147: ‘The Era of Spatial Computing’, with John Manoochehri

A conversation with John Manoochehri.

147: ‘The Era of Spatial Computing’, with John Manoochehri

About this Episode:

John Manoochehri joins the podcast to talk about how the intersection of design, architecture and engineering, game engines, and new hardware are changing the landscape and potential impact of spatial computing and digital environments for the authors and creators of these environments in the AEC industry. We address it from a cataloging, usage and licensing perspective, and talk about how creative industries are leading the way in exploring the potential of this medium. We also talk about how this tech is opening up new possibilities in fields like entertainment, productivity, and mental health, and how it also challenges our understanding of what good design means as it pushes beyond the experience of physical environments. And finally we chat about the intersection of digital and physical design and how a feedback loop could lead to shifts in the design of physical spaces based on people’s experiences in digital environments.

About John Manoochehri:

John Manoochehri is an architect and environmental scientist based in Stockholm and San Francisco.

He has a diploma in architecture from the graduate school of architecture in Stockholm, at KKH, and has taught technical courses and design studios at Master’s level at the Stockholm undergraduate architecture and planning schools, at KTH.

His sustainable design company Resource Vision has been on design teams with BIG, White, Strategisk Arkiekter, and other major Scandinavian offices, working on some of the largest projects in Swedish history, including Kiruna city move. He has written an architectural design method handbook with Kjellander + Sjöberg Architects, and contributed technical advice to modular housing fabricators. He founded the Resource Talks podcast to investigate sustainable architecture and modern environmental science and policy.

He started an architectural design technology company, Last Meter®, with the support of the Swedish Real Estate Federation, to enable the integration of service-based consumption into the spatial and financial models of modern real estate, to facilitate the adoption of circular consumption models at scale.

The Futureperfect Talks podcast, sponsored by Epic Games, is an exploration in the rapid evolution of spatial technology for design, construction, visualization and optimization of the built environment.

Treasury was founded in 2022, by him together Zaha Hadid Architects, and Spaceform, a visualization platform backed by BIG, Thomas Heatherwick Studio, UNStudio and more, asa registry and discovery system for the world’s most valuable spatial assets - architectural design, film scenes and sets, real estate, world monuments, experiential art, nature scans, and other spatial content.
Treasury protects and distributes the work of spatial creators - architects, real estate owners, artists, engineers, and reality capture professionals - in the era of spatial computing and generative AI.

Previously, he worked at the United Nations Environment Program in Geneva, where he wrote UNEP’s policy framework on sustainable urban consumption, ‘Consumption Opportunities’. He wrote the World Wide Fund for Nature’s global handbook on sustainable cities, ‘Urban Solutions’, integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals framework with the WWF Urban Solutions model.

He has a degree from the University of Oxford and lives in Stockholm and San Francisco.

Connect with Evan:

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147: ‘The Era of Spatial Computing’, with John Manoochehri
John Manoochehri joins the podcast to talk about how the intersection of design, architecture and engineering, game engines, and new hardware are changing th…

Episode Transcript:

147: ‘The Era of Spatial Computing’, with John Manoochehri

[00:00:00] Welcome to the TRXL Podcast. I'm Evan Troxel, and if it's your first time here, welcome. I know there's a lot of new listeners and watchers out there, and if you are a regular listener and are enjoying these episodes please tap that subscribe button on YouTube and in your preferred podcast app. Your subscription is incredibly valuable in supporting my efforts, and I genuinely hope you find the conversations published here enriching for yourself and valuable for the AEC industry.

Evan Troxel: Let me tell you why being a subscriber matters. We live in a world of metrics and subscriber numbers directly influence two things. My ability to attract sponsors that help keep this show going and my ability to attract high-profile guests, which is great for you. My goal is to deliver [00:01:00] quality episodes to provide value to you and the industry as a whole.

Interestingly, just this week, uh, the YouTube side of my analytics show that about eighty-eight percent of viewers aren't subscribed to my channel. I have no clue about the podcasting side of things as far as those metrics go, but it's probably similar. So if you haven't subscribed, I encourage you to do so.

It's completely free and it's a great way to support TRXL and remember, since this is a numbers game to some extent. Please do me a favor and subscribe in both places on YouTube and in your favorite podcast app. And finally, for those of you in the audience who are in a position to support my work directly, there are two more ways that you can do so.

You can make a donation at trxl.co/donate or consider becoming a member. To learn more about the perks of membership. And to join, simply click on one of the [00:02:00] subscribe buttons at Trxl.co. Your support is crucial for the sustainability of the show whether you are listening to the ad-supported versions, or a member, making a donation, whatever it is, I deeply appreciate you.

Okay. The release of this episode coincides with two things. The first is the release of Apple's Vision Pro headset, a new computing platform for, among other things, authoring and experiencing immersive AR and VR environments. And the second is the public announcement of Treasury, of which my guest today is the founder of.

Treasury is the premier spatial asset hub for digital environment creators and builders. It protects and distributes the world's most valuable digital spatial assets and environments, which I think architects and others in AEC are quite possibly the best authors of. I'm not sure the mindset is there [00:03:00] yet, but the digital spatial assets that are created throughout the design process to make the world's most valuable physical environments is the topic of today's conversation, so I welcome John Manoochehri to the podcast today to talk about it. In this episode, we discuss the potential of spatial computing and digital environments in the AEC industry from a cataloging, usage, and licensing perspective as more and more of these types of devices come online. How creative industries are leading the way in exploring the potential of this medium, how this tech is opening up new possibilities in fields like entertainment, productivity, and mental health, and how it also challenges our understanding of what good design means as it pushes beyond the experience of physical environments. And finally, we talk about the intersection of digital and physical design and how a feedback loop could lead to [00:04:00] shifts in the design of physical spaces based on people's experiences in digital environments. I always enjoy talking with John, and I hope you'll not only find value in this conversation for yourself but that you'll help add value to your colleagues and peers by sharing this episode with your network. so now without further ado, I bring you my conversation with John Manoochehri.I.

Evan Troxel: John, welcome to the podcast. Great to have you here,

John Manoochehri: Thank you, Evan. This is a great privilege. Um, everybody in architecture and technology knows the platform that you've created, so it's a privilege to join the ranks of, um, of the, uh, alumni of the podcast.

Evan Troxel: Yeah, it's been a long time coming. I think we've been talking for a couple of years. Uh, I mean, you were doing Future Perfect Talks,

which I was on that at one point amongst many other esteemed colleagues in


and, uh, and that was when you were, you were doing a different startup at that time called Last Meter.


maybe you can give us, just provide a, history of your trajectory in AEC, you've gotten to where you are before we jump into the real topic of today's conversation.

John Manoochehri: I think to give, uh, a, an honest assessment of how I got here, right. It probably, I, it, it is, is useful to be honest about how I think and, and I and I, and how I've sort of like pursued a career. I guess that I'm probably just too lazy, um, to go about things the normal way. And, you know, get qualified and go and do a thing, go to a thing.

Um, and, and I think also maybe just a bit too, uh, sort of curious in a rebellious way that we are the polite way of setting up, just in very generic terms, how we got to this situation and how, um, I'm doing what I'm doing. I think without going into too much detail, [00:06:00] I think it probably also has to do with quite a complicated family background.

Um, which, you know, I don't need to share too much here, but neither parents, neither my parents went to university. My father is, you know, um, kind of a criminal and so forth. And so for me to like find my way into kind of like a conventional career, uh, or a conventional educational path was a little bit harder than I think it is for, for, for, has been for some people.

Um, so that's probably another aspect of it, but I, I think the correct way of thinking about it is I'm, um, sort of lazy and, uh, refuse to play by, you know, the normal rules and then regret it many years later and think, shit, I should have done that very boring qualification.

Um, but I, but I do think that there is something else also going on.

And, and this is where I'm, I'm relatively proud, which is that having sort of, sort of refused to kind of go through conventional roots to things. Um, I am very much a completist and sort of some kind of perfectionist. And certainly I'm super, super [00:07:00] interested in understanding things, what I would say properly in the old fashioned way.

Meaning not just because everyone says that it makes sense, but there seems there needs to be some sort of, you know, systematic insights involved. I think that's helped me a lot and I think it will certainly help me going forward. It may not help my businesses, they may all just go wrong, but sort of intellectually and professionally, I think that has been very useful as, as I'll sort of try to unfold.

So that's all the sort of sort of pompous framing to give myself any number of exits when people start saying this guy really shouldn't be doing the things that he's doing. Um, but long story short, I I, I got my bachelor's degree just to kind of medium length version of getting, getting into where, where we're at and where we're, we're going in this conversation at the University of Oxford.

And I basically was so arrogant about, you know, not wanting to study a conventional career path, thinking I could just work all that out later. 'cause at school it wasn't particularly difficult, um, ultimately to get, you know, higher grades. I was wasn't, and very curious and sort of like, [00:08:00] uh, fundamentally about how cognition works, right?


that's, that's one of the things that ends up being actually quite useful nowadays that LMSs and so forth are coming into the frame. If people

talk about a GI, my bachelor's degree is in, um, uh, Sanskrit and um, uh, basically I specialize in sort of Buddhist. Theories of cognition. Uh, 'cause it just fascinated me and I thought, who needs a fucking career?

I'm just gonna go and study shit. That's fascinating to me.

And, and, um, and so I went to the university, which has the oldest chair in, uh, Sanskrit Department of Sanskrit in, in the western world. It had a chair of Sanskrit, uh, since before it had a mathematics, uh, uh, chair. And, um, it was, it, it wasn't perhaps as philosophically interesting as I would've liked.

Um, it didn't help me advance as some kind of Buddhist, which part of me wanted to do, but it did make me a good linguist and it made me a very good, I think, sort of classical scholar, right? 'cause if you study San great, it's, it's ruthlessly systematic in a way that essentially almost no disciplines have really matched up [00:09:00] to.

Um, and because I do a lot of stuff all the time, right? I'm essentially working on things all the time. I had been in the university essentially doing structured sort of sustainability and environmental advocacy. So I was the chair of the University of the University Student Environment Committee. I was in the university, the entire university's environment committee.

I was doing all sorts of sort of extracurricular activities in environmental science and managed to kind of juujitsu all of that into a job that the United Nations Environment Program, where I worked in the European office of the UN environment program in Geneva for basically four years and wrote their book.

And it's sort of disgusting the young age on sustainable urban consumption.

Evan Troxel: Hmm.

John Manoochehri: And um, I was very proud of that because actually what that meant that I had to do was get very good at, um, sort of economics and policy and become economics and policy professional. They didn't know, by the way. And then this is kind of hilarious to share this 'cause I've almost never told anybody this stuff.

When I went to work at [00:10:00] UNAP in Geneva, they didn't know I didn't have an economics degree. So I was sitting in my underpants at 2:00 AM you know, reading economic papers, um, so that I could write the books they were asking me. But that sort of set the foundation, I think the tone for kind of the stuff I'm interested in, which is basically if you take the the physical world.

How do you examine it from the perspective of resources? Right? And that basically sets up everything that I've done since then,

because I realized, oh, this is a puzzle that is so interesting to me and it's so multi-dimensional that I'll never not be interested in this. And, um, pretty, pretty proud of that really, because I, I, I do think that if we look at architecture, architectural design, technology, uh, manufacturing, architectural teaching, um, it doesn't really take the issue very seriously.

