Much has been said over the years about how the post-truth world we live in presents a highly-edited beauty in the form of photoshopped and unrealistic representation. Now that metaverse queries fill our free time on Google, it is easy to imagine that even these new immersive platforms are reflecting people’s massive use of filters when it comes to their body image. But the reality is more nuanced, and emerging creatives are sharing their integrated projects investigating our current relationship with the body image, as our intuition and primitive comprehension allow us to discern the authenticity of a concept and a visual representation.
It is no coincidence that the challenge of pushing students to explore new horizons comes from Istituto Marangoni, a metaverse and metaverse education pioneer. This was made clear with the launch of The Talent District as a virtual platform for showcasing events, collaborative projects and student work. Breaking new ground for meta-fashion, Istituto Marangoni’s metaverse now combines interactive experience, Web3 technology, digital language, and its talents’ international creativity worldwide.
Inside the futuristic Exhibition Pavilion in The Talent District, Istituto Marangoni's newest metaverse
Just after landing on Istituto Marangoni’s metaverse, you can explore its futuristic Exhibition Pavilion with its hot pink colour palette. After experiencing the macro-areas dedicated to art and fashion, you will enter a hyper-technological room where design will be the focus. There, you will meet the students’ avatars presenting their best projects. Reflecting the search for authentic beauty even in the newest spaces of the metaverse, these figures were developed with Igoodi, the first Italian company specialising in photorealistic avatars of real people. As the company uses a new type of Digital Humans, designed to preserve the uniqueness of each individual and be helpful to people’s lives, each Igoodi Avatar is integrated with Smart Body, a data set including the individual’s anthropometric measurements.
Wandering through Istituto Marangoni’s metaverse, you can come across the avatar of Visual Design student Giacomo De Maggi
Wandering through this unique space created in partnership with Monogrid – a Florence-based digital interactive agency developing platforms of the highest technological level – you can come across the avatar of Giacomo De Maggi, a Visual Design student at Istituto Marangoni Milano. With his voice, he will share with you his project, The Aesthetics of Truth. What can we spice things up with after this one-off experience? Well, easy to say we met the real Giacomo De Maggi. Read on to discover how he dreams up a different perspective on beauty in culture.
Istituto Marangoni student Giacomo De Maggi's billboard for his degree project The Aesthetic of Truth
Ciao, Giacomo. You’re the first talented student to join our “Meet me in the IM Metaverse” series. Can you tell us a bit about your experience creating your avatar, giving him your voice and landing your project in the Istituto Marangoni metaverse?
Being part of the Istituto Marangoni metaverse has been an extremely fascinating experience, especially as a young designer. Sharing your art through an online and interactive platform is an incomparable opportunity that exposes you to a multitude of people and possibilities.
Istituto Marangoni student Giacomo De Maggi's book cover
What about your The Aesthetics of Truth?
My degree project, The Aesthetic of Truth, is a conceptual photography exhibition aiming to bring back authentic and raw expressions of beauty through both physical and virtual experiences. In the extensive area of visual communication and information, our subconscious and immediate ability to identify authenticity have been an underexplored phenomenon. Our intuition and primitive comprehension make us able to discern the authenticity of a visual concept and representation and, ultimately, its essential truth – or its multiplicity.
IM alumnus Giacomo De Maggi also developed an outdoor exhibition for his degree project The Aesthetic of Truth
Where was your head at while you imagined this project?
By admitting the existence of a mutually recognised truth, we can investigate what makes valid and successful informative communication. The complexity and elaboration of visual storytelling incorporate the ideas of cultural value systems, truths, reality and perception, which have the potential of blurring or creating a multi-sided narration of its authenticity. How are factual and created truths visually communicated? How is information altered through visual representation? And how is the visual aspect a medium to elaborate a certain truth? My degree project dealt with the flexibility and adaptability of an object and its message, involving art, aesthetics, photography, design, identities and representations. This whole idea operates on the idea of going back to a genuine and more inclusive representation of people – so its online translation is a vehicle to bring its essence to a bigger audience that otherwise wouldn’t be able to get in contact with my project.
The experts at Igoodi scanned your body and brought you into Istituto Marangoni’s Talent District. How would you describe your journey into the metaverse, and what does this new world of possibilities represent to you?
Being scanned for the metaverse was such a fun experience that allowed me to be exposed to this brand-new technology, making a difference in our ever-expanding online design world. On the other hand, the metaverse aims to alter how humans perceive the digital world. Digital content has primarily been accessed through flat media viewed in the third person since the beginning of computing. Immersive media that appears everywhere and is experienced in the first person will become increasingly prevalent in our digital lives in the metaverse. Everything will be affected by it. The metaverse is the digital world’s transition from flat content to immersive experiences. The scope of virtual space will be greater than that of real space because they are integrated and symbiotic. The virtual space will create a surreal world and incorporate reality as the metaverse matures.
Poster for Giacomo De Maggi's project The Aesthetic of Truth
The metaverse: where are we and where are we headed? As a new talent with a keen eye for visual culture and communication, what do you think industry players should do now that this new reality has been built to stay?
The metaverse’s application scope currently extends far beyond the gaming and social media industries. As a result, the growth of digital technology heralds the beginning of the metaverse era, provides fashion brands and consumers with brand-new experiences and opportunities, and encourages the rapid integration of virtual and real space from the first stage to the third stage. In the metaverse era, brands must employ new technologies to effectively manage resources and business layouts to satisfy consumers’ interactive needs for low latency, high response, and high immersion.