that through their programs and initiatives, have contoured and educated many creative minds. For example, the anonymous PUNK6529, is one of the first to accept the challenge of building the Metaverse, by currently developing both technologically and ideologically, an open decentralised platform called the Open Metaverse (OM). Many conventional Architects have already joined the movement and I’ve also expressed my desire to be part of it.
Zeneca_33, is also a prominent figure of the crypto art space, who through programs such as The333Club and ZenAcademy, has been able to create educational hubs focused on innovation. I’m very honoured to mention here that I am one of the 12 creative artists that is part of the ZenAcademy, and we will be releasing at the end of August a collaborative architectural piece for their community. Very thankful for all the learning and social opportunities the crypto art space has created for me so far.
What key challenges have you faced as an Entrepreneur, and how have you managed them?
Christiana: One of my biggest challenges in my entrepreneurial journey was to learn how to deal with the business and legal side of it, and to understand that a great part of being a good entrepreneur is to be aware of all aspects that concern a company or legal entity. How you navigate all these can define how you are perceived.
As exciting as Entrepreneurship is, it can also be very scary, once you decide to step on this journey. Many artists can feel overwhelmed or not capable enough to grasp it all, and this can sometimes put you in a position where you can be taken advantage of. The way you can manage it, is to overcome that impostor syndrome, trust your capabilities, and accept with patience the fact that you will mostly learn anything you need through experience.
Before concluding this interview what advice do you have for other Entrepreneurs seeking to become Metaverse Architects?
Christiana: The Metaverse in its full final form doesn’t exist yet. We are now witnessing its formation, and I think a good advice for those who want to become Meta Architects is to first document and research anything that has been created so far in relation to it. It’s important to fully understand the principles behind it, in order to be able to adapt your 3d environments for it. Learning today’s creations will prepare you for tomorrow's innovations.
Thank you Christiana for sharing your Metaverse journey with us. We wish you all the best.
Christiana: Thank you for the opportunity to share my journey and I appreciate your Magazine for shining a light on emerging Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses!
Learning today’s creations will prepare you for tomorrow's innovations. Christiana Tudor