And so I'm pretty sure that there's contributions i, I, I could make, uh, if, you know, if I get better at doing business and, and sort of actual design rather than just talking. But, um, I think there are, there are things to be said. Let's put that in a way that's less flattering to me. [00:11:00] There are things to be said and done in architectural design and technology and education that aren't yet done

to take seriously the issue of what is the relationship between the built environment and, uh, natural resources.

And so that, that, that whole puzzle started off, I was, I mean this, uh, this is blowing my own trumpet, but I'm pretty ha happy about it. It's the book I wrote for Nette many years ago. Is actually the most cited book on, uh, uh, a sort of consumption policy in a recent sort of 40 year review of, of consumption, uh, review of the last 40 years of consumption policy.

So that encourages me to think that it was something good about what I did then, even though I was a kind of absolute absurdly under qualified, pre over presumptuous sort of person. But I think that it evidence is that what I'm, what I'm sort of trying to say about myself in complimentary is I try and think very systematically

about things.

And so what I then realized is that I didn't wanna work in policy, right? Because actually my brain doesn't, is probably a bit too active for policymaking. [00:12:00] And I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do, but I did want to say stuck to those themes. And so did some sort of consulting around in, you know, d different aspects of, of environmental science and sustainability.

And ended up in Sweden, where long story short, I, um, I, I worked in Sweden for the, for the, uh, what's called the Stockham Environment Institute, which is quite like a, uh, sort of prominent environmental science and policy institute, um, that, that actually gave rise to, to one of the. It was, it was one of a career stepping stone to one of the main guys in, in sustainability right now, Johan Strom.

So I worked briefly with Johan Strom, um, at, at Stockholm Environment Institute, and, uh, and much of other people on different sort of sustainability topics rooted to some extent in consumption, but that's a pretty broad area. So it ended up being transport and, you know, climate and various other things.

And in the end, I sort of thought that this got to be a more creative and directly impactful way to express interests in sort of the, [00:13:00] the, the large scale physics of environmental sustainability. And so, not really knew what I was doing. I, I took a, um, a post-professional diploma in architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture in, um, Sweden.

Um, in Stockholm, there are two architecture schools. There's the old architecture school that was attached to the, is attached and was attached to the art school, to the Royal College of Art. And historically the undergraduate architecture was there and the postgraduate architecture, uh, was also there.

And then there is now the new architecture school at the Royal Institute of Technology. Also called KTH, the undergraduate architecture is now there. So I took a post-professional architecture course in the graduate school that's still in the, uh, in the art school. And then, um, uh, got a scholarship to carry on doing that there and sort of, sort of bleeding into the architecture profession, essentially taking my particular flavor of environmental sustainability, uh, research and policy [00:14:00] and so forth.

And, um, uh, and sort of injecting it more and more into architectural design. Um, around about this time has started a PhD on, on, um, on, uh, um, around the sort of the, the, the special areas of, uh, of um, uh, consumption theory that I'd worked out underneath my unit work, uh, with Tim Jackson in the uk who's, you know, arguably the kind of foremost, um, consumption researcher in the uk.

He's recently written together with others, a quite a, um, a sort of, uh, I would say controversial article in nature, which we'll come back to probably the end of this podcast, about the future of sustainability and degrowth and so forth, which I don't really agree with and probably 'cause I don't really agree with the sort of trend lines of this thought and probably 'cause I was basically just exploding with half-assed ideas that I would need more years than he could offer me as a supervisor to kind of organize. I didn't finish my, my PhD with him. . And [00:15:00] so that was in the background of me, the same time taking a small step into architecture via the, let's say the graduate architecture school of the Royal, um, uh, college of Art in Sweden. But what happened then was actually pretty interesting and probably if I had had, I don't wanna sort of, you know, have a sort of bullshit sub-story, but if I'd had probably a better family background, I would've probably done this much quicker and better than I did.

I quite quickly got involved in the actual practice of architecture. So I was like, you know, picking off little lectures to say, well, you know, you think about consumption of resources in this way in terms of the built environment and had these hideous sort of PowerPoint style lectures. Um, and then gradually got pulled into both architectural teaching.

So I started teaching. Um, uh, master's of Courses at the Architecture school. The, the, the main architecture school in Stockholm at KTH and Drag. Started doing studio courses there, um, and got invited to do, to lead a bunch of courses [00:16:00] at the planning school together with some of the architecture teachers.

'cause there was a pretty clear overlap on the urban design piece of the work at the planning school attached to KTH, the Royal Geotechnology and Stockholm. So that suddenly became a piece of my work, like, you know, teaching architecture urban design at different, you know, both sort of technically and in design terms.

And so that was an engagement with the actual profession. And then I got started getting pulled into as a kind of junior architectural designer with a massively over specified set of knowledge in

environments of sustainability

into larger and larger projects. And so through that, you know, through that little kind of opening, was invited to do a lecture at the Ingles group in Copenhagen, uh, was lecturing at White, which is the largest Nordic Nordic office.

Started getting pulled into Bianca Ingalls projects, you know, got to know Bianca as he was getting famous and got to know, you know, some of the partners and got involved in more of their projects. , and that was actual architectural design work, right? And, and so it was very, very interesting to kind of see [00:17:00] at the reality of the design profession at an extremely high level.


I mean, it was pretty high level at that point.

It was, you know, this is before Bianca became true supernova in scale terms, but it was

pretty high level stuff. And one of the biggest projects, the biggest project I was involved with, BAK Inger, which is the biggest project in any, in the, in the built design history of Sweden, which is the, the, the, the moving of the city of Kirina.

Uh, my company at that time, design company resource vision was the sustainability, sustainable architecture consultant pooled

into the project with a bunch of other, you know, people. And so at that point, I began to see sort of all of these little pieces kind of unfolding so I could see that, you know, the, the, the core of the profession.

What was interesting about it was not taking these issues seriously, right? To be, to be respectful to bca. They are interested in it, right? They're probably much better at it now, but they were just doing what the clients wanted, which really wasn't that much, right?

Uh, another part of the professional, the more established offices were doing lead [00:18:00] certification, which wasn't and doesn't lead to very much at all.

You know,

3% increment on energy efficiency, and then it all falls away after year two

or post-construction. So I could see that the sustainability wasn't really happening, but also the bigger picture of sustainability, which is the con, the consumption of resources at scale in the built environment and the human infrastructural system, which is not happening, right?



Evan Troxel: when you say that you are not talking about the actual construction process, you're talking about the after, after occupancy process

John Manoochehri: so, so, so, yeah. So I'll, I'll come, I'll just,

I'll say a quick comment on the content, but just me, let me park the sort of the, this, this, you know, silly story of my program. So basically I started working on projects with larger offices around sustainability and see that the bigger issues I, I'll explain, to answer your question, what those bigger issues really are,

were not being dealt with seriously.

And I was like, well, hmm, I don't want to be an idea stunt man for Bianca. So he takes my best ideas and presents 'em as his stuff

or any other office, [00:19:00] right? I mean, it's just, it's just what happens if you are, you know,

you know, consultant, designer on larger offices. There's

no, you know, I was doing it cynically, um, and I didn't want to be involved in.

basically greenwashing. I mean, lead is basically greenwashing and it's absurd. It's not achieving anything close to what it needs to achieve. And so I was, I, I'd realized, wow, I advanced very quickly in a profession and yet I'm not really achieving very much

how frustrating I,

what, what the issues are. Yeah, yeah. Right. But so what the issues are, right. Just to kinda summarize this, 'cause this gets very interesting, and it comes back to the technology piece, which is where we'll land in a, in a second.

Basically, there are two ways of thinking of environmental sustainability in relation to the built environment, right?

And architecture is sort of the anchoring piece of the built environment. It means infrastructure and, um, morphology as well, right? And one is the physics of the stuff, right? So it's, it's the pre-construction process impact on nature and what resources are you choosing? And then it's the actual embodied stuff that you use.

So it's concrete and it's glass and it's steel [00:20:00] and it's, you know, whatever you're using to actually have the standing physical infrastructure. And then it's the, you know, the actual energy and resources of the building and use water and electricity and so forth. And so that's all. And then you can, there's a post-construction start from your lifecycle assessment and whatnot.

And that's one piece of it. The physical embodiment of energy in the preconstruction construction and the use, and then

the disassembly or destruction phase of the built environment. Great. Actually, that is not the main dri, not the main . Uh, story of, of sustainability in relation to the built environment.

And this is where my consumption work starts already kind of becoming, I think very interesting. And this is gonna be the interesting issue that I think comes up in the next 20 years. The real thing that happens in the built environment, and that's already like 30 or 40% of all resources consumed, is the physics

of the built environment. It's how the built environment economically and in terms of its configuration induces or restraints specific [00:21:00] economic consumption patterns. If you design a building with parking spaces, you will have cars

in that building. And so suddenly you have a car-based economy,

right? If you have buildings that are distributed around suburbs.

They will need to have an energy system that cannot rely on combined heat and power or, or district heating, which is a huge cost saver and in sustainability boost to space heating. Right? And so what you discover is that there are, there are all these second order effects that actually end up to being most of the rest of what happens in the economy.

And it's one of the main problems, not just with, you know, the narrative around sustainability and the built environment, but the entire consumption narrative. It's why I don't want to engage with the, um, I don't think, I don't think the, I don't think the policy policy of Tim Jackson and um, and, uh, Jason Hickle and the other Degrowth people are, are credible in the sense that really what's going on that drives consumption of resources at the larger scale isn't [00:22:00] people's behavioral choices.

In practice, once you have bought a home with a carport attached, you will be a driver

and you cannot economically or socially move away from that choice, right? So yes, of course you can ask people to not buy homes with cars

attached, but at some point it becomes deeply sophisticated

and it's no longer a moral choice, right?

So to moralize these issues is a problem. So just to kind of put that back in context.

Evan Troxel: Hmm.

John Manoochehri: I realized this stuff actually, that you look inside projects at the larger scale. I realized this very much in relation to the Kierna project. This is the point when I realized I had to start a company because I created, as part of the, um, Kier City move project with Bianca and his team, a lifestyle system.

I'd already created a lifestyle system concept as part of my, you know, architecture diploma project. Like we should have consumption systems that integrate with the built environment. So you have shared washing machines. It was all pretty crude in my thinking and I realized, wow, this is pretty cool. They said to me, the, the big team [00:23:00] said to me, oh, this is awesome shit.

And I was like, yeah, it is awesome. Shit. Why the fuck don't I own this ? Like the whole consumption system,

you know, it designed into the built environment. 'cause you know, I realize that's gonna be big piece of how, if we take sustainability seriously. Including, obviously carbon emissions, primarily carbon emissions in the, in the next 10 or 20 years, but also other resource flows.

We wanna take this stuff seriously. We will need to use the built environment as massive levers of systemic consumption phenomena. It isn't just personal choices, it's the systemic choices of,

if I buy some clothing, can I get it returned without it going to a fucking landfill?


If you wanna stop fast fashion, you don't just clamp down a fucking h and m and their supply chains.

Um, you have to enable the, so-called circular economy,

but that the circular thinkers aren't working out. That the circular economy is essentially an infrastructural problem,

infrastructural problems when it comes to consumers or [00:24:00] architectural problems and urban morphology problems, right?

And so once you, once you realize these connections, you go, oh, this is all pretty complicated.

So once I'd done the Kina project with Bianca and I'd created this consumption system involved an app and interventions in the courtyards and in the parking and in, you know, in the, in the logistics system of the whole city, I was like, Hmm, this is gonna happen. I'd like to have my name on it. I'd like to contribute it both analytically, operationally, and the design terms.

And, and then, so I started a company called Last Meter,

which basically . Long story short is an integration, a service integration system,

right? If we assume that all consumption patterns, I buy a thing, an apple, some clothing, a car, an apartment, uh, uh, uh, I, you know, I buy, you know, uh, uh, hobby equipment, skis, fishing rods.

We assume that the, uh, product-based economy is inherently inefficient. This is, this is [00:25:00] going a little bit beyond where we, we wanted to go today, but in terms of the theory of consumption, once you have surplus goods, as modern consumers, which we do, everything moves to a service-based model. It doesn't make any sense to buy a hundred percent of the time availability of a fishing rod.

If you use it for 1% of its

lifetime to your buyer service, access to everything becomes timeshare, right? So this is the service economy, unfolding service economy. Once it becomes structuralized, uh, and operationalized is basically a logistics enterprise. It's a

logistics enterprise of warehousing inventory management and packaging and vehicles going back and forth.

Well, what does that become? That becomes a massive opportunity for commercial and, and residential real estate, because if it turns out to be the case that real estate owners discover that all the consumers coming in don't want to own fishing rods, don't want to own, you know, closets filled with old clothes, don't want to

own, you know, skis and ski boots, right?

So, so that's, that's a transition that we're on top of, right,

is that when services are able to physically, logistically integrate with real estate, [00:26:00] suddenly that will be our model.

Right. Having huge storage areas, the shit we never use is gradually dying. It's totally pointless. And we, we've gone to that point right now with skiing, probably 80% of most casual skiers don't own their own skis.


mean, just, just, you know, I don't precise statistic, but you can see the point that our use intensity of goods is declining as we become more and more configured consumers of goods. And so the service economy arises, but it doesn't work unless the infrastructure, uh, and ultimately the architecture with, and architecture is the, I mean, this is one of my ways of describing architecture.

Architecture is, is the in, is the hu is the human interface of infrastructure. Right?

I mean, not many people use that definition, but not many people in architecture have any good definitions of architecture. So

my first of my sideswipes to architecture, but , but, but one of my main, my main frustrations with architecture having got into it is that the thinking is piss poor, right?


it's systematizing what is going on in the profession as pathetically slight.

And so it's,

Evan Troxel: profession is a, [00:27:00] is a reactive service-based industry, and it's

not a leadership

John Manoochehri: Hmm. Yeah.


is a, it's a service based industry. It's a service based industry. That in practice makes us money by pandering to very powerful people.

It tends to be the case in history. The industry is the power, the powerful people, the ones that have the least systematized theory, 'cause they get away with anything.

Power talks, money talks, and theory isn't needed. But anyway,

um, so the point there is that if, if, if we play that out, the consumption's changing in a surplus, uh, in economy of, of huge consumer surplus to being a service economy, service economies, as they become operationalized, uh, basically structuralized

logistics systems. And that is an opportunity for real estate operators because right now the current situation is that that transition ization of consumption is crashing in literally at the last meter, beyond the last mile of real estate

packages are proliferating in lobbies, which is a fire hazard, right, in terms of regulation.

But it's not just a fire hazard, it's a free gift [00:28:00] to one of the richest men in history.

When I speak to real estate developers and operates and I say, are you happy making Jeff Bezos the world's first trillionaire? I'm like, what do you, what do you mean?

I'm like, why do you think Jeff Be's company is worth one and a half trillion dollars?

Like, I don't know where you're heading with this because you are giving him free retail frontage.

Retail space

has essentially three functions, right? Inventory discovery or inventory inspection. The transaction of fulfillment. You look at goods, you buy the goods, you get the goods.

Now inventory discovery is happening online fulfillment is happening through third party logistics and transactions happening online.

So retails poof is no longer a spatial phenomenon. You can go, you can find reasons to have showrooms and whatnot, and people

wanna be in shops and so forth. But operationally, Amazon said, great, we'll do the imagery discovery. We'll do the, it will do the transaction. You fucking clowns who own real estate, can be our fulfillment partners.

And we'll never pay you a cent.

Not only will Not pay you a cent, we'll make you pay for our shitty lockers to operation, to, [00:29:00]

to optimize our, our poor performance.

Evan Troxel: Right.

John Manoochehri: So when you say that

real estate operators are delivering, you know, um, free gifts, premium real estate. To Jeff Bezos. They go, holy shit.


me more about this last meter thing.

So I created this company that designs buildings. So you can op, you know, you can, you can, you can optimize for services that the real estate operators choose. You have a, you know, a service marketplace. You have a data system that, you know, wraps all this in efficiency.

Beautiful. Wonderful works. Well, real estate is just too slow

to make this work, right?

It takes too long to get the data. It takes too long to get the, you know, the, the property managers to do the thing, you know, and it, and, and I'm not a good enough entrepreneur. I'm not kind of, not the kind of entrepreneur that does what Travis Lanning did, which is say, you know what?

I'm gonna run the operations.

This theory Right.

Of efficiency that we can opt, you know, the platform, the system can optimize itself, which is what I believe is the case with last meter service integration. Real estate can get value, revenue share from services that [00:30:00] optimizes into the building to facilitate returns and efficient packaging and all sorts of things.

Sales have interesting, you know, services, all that efficiency gain that last me to, uh, uh, make makes clear as an opportunity requires a lot of operational cycling. Right now they need

lock systems, they need data systems, they need management training,

they need all sorts of things. And if I'm not gonna raise a billion dollars just to do all that and

then continue making no money, right?

Which is the way Uber did it,

then I sit there for a few years, which is what I did, but advice me to go, oh, you all wanna play along, but

you basically want me to do all your legwork for you so that you can then make money. Hmm. That is an very expensive capital investment and a huge amount of operational involvement.

Um, not Travis Lannick, um, to goofy and geeky and design oriented for that. Um, and I just don't wanna do it.

So, so last meter right was where I got to after seeing two things. One is that, you know, the sustainability profile of, um. Of, you know, the high end of the built [00:31:00] environment, professions, you know, architecture and infrastructure and so forth.

Were not taking the bigger picture of sustainability seriously, because they weren't cleaning up the, the embodied consumption of resources. And they absolutely couldn't even see the extent to which, you know, architectural morphological, uh, um, considerations were massively inducing or, or, or, um, or restraining transformations in the overall, you know, dynamics of, of, of economic consumption.

And so all that stuff, you know, I, I sort of puzzled out and came to last meter and realized, oh shit, this is, I love it so fascinating. It's so cool, it's making me no money. . And they also don't like working with real estate people that much in the sense that, eh, it doesn't feel very creative or technical, right?

If you're not selling them a package solution where you are the technician and the creator, you're basically waiting for them to do stuff. And that is not. In inherently very interesting.

Um, real estate is the best asset class in history. It will remain that the, [00:32:00] the best asset class in history. So real estate people don't do very much, but

that's, that's what happened is I was sort of sitting there watching last meter kind of flatline, I guess.

I mean, it's partly 'cause I'm just not enough, not good enough of historically have not been a good enough business manager to just sell shit and get to pay for shit. We're trying to explain things rather than just sell stuff, which I think is a, you know, a, a critical flaw for anyone that wants to sell things.

You've just gotta let people, you know, convince themselves that it's awesome. And I has taken, I've taken some time to get good at that or better at that. But in any case, then Covid hits and that was a good time to kind of like puzzle things out. So

I started a podcast that isn't quite the same as the famous TRXL podcast.

What I was trying to do was to kind of investigate the sort of bigger. You know, echo chamber of issues around the work I had done, right? If you take, uh, uh, design technology and you take sustainability issues and you take these broader issues, how do they, how do they all configure? I was trying to find a sort of friendly way of getting into the kind of mind space that I, I'd spent time in.

[00:33:00] I think by that time I'd also realized that I had got good at architectural design technology at every level of the stack, right? So not just like, you know, design tool, but actually conventional technology. Like, you know, just, uh, um, you know, platform technology. I learned a lot about platform technology and, you know, mobile technology and just the standard Silicon Valley stack and how it relates to design technology, which is relat relatively unusual sort of intersection.

So I knew a lot about tech and so I kind of could talk and it become a good technologist. I mean, I can code properly and I can use tools properly, so I could like, like articulate it, but then have an idea world around it. And that's an unusual sort of thing. So I was trying to drive the conversation towards is, as it were, the, the impact implications of this technology.

Confluence between design technology and, you know, the Silicon Valley tech stuff, normal daily technology. And did that for a season and Epic game started sponsoring. They said, look, this, this content is pretty good. We like it. And basically one of the questions I asked. [00:34:00] Some people in the, in the course of that podcast, um, was, uh, um, okay, so if we're gonna build these metaverses, right?

Which the way that they historically been presented, I'm not very interested in like, some kind of social hangout space, like Second Life. I didn't have a lot of interest in that, but I could see that the technology was getting better and better, was gonna continue facilitating that conversation and that vision insofar as anybody, you know, clings to it.

I asked one of the guys, well the guy actually who, who, you know, sort of profiled his, his expertise against the Metaverse Matt Ball, who I think is extremely brilliant human being, he's got a very holistic view of the whole space, where all the assets are gonna come from, well, where all the environments are gonna come from.

And he was like, well, you know, what do you, what do you, what do you mean? I said, well, you can't just make them, you can't just draw a city's worth of assets and then pop up a metaverse. You'd be lagging years every time you wanna do anything. Right.

And, you know, generative content, procedural content's not gonna be nearly good enough, right?

Evan Troxel: Mm-Hmm.

John Manoochehri: The game companies, you know, the AA game companies that [00:35:00] do a lot of content development, or the film studios do these huge, have these huge, like many year, you know, arts asset procurement processes, either third party or in-house. And even then the content that they use for their games and moving environments is highly scripted.

Meaning you can't

walk up to a building on Avan and just do what you want with it, right?

It has a specific set of potential interactions and

it's meshed and it's. Fixed with this, with that in mind,

it isn't arbitrary interaction ready, let alone most of it, ready for super high photoreal resolution, real time rendering.

So it's like, if all this technology is, is, is maturing now and we're all supposed to believe that, you know, the, the, these environments are ready for billions of users, where are the environments coming from? The other problem with it isn't just that there is a, you know, a kind of like a, like a bottleneck in terms of quality stuff that's ready to be used.

Everything is owned, right? You know, all the buildings of the world have image rights attached. If you go to the Getty Images website, right? No, not the Getty. If, if you become a contributor to Getty Images,

uh, and then you have [00:36:00] a special website to go to, um, they will show you a, they will, they will make you read and use a very specific set of, um, of legal clearance documents.

And one of them is, is the building writes clearance document and essentially clarifies in black and white terms is that every building in the world is, has copyright attached to it

and you have to respect it. Now, the reason why that hasn't been an issue in building out Metaverse before, 'cause it's done, it has scale before,

if they have, it hasn't been a big enough commercial, uh, you know, uh, issue based on the spatial environment for anybody that owns copyrights in the built world to say, I want my royalty, but it is now about to be that.

And so I realized, oh goodness, if one of the foremost metaverse thinkers. Doesn't reflexively understand that we need a lot of assets that are well developed and ready for, you know, arbitrary, you know, uh, photo real realtime rendered environment creation, offering population, and that we need a lot of licensing attached to shit that is either, you know, real world or has design identity and so forth [00:37:00] attached to it.

Then that could be something interesting. And he got there before me. He asked me, he said, you know, um, he, you know, he said, I would invest in that. And he, and I was like, well, what do you mean invest in what? I just asked you a question about where the asset's coming from. He said, you know, a licensing

pipeline for quality spatial assets.

And I was like, oh, holy shit. I can't believe someone hasn't done this, because it seems like it's the most obvious thing and it's gonna be a massive bottleneck and requirement. So the next thing I did is I, you know, I pinged Sharre at Zaha Hadid, um, who I didn't know before the, the, the, the Future Public podcast.

But he'd been on it and been one of the most, I would say, particular and sober communicators around, you know, different dimensions in design technology. Um, I said. Is Zaha being asked for assets for, um, special environment by special environment builders? And he said it's thought of. Yeah, I mean, we, we, you know, we are being asked for a, currently we're in a project with PUBG.

PBG is the, you know, the, the kind of the original M-O-R-P-G [00:38:00] like battle royal game and they have seasonal maps and they were designing, you know, some, some buildings for that. But it was an incredibly complicated procurement process. So I said, would you like to license your back catalog and any part of what you've created where you have, you know, you know, sign off and the developers of they own part of the, of the rights wanna play along.

And he said, lemme check with Patrick Schumacher. And Patrick Schumacher messaged back within 45 minutes saying, yes, we're all in. We wanna do this thing. Now that happens to be the case, that it happens to be the case that Patrick is very interested in metaverse as a whole proposition.

And so that sort of sat with, you know, in line with things.

But there's more to it than that, which I, which I'll, which I'll come to. This was just an ex massively long-winded way of saying there is a way to get from a, from working on environmental science and policy to, um, digital spatial environments and asset licensing. Um, and I

explained it so

Evan Troxel: part.


John Manoochehri: well. Yeah, no, I left that out because I don't wanna be in the soundbites.[00:39:00]

Evan Troxel: Yeah, it's, it's, it's a, it's a really intriguing path, John. I can't, uh, no. Nobody would ever see that path moving forward. And it's, uh, it's, it's interesting at the very end that you, you said there is a path

John Manoochehri: So I, so I think the thing is, the thing is, you know, is that I can, I can find it for me, this is what, where I'm somewhat proud, right? It's obviously frustrating that I'd love to be making more money and, and sort of pushing grand, grander things forward. But I realize that there are very sort of interesting and large scale problems that don't necessarily have the right treatment yet.

So if we just

take the issue of like, you know, the extent to which the built environment induces consumption patterns and it isn't a moral choice past a certain point

to, to live within a car economy, right?

Um, or to consume a certain way.

And, um, that's something that is probably far too. Under explored in the sustainability debate.

And when you convert into how do we optimize design, you know, in incentivize, you know, [00:40:00] monetize built in built environment and architecture to engage with that. There's tons of opportunities. So there, there, I think there's a credibility line there. It isn't just sort of, sort of um, you know,

rhetorically grabbing random shit.

'cause there are people that do that who I find very annoying.

Evan Troxel: Yeah.

Well, I I, I find it very interesting the, the change that you've gone through from last meter to what you're doing now

at Treasury and, and so thank you for painting that picture, because I think it does kind of show that there actually was a path there and that it was based on experience and. I mean, good and bad experience like opportunity, but then also the reality of real estate development, the way that these decisions are, like the butterfly effect that are driving how consumption actually works. Um, and I don't think people are necessarily understanding. I mean, you, you said it yourself, right? They don't understand the true cost [00:41:00] of those decisions when they're making 'em, because these things are so much bigger than, and they're

John Manoochehri: Yeah.

Evan Troxel: they're not the normal things we talk about. Even when you go through architectural training, which is probably the most esoteric, you're going to get esoteric when you're gonna, that you're gonna get, when you are in the, a path to architecture and you're still not talking about that stuff.

Right? And it's, it's, it's very interesting to me to see how it's actually playing out at, on the biggest projects in the world. And I, some things have happened since you've gone through this, right? We're now seeing development of mega cities where I would assume there is a lot of this being planned into it.

I don't know to what depth, because I'm not privy to any of that information, right? But we see what's going on with the line. We see what's going on with osa. Like I get their email, I get their newsletters, and they talk about it. We see videos on YouTube every once in a while. But you would assume a lot of this has to get baked in to those fully designed communities for this [00:42:00] to work, right?

Because I mean, if I could boil down what you were saying to the most basic sense of something that I talk about all the time is. No matter how big your house is, you're gonna fill it with stuff no matter how big your house like. And so to your point, if you have a carport, you're gonna put a car in it.


So if the design infrastructure, the architecture of the built environment where it's fully designed and, and all the rules have been figured out at the beginning, that seems to me like the only chance that you have to create a community that consumes less based on everything that you're saying.

John Manoochehri: Okay.

Evan Troxel: Yeah. .Yeah. There you go.

John Manoochehri: I mean, I mean, I mean, what, what I, what I would say there

is yes,

Evan Troxel: transform something?

John Manoochehri: yes, yes-ish.

Evan Troxel: something that already exists into what you're It? It's

John Manoochehri: yeah, I would, I would, I would say, I would say yes-ish. I I would, say yes-ish. I mean, I, I think that it, it's definitely easier to package up [00:43:00] new ideas in new build, right?

And, and it's definitely interesting if you have, you know, hundreds of billions of dollars, which, which,

um, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has and is

wielding in the line and in neon, uh, which is, I mean, it's a whole separate question, but

it's by far the most dominant project in the, in the built design professions right now.

Everybody is ending up there,


For better or for worse. Um, I, I think that just, just, I just, just, uh, uh, straightforwardly, I think that there needs to be more cycles of conversation,

right? This is where, you know, if I had been, as I say, I think a little bit more confident. About this stuff. And they

probably recruited more, uh, sort of collaborators institutionally and otherwise.

A bit earlier on, I think there would've been more, um, opportunity to kind of like, uh, uh, I don't wanna say spread the word, but like, but it evolved the conversation around these things. Because right now, as as

simple as it seems to say that the built environment, economic patterns and those economic patterns define consumption behaviors materially and aspirationally.

And [00:44:00] if you, you know, blend these to a bit, you can get real estate that has an additional value incentive by embedding services and taking revenue and optimizing design around all that stuff is not very complicated to explain, but it isn't really happening.

Right. And, and I think it's not just, you know, I think the built the built design professions, I mean, this is part of my frustration.

So the second job at architecture, the built design professions are just not good at articulating, you know, I would say serious conversations. They're very fixated and I think very sort of speculative

technical things. I mean, the aesthetics aspect is fine. People just wanna talk about aesthetics, that's fine.

But talking about, you know, the role of, you know, the built environment in sustainability or in, you know, health or, you know, social inclusion is in general, I don't think it's all that seriousness and that the good technical stuff isn't very close to the prac to

practice. Right. And I'd love that to change.

And I think that, um, how that changes, I don't know, I just think it just will take time.

Right. In the same way that the, you know, the climate conversations take time for these things to become actual priorities and

regulated issues. So for example, like in Sweden, I'll give you a little vignette of how I think these things change.

And it may not be the case that it's [00:45:00] the same trajectory of change as the big projects just do it in Stockholm. Right now, the planning rules essentially as a baseline say that, you know, new residential apartments must have roughly 1.5, uh, sorry, 1.2 parking spaces per two person apartments matter. That that's the, there's sort of parking minimum baseline.

But if the development has a, uh, a, a, a a, a binding legal agreement with a is, and this is in the planning policy, credible mobility provider, then they can sync that to 9.4 vehicles right?

Evan Troxel: Mm

John Manoochehri: Per two person apartment. So that's a regulatory intervention

that isn't quite the same as um, sort of just fiat regulations.

Not the same as government, you know, investment in public, public transit. But it's something that I think's gonna be very influential 'cause

developers start seeing holy shit, if we find our way into a relationship with somebody doing transport, they haven't really found a way into a collaboration with the mobility providers, the sort of the, the tech providers.

'cause they're just too fucking chaotic and. [00:46:00] Self-obsessed. Um, uh, so it tends to be with much more boring car sharing

companies, which is more, less, less exciting and less flexible. But it's, but it's, there's, there's a trajectory there where I think through a number of cycles where developers start seeing different things and they, you know, developers start seeing my projects again and again and again.

I feel like there's a ton of different projects with developers in Sweden. They're like, we, yeah, we, we couldn't do that until we had better access to better services that we could really rely on. We don't wanna experiment with our new development. Right. So I would say yes-ish. That's what I mean when I say, you know, the line of neon probably will be good to, to articulate some of these kinds of things, but if the debate isn't that evolved, it may not really land.

The other thing is actually, I think you have to be careful, and this is one of the fascinating things about the, about, about the built environment, is that you really do wanna make sure that. Change is allowed, right? If you look at the big projects that have very visionary sort of intent, so go back one generation before, uh, neon on the line to sda, for example.

Arguably too much of the [00:47:00] thinking was baked in, right? So if one partner falls away or one use

case fails, then a whole chunk of the city doesn't work anymore,

right? So you've got a whole, you know, a solar farm, you've got your educational campus and you've got, you know, a transit system and the transit system broke, just doesn't work or whatever.

I think that's one of the, so, and, and they, you know, and so, and so I think that the, the idea that it's either, you know, the trillion dollars will fix it or it doesn't, it's not possible.

Evan Troxel: Yeah.

John Manoochehri: I'd say, so essentially iterating these things

and having more and more sophisticated arguments by, by the way, I, I, I'm not when I say this.

I do think that your, your, um, your podcast, but also like your voice and network and kind of conversational, um, uh, network, like your voice, your network, and the way that you conduct conversations, which is grounded in architectural practice and architectural sort of educational discipline, but is very constructively, forensically, promiscuous in other domains.

It is the kind of thing we need.

I really do think so. Right. I think it does bring in more voices and it does pull architecture out into more sort of [00:48:00] structured commentary and

engagement issues.

Evan Troxel: So I, we've been burying the lead here, John. I think we need to get back to technology and what you're doing now. So let's talk about treasury, because I, one of the thing, like I said, I didn't, I didn't see the through line from last meter to treasury, but now through your experiences that you outlined with BIG and with Zaha, talking to these different groups, talking with people at Epic, um, I can see how the puzzle was at least formulated.


now there's a lot of work to put it, all of that pieces of the puzzle in the right place. So let, let's, I mean, because one of the other key components here that we haven't talked about really yet is just what Apple is branded as the era of spatial computing, right? Um, we, we've, we've been using VR headsets and AR headsets for quite a while now, but now seem to be on the cusp of something. And by the time this episode comes out, people will actually have these in their hands, like literally just a few days before this [00:49:00] comes out. People who are willing to spend the money for it, of course. But, but we, we are on this Cusp of something different. And I, I'm particularly excited about it as an architect, I feel like this is where we are going to have a potentially huge contribution to make. And so now that we're talking about spatial computing, digital environments beyond the metaverse, right? Uh, we're talking about something the next evolution of that. I don't even know what what we call it yet, but, but talk, talk through that because the puzzle pieces are starting to fall into place even more so than, than what you had outlined a few minutes ago about where,

where the, the genesis of these ideas came from.

John Manoochehri: yeah. Thank you. So, um, so, I mean, basically when I realized that there was this opportunity to create a licensing platform from like spatial

digital environment creators or whatever, sought out to digital environment, um, you know, builders and, and users of assets.

And I asked Za who wanted to be involved three months after that, [00:50:00] we had a very, very high value venture capital round with Google, with one of our investors. 'cause it's not a complicated idea,

right? And, and, and so the last meeting still exists, but one of the reasons why I didn't, you know, move forward faster is because I hadn't taken on, you know, the, the, the, the, the ruthless entrepreneurial insight, I think was once articulated by the, you know, the director of the CEO of PepsiCo, which is, if you cannot articulate your business idea on the back of a business card, it cannot be implemented

Evan Troxel: Hmm mm-Hmm.

John Manoochehri: And that's kind of helpful to me because it is very simple. People need spatial digital spatial environments at scale, which are well designed and well licensed, and we can do that. So that idea landed. We've got venture capital money incredibly quickly. A good valuation. Um, Zaha became one of the founding partners.

Tons of interest immediately from across the profession was pulled in. Um, I'll park that piece of the story kind of practically and go back to more of the sort of conceptual or the market framing piece for a second. And then, and then pick up, [00:51:00] you know, the, the actual, you know, the, the, the pragmatics of treasury and what we did and, and where we're at right now.

But let's talk about spatial computing. I mean, when I started, you know, the Future Perfect podcast, as, as I mentioned, I myself am not very weighted to the idea. In fact, I'm rather antagonistic the idea that what people wanna do is spend a lot of time in digital virtual places, right? So this idea of the Metaverse as an alternative or parallel world, whether something that's temporary and entirely, you know, the a, uh, um, uh, speculative or an actual, you know, analog of the existing world in some way.

I don't think there's a lot of, you know, um, fundamental rationale for that. We, we can talk about more about that maybe later. But just in general, I don't think that's the most important thing. What I do think is happening is that, um, and we, and we've written this, basically we've written a, um, what we call a spatial computational thesis, which lays out this specific point that I'm about to make, is that a lot of con technologies converging that have a spatial [00:52:00] character.

All right. If you take that perspective, rather than saying, oh, wow, there's a product we can create, which allows people to exist in some kind of avatar eyes, alternative or parallel world. If you, if you park that idea for a second and say, well, we, how would that be possible? What is it that will facilitate a metaverse type conversation?

And what you can do is kind of break down the technologies that allow that to, to be a possibility or a product, you know, endpoint for anybody, individuals or corporations. And it gets very fascinating. You can say, well, you know, mapping and earth sensing is, is having a huge renaissance. You know, CAD and d like architectural design tools, route to design tools are having their own, you know, I don't say renaissance, but there is innovation going on there.

And , you this is, this is, this is what we know. How, how fast it's moving is a whole separate question. Um, uh, reality capture, how we pulling information about the world and visualize it rendering of, of, of digital environments, um, uh, technical form factors [00:53:00] to view things,

uh, mobile phones, headsets and so forth.

Um, there, there, there's a lot of dimensions, like slices of technology that are all evolving faster and faster. And then if you put AI onto all of them, you know, you start having, you know, like, you know, reality capture with, you know, interpolated models like nerfs and you have, you know, you know, training data sets that we never had before that can be, you know, you know, trained up to generate, you know, very different way from rule bound, procedural design, much more

kind of statistical based, corporate based, um, uh, machine learning generation.

All of that is what we call the space technology conversions.

'cause what it doesn't do, I think, is represent a single product outcome, which

is one other reason why I'm not really that interested in the, in the sort of social VR type metaverse, which is not only do I not think that users really want it, but I just don't think it's the, the single or the natural outcome of all the space technology

stuff that's maturing.

At the same time, the space technology convergence, as far as I can see is [00:54:00] it's like an infrastructural layer on top of the internet society and economy, right? And, and, and so people can say, oh, well there's a metaverse. And that's kind of what, you know, the, you know, the, the, the space technology revolution, the spatial technology, you know, um, uh, infrastructure, um, you know, convergence represents.

To say that spatial computational spatial technology convergence and evolution repre, you know, represents or ends up in the metaverse. It's like saying internet technology, emergence and universality ends up in cyberspace,

right? The, the metaverse is really a word as far as I can tell, just to capture a few

ideas, and it's been productized by a few people.

And that's fair enough. You know, when the internet was premier a thing, people talk about cyberspace to get a sense or a flavor or something, but it hasn't been the case that, you know, as the internet evolved, we went somewhere, the opposite happened. The internet came to us and then disappeared because it became everything.


the same is, I think, gonna be true with for, for spatial computing and metaverse. We won't go to the metaverse, spatial computing hast come to us, gonna be part of everything, right? And

the same way that if you have, when you are walking around your life today, you don't think [00:55:00] I'm gonna turn the internet on and off,

I'm gonna go into the internet, right?

It's just everyone, a little

piece here and there, Right.

And, and so that's what we mean by infrastructural layer, right? Is there's gonna be a tiny bit of visualization and a tiny bit of reality capture and a tiny bit of ar and a tiny bit of, you know. And so if you have. That perspective that, that rather than me ization like a product premise of alternative realities and authorized people, um, is coming outta space technology.

The, the, the opportunity space is, is really vast and it's really fascinating. Right? And one of the things I've learned, this has been for me, I think the biggest of my personal epiphanies, I would say is, and again, probably something I should've if I'd had a , a better upbringing, is I would've seen technology in a pure sense, uh, as an opportunity to kind of, you know, evolve into, but for, for myself and for society, because it really is true and this sort of blends in the end, you know, blasts me to sustainability stuff with, um, with, uh, you know, [00:56:00] uh, space computation and visualization stuff.

If you, if you have, um, those technology at your, at, at your disposal, designing the world efficiently

Evan Troxel: Mm-Hmm.

John Manoochehri: a lot easier,

right? If you want to create infrastructurally optimized built environments, uh, that induce the correct consumption patterns, what do you wanna model that at scale with vast number of, number ones of variables.

You wanna model

your logistics systems and you know, how they cascade down to, you know, the last meter of service integration in residential worlds, and you wanna do that across countless directions. So there is a convergence and, and I think it's exciting to see how, um, if you take, I think, the approach that you take, right?

Because, you know, I think you have. As always a very sober but deeply curious approach to, um, these technology approaches, which is, well, let's not assume that there's a product outcome that we can preempt. Let's not assume there's an app or a commercial application of this stuff that we should assume is the correct way forward.[00:57:00]

So many opportunities there, and all we have to do with treasury, right? And this is why it's great, and I'm very happy to be involved with it. And I think I've learned at least one lesson as some kind of entrepreneur is keep it simple, stupid. If we can be a provider of assets, spatial assets, digital environments that, as I say are well developed and well licensed into a world of expanding spatial computing, seems like there's a business there,


And so initially, you know, I, when I first sort of shared what the, you know, the way, you know, I set up this, the, the, the treasury kind of concept in my conversation with Matt Ball, um, that's a like stylized version of actually what happened is because it became very clear in conversation with. And Patrick and Nelson at Zaha.

That's, you know, the design leadership, basically the design and design technology leadership of the company. Um, and many other offices we're speaking to and now countless other creators that, um, they themselves understood that this was not about populating a specific [00:58:00] product endpoint with cool environments.

This was about making sure that as any of these space technologies mature, that good quality content that's well licensed can be the backbone of it. Right.

I, I, I'm very proud of the fact that it should be more, that it isn't more complicated to explain the business model. I make it more complicated 'cause I'm a idiot, as I've said.

the basis of it is simple and that is probably why it will work,

because it, it will, it forces me to be simple and not


Evan Troxel: yeah, I mean the, the big difference between quote unquote content and the kinds of things that you're talking about, licensing is that these word, they have gone through the design process to serve people. These

are for people. That's what architecture's all about, right? The architecture is for people, and the digital representations that help us get to the final build takes all of that into account through various ways, right?

Through actual design, [00:59:00] right?

Through, uh, stakeholder meetings and what

people actually need. And, and so I think, you know, and, and there's a lot of other things. There's, there's simulation, there's

analysis, there's all these other things that kind of vet and make sure that the, these things are going to work when they're actually built. And we get the benefit of that in the digital version as well. And so there is potential value there for another use. Right. And so I guess the question is, and and I, I've already kind of, sort of started to answer this, right, but why should architects, why should firms be thinking about this as there there is value attached to the, this part of the process that, that they're not thinking about anymore because they're already onto the next project?

John Manoochehri: I think there's a number of reasons, right? Why, why practicing architects and architecture offices should engage with this. And it, it is not quite the same reason for all offices, right? If you

are a super premium architect type office, or you are the custodian [01:00:00] of what we call, um, uh, uh, classic architecture, right?

We, in our categorization of what we call the supply classes of spatial assets, there's premium architecture, which is kind of architect stuff where there's

a, there's a, there's a, there's a, there's a, financial premium attached to the design, name, design, outcome, uh, or classic architecture, whether, so essentially architects who go on the history books, right?

If you're not in those categories, and 99% of architects are. And there's no, there's no, there's no reason, there's nothing wrong with that. Obviously. It's the reality of the world, their reasons for being involved in, in, uh, spatial computation and to, you know, to, to, to, to get the assets into treasury, um, uh, would be slightly different.

So I'm just gonna explain briefly the treasury sort of business and technical model. And then, and then kind of unpack from that, the, the argument, you

know, the different arguments for different kinds of architects, but basically treasury, you know, it, it thankfully is pretty simple. Has, you know, it's a two-sided model.

We have, so-called, you know, spatial asset creators and digital environment builders. And in the, in the [01:01:00] creator side of our product stack, we have what's called the registry. And the registry is where anybody has created a spatial asset, can register it for a variety of purposes. You can register it to have it in an archive for private use.

You can register it so you can fingerprint it using our fingerprinting technology, which we have developed with Zahar and will continue to develop with an open source group, which is now about to be launched, um, where basically it captures what we call the morphological signature of your asset.

And you can use it for licensing distribution, right?

So you can use it for, you know, sorting and archiving fingerprinting and what we call syndication, which is basically wide distribution through multiple channels and marketplaces, including treasury's own marketplace. That's not complicated, right? So those are the three things that the registry essentially does.

There's some other things that does. On the demand side of the model, we have what we call a discovery engine, which is essentially like a sexy marketplace to

show preview models of assets. You can choose if you are a developer of an Apple [01:02:00] headset app, or you are a movie maker that wants a location, or you are a real estate developer that wants to, you know, showcase your own project in a, in a marketing app or whatever.

There's countless use cases where digital environ builders, you know, um, will want to select assets and look at licensing

and choose technical characteristics. So Discovery Engine helps with that and it enables that. And we have a bunch of bells and whistles attached to, essentially it's like a marketplace for cool through the assets.

You'd look at it and you'd think it looks like TurboSquid or 3D Sketch five, but it isn't actually the same in any way. It's much more technically advanced, in some ways simpler than others, and it legally is massively more sophisticated. But it basically is a marketplace that can be attached to additional marketplace.

We can attach our discovery engine and our syndication model to Epic Games marketplace, which is ongoing. Or Rob Robots marketplace, which is ongoing and you know, Minecraft marketplace is which ongoing. That's the general idea. Now your question as to why, um. Uh, what we would call creators, right?

Specifically architects would want to be attached to this [01:03:00] does differ if, um, they are what we call premium or, you know, the foundations that run classic architecture or the world's conventional architects, generally speaking, I don't think it's correct to say, right? Just to put this in pragmatic terms, that if you design an office building, right, as an, as a standard successful architectural, you know, firm of let's say 10 people, that there'll be an enormous amount of interest to license the design of that for a movie set,

right? Maybe someone want to do it, right?

But o on the average, there's so many, you know, office buildings in the world that the fact that someone would want to license yours, how, as attractive as it may be, um, and as functions it may be, is relatively low, right? So we can't assume that the majority of architects will be in the business of IP licensing, right?

Uh, and, and, and so what they would want to do is basically, um, protect, uh, their work, uh, from, um, uh, direct copying by other architects, right? So what they're trying to protect there isn't, as it were, the style ip, it's just the [01:04:00] design work they've done. If the models are out there, they would want to fingerprint their work.

So if another architect wanted to design of this building, just didn't wanna do the work, right, they would want to have their work protected from, as it were, commercial copying rather than I, uh, IP piracy, right? So there is an argument for, for fingerprinting that work and preventing it from being copied, but it's not quite the same as as, as kind of.

Retaining design ip, which is what the premium architects are very concerned about. They're very concerned about that, about their signature designs being used in movie sets or in advertising campaigns. Right? And so if we differentiate those two, strictly speaking, they are both ip. The one is sexy IP one is pragmatic, like legwork, you know, uh, you know, shoe leather ip.

Um, and so different like segments of their profession have different reasons to protect their designs.

Now, the copyright of these things is, it needs a little bit of kind of tweaking into regulatory terms. It's, there are some complexities that I think need to be ironed out in terms of exactly who owns the copyright for different aspects of the design.

You know, the CAD [01:05:00] drawings versus the BIM models versus the rendering 2D renderings versus

the 3D realtime renderings. But essentially it's a copyright exercise. And so the premium architects wanna pr, you know, protect sexy design, ICON's and pragmatic architecture just pr prevent their work from being ripped off, right?

But, but, and so that's the sort of the core of it and translate that into money, right? Where we think they will . We know there's some money. We think there could be a vast amount of money. Well, why we have venture backing and while we're getting more is because when it comes to creating assets for premium digital environments, there's a lot of money in having a well-designed and sexy environment for the staging Taylor Swift's concert.


And you know, the Taylor Swift or any artist will want to license a beautiful, exciting, uh, uh, spatial design, right? Uh, and that's tons of money. Bianca Bianca's, uh, you know, west Fifth Seventh building via, has already been in a movie movie without

being licensed [01:06:00] properly, right? Well, if they had the actual asset, they could use it, you know, all sorts of, you know, photo real quality asset.

They could do all sorts of stuff with it. And they, you know, B would paid a solid fee. They have access to the building. Durst Corporation will not let 'em have access to,

which is the developers of the building. I'm not sure if they still own it. And so you can see that there's a premium licensing piece that is hugely incentivized for, you know, um, uh, premium architects.

But pragmatically also, it's the case that if you are an architecture office, right? And you do want to, to, if you have got a contract, you know, a contract to develop, you know, a whole like blocks worth of buildings, maybe you don't wanna design all of it. Maybe you

don't wanna redesign all of the office buildings.

Maybe you don't wanna redesign the school. Maybe you can do a search for a specific programmatic and typological specifics and license that model. So there is an IP market, whether it will make millions of dollars or tens of thousands, I don't know. Right. But I think there's a pragmatic piece there. And so you take the, the core technical commercial proposition, which is kind of IP licensing, both in terms of sector stuff and pragmatic stuff.

You can see that [01:07:00] any, uh, proper registry of assets is a good idea. What we would like to see basically is a very sensible starting point, which is that people use treasury registry. As a comparatively means free or a cheap tool to just archive stuff,

right? Even if you don't wanna do any licensing, get your assets in, use it as a way to sort your, your, your historical work and actually get it to a form where you, on, on, on a, on a, you know, web gl, web-based viewing basis can see what you've done.

E even just in terms of archiving, you

know, offices of any level of, you know, of, of prominence. Haven't got actual, you know, you know, sort of, you know, real time rendered models. And we think that's very useful for its purposes, internal purposes,

sales purposes, research purposes. So the big kind of, the big value kick is, is IP licensing of premium, sexy, uh, IP and pragmatic quality design ip.

And then, you know, archiving, you know, is the, is the, um, [01:08:00] there's the sort of bread and butter stuff, but there's one other piece. And just to kind of finish this piece where the value proposition for architecture, which is what comes next in the design profession, right? Who gets to design the digital environments

that you know, that Taylor Swift wants?

Because the, the next generation of design will not be ones where it says, great. We'll do the staging here on the stage, the real world concert, and we'll have a, you know, fascinating fantastical staging concept in format. They'll sit there and say, that's design. A stage that is a hybrid design proposition

that has the same iconic character in a digital environment as it has in the real world,

right? And, and that becomes a vast opportunity out for architectural offices because no one in the world of digital environment creation right now can do that.

The people can create fantastic environments that don't have to stand up, right? And

don't have, you know, sanitation or HVAC or MEP, right? But having that hybrid, you know, opportunity, I think is gonna be one of the largest pieces of the operationalization of [01:09:00] spatial competition as an opportunity.

And architects are right now, the only people that can do that. So that is a huge thing, is that the workflow, the, the, the, um, the uh, um, the, the financial opportunity isn't just licensing ip, it's just design work. It's

designing for these hybrid use cases. And what that leads to is basically back to the archiving piece.

Because if your workflow does not include a terminus where every piece of work is pragmatically available in a digitally renderable form, you are not in that game.

You don't get to sell your work out to people that need digital spatial environments. You are in another world. And, and a lot of architects still think that's the thing.

We don't wanna be involved in the digital world. And, and what we are trying to say to 'em is the digital world is the physical world just haven't merged much yet.

So let's start with archiving. Let's evolve the workflows and let's see what's out there.

Evan Troxel: Yeah, because things are, they really are about to change as far as people's personal experience with digital environments. Right? Right now it's very 2D screen. I've got [01:10:00] several screens sitting in front of me right now, and the way that I interact with those is through various instruments on my desk.

Sometimes it's my finger, but it could be a, a pencil, it could be a track pad, it could be a keyboard, it could be a mouse when it, it could be something that sits in your hand, but it's, it's a 2D experience, not a 3D immersive experience. And okay, not everybody can afford a $500 or a thousand dollars or a $3,500 headset, but these, it literally is like, these are the covered wagon days of, of this. And it, it won't be long until everybody is going to have these and, and are they gonna be using it all the time? To your point? Probably not. Especially in the form factor that they are right now. Right. It's just not gonna be comfortable for that long. But I've been in VR experiences where I'm disappointed when I come out of them. It literally is, it literally is better in there. It's better in that building that I designed than it is in this room that I'm actually sitting in and. [01:11:00] Enough people have that experience, they're going to recognize the power of being in, for all intents and purposes, is a very real space, no matter how real it actually is or not.

If it, if it does exist in the planet or not, it's still going to be so compelling to them that it's going to change their perception about why they would want to participate in things like that. And yeah, the Apple headset's 3,500 bucks, but this is the very first one. And it's basically developer hardware at this point.

Right. And it's for

the people who want to get in early and figure this out now, because when the cheap ones come out, when the affordable ones, I should say, come out, it's it's going to be, they, they want to be ready for that, right? And so I, I really do feel like because architects are so good at understanding what it takes to design space for people. the same use case, like you said, it's, there's, there's some [01:12:00] weird disconnection between the digital world and the physical world. And you're saying that no, they're actually together. Right? so I, I think that's absolutely true, and architects are going to be the ones to bridge the gap. It's not, it's not the tech.

It's going to be the experiences that people have. And we take our jobs really seriously. We have to obey the code. We have to actually solve real problems for people. There is going to be an additional layer of just full on fun that can happen. And, and I think that is gonna be a huge driver as well for people when, you know, a, a lot of the use case around meta is for collaborative work environments.

And I know Apple is talking about that a lot too. But it's literally, I think the, the thing that's really gonna lead to the breakthroughs is the, is the entertainment side of things. It is just the pure joy of things that people are going to experience when they're, when they're using these technologies.

John Manoochehri: I think you are right. And, um, so, you know, for, for, for the, um, [01:13:00] but partly 'cause I think it's an, it's, it's, it's a sort of honest way of, of explaining myself and the work that I've done and the work that I'm doing. And I think that knowing a fair few of the people who listen to this podcast, I would kind of was kind of, is kind of almost all of whom I, I've not met, um, uh, in person.

I I would like 'em to have a sense of , kind of what kind of person work, work I've already been doing and what, what I'm involved with. But now thank you for the queue. I'm gonna switch into sort of, kind of pitching mode,

Evan Troxel: Okay.

John Manoochehri: rough on explaining mode because I, because I, because I think that the opportunity for creativity and for experiential kind of, uh, you know, value is very, very considerable.

It's not really pitching by this kind of like, you know, expansive,

like floppy thinking about. And I think that, um, I just don't think people realize how good this stuff is,

right? If, if we take matters, um, uh, like Metaverse stuff, everyone was shitting on them,

right? And they've been shitting on 'em for years.

Oh my god. [01:14:00] Reality labs have been spending $10 billion a year. What the hell are they doing with their money? Well, what they've been doing there with their money is building an infrastructure that is public, right? Which has been stress tested every month, you know. Pathetic numbers of users, 10,000, you know, here and there, but it's incrementing and you know, putting headsets are co coming on and off and, you know, the servers are spinning up and technology is happening and it's always stress testing.

Anyone else is doing, basically. I mean, obviously Fortnite other platform comes to doing it, but in a slightly different way, Metro is stress testing a global scale infrastructure for billions of people and quantity developing technology. And so when you saw, you know, late last year that they did actually have Photoreal avatars, right?

You, you, you could see that, you know, the, the podcast between Lex Friedman and

Mark Zuckerberg, you know, was an instantiation of a post, you know, uncanny valley photo wheel avatar that they're gonna put on these environments.

And it's just, it's light. It's night and day, right?

The moment that business have the opportunity and users have the business to have photoreal avatars, they will use them, right?[01:15:00]

Well, I mean, in our case, we think that's great because they'll suddenly need photoreal environments, which they currently don't have on Meta Horizon. But the point is, there's lots of technology that's popping up in terms of its prominence and people don't know that it's there and it's ready. If we take Apple, for example, apple headset.

Already is offering Photoreal avatar experience

for FaceTime, right? I don't think it's as good as the meta offering, but that is gonna be a competitive dynamic. And so people don't think that every piece of the story we've presented so far in terms of experiential, like value, let alone wow factor, which I'm coming to at one second, is about to be very, very credible and con compelling.

I just think we're not looking closely and I don't want it to work, right? But it is working. And so if you take that point that the technology is reaching this, you know, sort of maturity, there's a takeoff point. I, I, don't think it's just the case to kind of expand on, on what you said, the entertainment's gonna be a great piece of this whole thing.

Actually, entertainment's gonna be the thing if we take entertainment in, in all of [01:16:00] its forms. You know, game, movies, uh, art,

uh, creative technology,

uh, uh, sports. Sports, but I mean particularly creative technologies. I, I, uh, creative industries, conventionally creative industries. Uh, that piece of entertainment, I think.

But to some extent also, the other pieces of entertainment will be the things that drive technology forward, right? Uh, I, I, I, I think if we take like artists for example, and movie makers there, the amount of, um, um, sort of, uh, iteration that will happen for art and, and movie making narrative, uh, you know, uh, long form movie making to kind of embrace this medium, the amount of iteration that will require, that will feed back from the technology to the experience and so forth

is, is vast, right?

And I think, um, that is going gonna be one of the most interesting things to see how creators don't just as it were, embrace a new medium, is how they lead a new medium to its maturity and every

other in instantiation of it.

[01:17:00] I think, you know, things like, um, you know, sport as it were, i I that are, I would say by, by their nature less creative and core intent, they would probably, they will probably reinforce the infrastructural aspect.

Like how does it work, you know, to be concurrent for a billion users with, you know, minimal, uh, latency and still be photoreal and so forth, and what, you know, what is, what is tele presence or, you know, photoreal, you know, avatar presence in those kinds of environments. I mean, that, that, that's more of a technical implication in terms of development.

But just in terms of creative, I think, I think the creative will be the ones that the, the, the most creative applications I think of space technology will be the ones that help us understand what kinds of form factors should we have.

Do we need haptic suits?

Do we need true? Can we have, can we do we need true ar?

Right? Which is where, you know, you have an unencumbered view and you, as it were, project

a digital image into the retina in some way, or across a, you know, interstitial screen. Or can we have what we currently have, which is pass through vr. Like

Apple doesn't really have a true like viewing system, you know, [01:18:00] it requires external cameras and

it fakes the environment with that, with those cameras.

Um, all that stuff. I think creators will be helping us to understand the, the creative industries, including architecture rewards that will probably iterating fastest in terms of what does this do for users? What does it mean in terms of a, you know, experiential payoff and the, the wow fact. What does that mean in terms of, you know, monetization?

What does it mean in terms of consumer loyalty? What does it mean in terms of creative expression? What does it mean in terms of regulation? I, I think maybe the case, I don't wanna make this argue too strong 'cause I, I probably can't make it credibly. I think it's probably true. I think that creative entries probably are the ones when certain kind of technology become available that enable them to become mature so that they are stable for all users.

Right. You know, um, that's probably true, at least for some industries and some, you know, some ocs. But I definitely think it's true now is that, that, that the, that that advanced creative uses, we would, will be once to stabilize the sticky cost effective money generating socially [01:19:00] acceptable uses that then can be, you know, universalized by different applications.

Evan Troxel: Uh, yeah. Yeah. I, I agree. And, and the, so, so one of the, the interesting features that I just read about that's coming with, with the Disney Plus app as an example on the Apple Vision Pro is that you can, you can watch a film, but you are sitting in an environment that of your choosing.

So you could choose to sit in Luke's land speeder while you watch a movie. Like

Star Wars, you can choose to be on Tony Stark's balcony overlooking Manhattan while you watch, you know, Ironman. And I think what's so interesting about that is that, you know, again, it's not just about the experience of watching the mo the movie and being able to look around wherever you want. It's actually about customizability. It's about being in a space that you feel comfortable in or don't feel comfortable in on purpose. You might, you know, I can think about like the way that there's gonna be [01:20:00] genres that that collide with architecture here because it is spatial in nature that we haven't gotten to experience before. And I think that's going to like, to your point about pushing new boundaries when a new platform like this comes out to enable creators to kind of blow our minds with, you know, the hardware manufacturers and the software manufacturers are putting this out there with their best guess. But they're really saying, I wanna see what you people make with this. I wanna see what the, what every, what those artists can actually do with it. Because that's where it actually is going to, I think be extremely interesting.

John Manoochehri: I think, I think so a couple of things there. Um, thank you by the way, for setting this up so beautifully. We, we didn't script this really. Um, and so the audience needs to know that EE that Evan is, is perfectly organically setting up exactly what we're doing, which is, which is really mean for me.

Evan Troxel: great.

John Manoochehri: you the $5 kickback after the show.[01:21:00]

I mean, I, um, so the first point is just the pragmatic one, which is that a lot of experiences, um, uh, well, I mean, all experiences need a, need a digital spatial environment in, in the spatial computing application

universe. But most of them right now don't have that, uh, you know, as a, as a premise,

right? That it's games. Do you need an environment for a game? But people think of something to do in a digital space environment, like a phone call, for example, like a FaceTime call with a, with a Photoreal avatar. Well, you don't really want that to be in a black box, right?

Which is how they presented it. You know, when

they did the, the, demo with Lex Friedman, mark Zuckerberg.

You want an interesting environment, and then the question is, well, what kind of environment do you want it to be in? Likewise, when Apple is presenting, what they appear to think is the primary at least, or the least most stable, incredible use case for Apple vision headset, which is productivity, right?

Just do your work with a gigantic screen that

is in your environment, and then they say, well, you could swap your room or your office for a mountain scene or

a, you know, a forested glad or whatever [01:22:00] our job is to be. Supplying developers with the best environments right?

Of every sort. Right. You know, photo, real nature scans, classical locations, interesting workroom, so forth.

So the, the, the, our business model, we think is clear to explain, very much given exactly what you've described and what is very clearly unfolding. And that is distinct from the metaverse proposition where the environment's fixed.

It's a virtual world, but you just inhabit, you don't choose the environment, right?

So that is one of the big, you know, shifts for us in the narrative is that spatial computation is inherently about chosen environments. More so I think than metaverse narratives as they were. So we think we're well positioned, right? We're saying, as I've said, we wanna supply well designed, well licensed environments for every possible special competing application.

And we'll see, right? Apple developers are not knocking on our door right now 'cause we, no one knows who they fucking are. But , it's coming, becoming clear that the ecosystem of development is, is, is, is, is about to become a real thing. So we want everybody in Apple development to [01:23:00] have Apple in, in the Apple developer ecosystem, to have, uh, a treasury, uh, discovery engine and a, and a treasury registry account.

So they can get their assets in, they can explore

assets they can include in their projects. Um, uh, but that also, you know, sits exactly on the, what we discussed about in terms of the architectural design opportunity. Architects should consider that. They should be the people, essentially the only people that are incredibly designing advance for these things.

Because if you think about it, right, we're gonna cycle through a bunch of crap for the next year or two or three, right? And people

go, why am I sitting. in baseline case a, an AR version of my own messy office. Great.

I'm gonna swap it for an Apple environment. Well, why am I sitting in a forested glade with dripping woodpeckers?

I don't give a shit about that. Can't I find a more interesting product of the environment? So that then becomes a design horizon that has never existed

before. ,Right.

You know, what is it to create a productivity environment, right?

And so, And so, I think it isn't just the case [01:24:00] that we're gonna be licensing out, as I say, legacy stuff.

There are all these use cases that are, that, that are evolving. And guess what, how long will it be before somebody gets designed for them a custom productivity environment for a digital spatial environment?

And it goes, what the fuck is this not in my actual office? This is great.

Can you, can you see how the, you know, the, there's what I mean by iteration, right?

That the creative industries end up being the ones that start pulling all these opportunities forward in a way. So

then what that takes us to is, the second thing, just, just to finish on the this point, is that when you start thinking through that, these digital spatial environments have all sorts of implications for the user experience, right?

And some of it's obviously just pure and same, some of it's, you know, more intimate. When, when you look at that long tail of environments, you start getting into health and education and mental health

and psychedelic experience, psychedelic investigation,

and all of those things. Have been extremely difficult to evolve in design terms because [01:25:00] it's very hard to test

how effective a space environment is for

educational purposes or mental health purposes, or rec, you know, physical recuperation purposes or, you know, any sort of psychedelic religious, spiritual investigation. Guess what, that is very easy to do with

the Photoreal environment. So just, just, just to say, another thing we'll be launching soon is our science project, where we have a bunch of partners in the, uh, professions around human cognition and uh, uh, uh, the spatial cognition domains, but we're work, we're working on exactly that question with, and we're trying to put an architect to say, look, you are well positioned, not just to drive practical use cases and value in these digital spatial, um, in these spatial computation applications, but to, to, to be technical and creative leaders in the non-enterprise, non-commercial, uh, use cases that these technologies, uh, unlock.

Evan Troxel: Yeah, I, I'm glad you brought up the, the mental health healthcare [01:26:00] recuperation. I, I do think it applies in, in athletics and things as well where there's going to be, I, it's, it's going to open up a whole new world of research and again, how people who make space who develop space architecture can play a role in that directly is going to be absolutely incredible.

And I, it's funny because there's a lot of projects that we did when I was working as an architect. That never went through. And, and the business unit always said, those are the best pro projects because we got paid to do the design and we didn't have to go through

John Manoochehri: All the pain construction. Yeah.

Evan Troxel: pain, the pain of construction, and the, the, the finger pointing and the lawyers and the litigation and all of the things that happen, um, to, it's a, it's incredible that it actually happens, right?

I, I see it all the time and I'm always in awe that, that we actually get anything built, but you're going to get to [01:27:00] participate and be a leader in the actual good part, right? Which is it. You just deliver the experience, the raw experience to people. And what's gonna happen is it's going to affect the real world.

There are gonna be people who experience these things in the digital world, and it will, when they take the headset off and they're ultimately disappointed by their actual messy office and their actual disaster of a house or whatever it is, and they're gonna be like, oh, I need to upgrade this part of my life now because I just experienced how great it can be over there. And it is gonna, it is gonna come back into the physical and they are going to inform each other, I think, in that way. And that's great for architects.

John Manoochehri: I think you are right. I, I definitely, I think that's correct, and I think, I think that part of it will be just as you, you know, as, as I think we both agree that there's gonna be, you know, hybridization at every level. Not just hybridization of large scale, like, you know, uh, uh, huge entertainment offerings that have a physical and a digital, you know, uh, environmental kind of instantiation.

There's a stage for. Music concert, which is [01:28:00] a digital stage for hundreds of millions of users that are on some kind of virtual environment. But I also think, and this is, you know, a longer conversation, and, uh, but I, I think probably this is the kind of thing that's gonna happen is that what good design actually means is gonna get reimagined a little bit.

Right? The

problem with architecture, uh, in one way, right? I mean, I don't wanna elaborate too much on theory here, but I, it does matter to me quite a lot is that it isn't really, I think delivering much quality, right? One of the reasons I think architecture gets sidetracked into kind of like, you know, just aesthetics, which is essentially pretty speculative.

It's legitimate in far it goes, but people can't really, you know, adjudicate aesthetics very much unless you start going down sort of, you know, stupid classical theories of, you know, aesthetics or whatever. It ends up being relatively relative, right? And fine, you know, people can like what they want, but I think, um, at the end of the day, most users of architecture, which is 99.9% of the world's, you know, historical population, that buildings are just badly

designed, right?

And one of the reasons why they're value designed is that these aren't very amenable to adaptation in real time, [01:29:00] right? And so this has been the kind of chime, this kind of like, you know, this siren song of modularity. Right? How do we create environments that can be adapted and

structures that can be reconfigured and so forth?

And in one of the reasons to keep coming back is because it is the future of all technology, right? If you look at technology that, that we have what we call technology today. I mentioned the two types technology that, that all this is concerned with is the kind of that, what I call the Silicon Valley type stacks that you have, you know, storage and computation and you have, you know, memory and you have networking, and you have, then you have like the, you know, the, the, the, the device universe.

You have desktop, desktop devices and you have, you know, uh, you know, you know the viewing systems and you have, you know, the mobile devices, that's the Silicon Valley stack that's conventional, you know, technology. Um, and then you have specialized spatial computation stuff like in and around that. Now, um, all of that is infinitely modular, right?

No one builds fixed stuff, right? It

pretty much every layer of that can be, you know,

reconfigured only the final form factor [01:30:00] is fixed. Even then, you wanna make that more and more and more flexible, right? And so I think one of the things that will happen isn't just that we have more hybrid designs. You our spatial designs di uh, di digital environmental designs that have, you know, physical environment designs, hybridized, you know, together.

I think that we'll trend, physical design towards a much more modularized system. So

it would be another vector pushing in that era,

in that direction, which has not really worked so far. 'cause if users to your, to, to your point, go, oh, you know, I don't like my office. You know, if the, the real office, my digital office working environment is so great.

Oh, I'd like my, you know, my, my physical office to be like it. And then they go back into the digital office, they go, oh, I'm just gonna change this. I'll change the color, I'll change the, you know, the layout. I'll change the lighting, I'll change, you know, and then they're stuck with a, you know, so, so modularization will become a more of a hot topic, as you know, the physical environmental design and digital environmental design.

I think that's very good. Right? I think that's very good. The way I describe this, again, this is my [01:31:00] third or fourth dig to architecture, and this is probably the biggest dig that I will make on this, uh, that will make public with you, Evan, maybe, maybe some more later, some privately, um, is what I call the, you know, architecture is kind of topped out what I call the, the, the, the, um, the banana phone era, right?

Uh, in the history of telephony, right? Landline phones topped out at a point where technology just wasn't advancing,

right? You had a copper wire, you had a, you know, a, a, magnetic, you know, transceiver, uh, and that was it, right? It was pretty good. Nothing else was going on. So

what happens to, you know, design of telephones?

They're just getting more and more elaborate. So you have, you know. Uh, you know, you know, sort of throwback Baker light phones and Mickey Mouse phones and, you know, all sorts of concepts and, and ultimately you get totally kind of frivolous things like banana phones, right? Things that looks like, you know, there's nothing to do with the experience of technology, right?

And, and that I think is in some ways descriptive of, of where architectural design gone.

We just have frivolous [01:32:00] design concepts because

technically the, the, the experience of buildings not getting better, right? So you have people going to buildings that are incredibly sophisticated tech, I mean like in, in terms of their aesthetic.


they're kind of, you know, the, the way that they have been formulated in design terms. Are they better, are they better than walking in the woods? Are they better than, you know, classical designs? Are they better than all sorts? Vern designs. I don't know. Right. But the point is that I, my premise is that one reason why it's relatively easy to critique a lot of the pretensions or the assumptions of value in the aesthetics aspect of architectural design is that the technical aspect of built design is not, it's, when I say technical aspect, I don't mean like construction.

I mean the technical as in spatial configurative, the impact on the user, the opportunity space for the user is not really improving, frankly.

Right. If you take Lucier's design theories for how human habitation should be, we haven't really advanced on that. People were happy to criticize him for it, but we haven't really improved it.


Um, uh, we're still using [01:33:00] books like Noex, this incredibly ridiculous book of standard designs

to kind of guide us, right.

What everyone, everyone does. Right. That's the point. It's still, it's still

current. So my point is that if we, if, if we, if, and anyone would, and most architects work, 'cause this is why it's, you know, it's a rocketed point.

But I think that the spatial computation, uh, evolution makes this, um, an interesting conversation

if there is actually the opportunity to rethink the experiential potential of design. And one dimension that 'cause of the hybridization of physical spatial environments and digital spatial environments is modularity of environments, right?

Configurative quality and the power and the potential of reconfiguration. I think we're gonna get beyond the Banana Fund era. I think one thing that will happen, the, the, the Banana Point era of architecture, and one thing, the, the one thing that will happen, which probably will horrify a lot of designers, is you may go down the road of standardization of form factors.

We don't talk about form factors in architectural design. We probably should. Right? Talk about typology, which is one of [01:34:00] the most poorly defined words in history, but form factors in, in, in, in silicon technology stack is well-defined,


How is this thing physically configured? And if you look at buildings, residences, you know, I live in San Francisco and I walking around my neighborhood, every single residential building is utterly different

in Cold Valley where I live, which is beautiful and completely absurd.

Every single staircase, every single frontage, every single roof is different. This

is completely absurd because I think, again, incredibly controversial, and I'll be shouted down for this, if anyone even listens this part, um, that probably what will happen if we think through the implications of hybridization, of physical special design and, um, digital special design and the modularization of, of spatial configurations inside physical designs is that we'll get things that look a bit like in typological terms, the equivalent of iPhones will get a lot more exogenous standardization and we'll get a lot more endogenous[01:35:00]

Evan Troxel: Yeah.

John Manoochehri: novelty.

Everybody's phone is different in terms of the wallpaper and the apps and how they

configure the apps and the experiences they have and how much it's on and how much it's off and what it's used for. And that I think is an interesting potential in terms of architecture

is actually the structural aspect of architecture stabilizes to historically what it was, which was a set of vernaculars because that is the efficient way of doing it.

Vernacular architecture is basically deployment of efficient techniques.

No craftsman was just invent something

speculatively. 'cause he'd have to work out how to make the mortar work and cut the brick and, you know, he'd do what they did 'cause they knew how to do it effectively. I think we may trend back to, um, typological and structural, uh, vernaculars or standardized techniques, which is exactly what we do in the rest technology and infinitely speculative and experimental configurations in some other more modular way.

So that's a deeply over, over elaborate way of saying, uh, I think that the potential of digital spectrum environments to unlock whole new dimensions of potential or at least [01:36:00] put additional pressure on, on the evolution of architectural design towards modularity, uh, at least modularized configurations of the experiential, uh, environment, I think is gonna be very interest.


Evan Troxel: I, I agreed. So in order to get there, you're saying the call to action is to basically catalog the existing stock of the models that we have. And so tell us like what that process is like, because the, the, the models are, are complex. They're way more complex than what needs to happen in an experience like this. But how far do you go when, tell me, is this geometry only? Is it geometry and textures? Is there more data attached to it? And and does it need to be redone? Does it need to, can it go in exactly how it is? Like just practically for an architect who's listening to this, who would be interested in creating their catalog, what's that process?

John Manoochehri: Okay, so, so we, so [01:37:00] we're doing this, I think, the correct way, which is we're doing, we're doing everything as best we can step by step to the limit of what is required on either sides of the, of the, as it were, the content

market, right? And so there would be a way, if you thought from abstract, from sort of abstract or pure perspective to say, well, look, we would need to have like, you know, perfectly labeled BIM models and cad underlays

Evan Troxel: These

John Manoochehri: texturing, right?

And, and we would need to have all the licensing clearance for the, you know, the, the subcontractor that did the landscaping and then the rendering contract that did the 2D designs for this display, and then the people that did the boards for that

display, and then the 3D rendering. So there's, there, there are ways in terms of like, you know, uh, um, um, uh, individualization of the asset base inside what we call inside each scene, each piece of licensable content we call a scene.

There's, and there are assets within that.

You could, you could have infinite, you know, requirements to, to set all that up technically and legally. And actually we started that. We thought, well, let's just make sure everyone has the correct [01:38:00] models and the correct licenses before we start licensing stuff out.

That's not the correct way of doing it. The great way of doing it is to get everything in, in some way and to assert copyright and to begin the process of, of effective maturization, right? So

what we're basically saying is all the supply classes that we think are relevant to licensable use cases, which is

Conventional architecture, premium architecture, classic architecture. Um, all buildings currently in the world today. Uh, uh, um, infrastructure and monuments, um, uh, uh, natural environment, art and film. Right? Those are our supply classes. Let's get everything in and let's work it all out. 'cause as far as we're concerned, it's very basic.

All that we do in the, in the first instance, if something does not have a meshed model that we can present as a 3D preview in our web-based viewer,

we say, give us a 2D cutout of your asset. We'll put that into the 3D viewer, which looks

actually okay, and we'll see who, what, and we'll see if anyone's interested [01:39:00] in it.


But what's, what's very helpful in this regard, and it's something that I, one of the main things I've learned about this whole space is how powerful the law is to facilitate, um, value. If you do that thing, if you say,

this really is mine, right?

If you assert your, you know, ownership of your, of your own copyrights, I mean the um.

The, the thing that shocked me was that when we were presenting our business model and our platform to our extremely fancy, expensive lawyers, we have our lawyers Wilson. So we had the same lawyers at Apple, and we're very happy to have them if you have to kind of go through a beauty contest to put they, before they even take you on,

we were showing em our contracts and we, I was sitting in a meeting with the principal, um, with the principal, uh, um, uh, with the senior partner on, on our account.

And, um, uh, he was looking at our, um, content and our kind of contract templates and essentially was saying, I could see his, I could see his face essentially going, there's nothing here that's novel. From my [01:40:00] perspective. I'm like, what? How much technology we have to build before you guys get impressed?


And the truth is that he realized compromise is very straightforward. If you make it, you own it,

and then the court will work out what that is. Right. Which is magical in some ways. I think it's far too restrictive actually, and we have to work with that we, in a more precise and technical way. But the truth is that, um, copyright is very, very broad and very, very effective in, in protecting

creators. And so what you discover is that, um, rather than having to do a very technical model legally and technically to position the people that own content strongly, uh, as contributors of value into the spatial computation, uh, era, just get it archived. 'cause otherwise, no one's ever gonna know it's yours.

All right?

And so technically speaking, we can only fingerprint things. We can add a morphological to things. The more we have in terms of a sophisticated model. But we can facilitate you as asserting your copyrights, um, uh, immediately that you [01:41:00] archive things in the Treasury registry. And what's interesting is that, and I think a lot of people do some misunderstands when we say we're doing a finger burning project and we've designed a morphological signature that involves, you know, variety of different kinda mathematical and technical ways of, of, you know, uniquely describing, uh, spatial assets.

Um, uh, people think, oh, that's a breakthrough in terms of law. No, it's not a breakthrough in terms of law. This is why, you know, uh, our lawyer at Wilson was, was, was, was exactly right, which is in the end, all that a fig fingerprinting project can do is, is give more guidance to the court to somebody says, you've stolen my stuff, right?

Show me the, show me the, you know, the, the, the, um, uh, show me the, um, the uh, uh, the signature to that suggests that this stuff is, um, uh, uh, owned already. And then the courts will make that decision. There isn't a technical way to adjudicate legally who owns what. So what we can do is facilitate that with a, a signature project.

But the first thing is just to get your copyright

set up, register your stuff. Um, and we, we, that's the job. That's one of the big job is just to make that [01:42:00] machine clear. Um, I would say that, um, uh, the the individualization piece right, is much simpler. People think, right? It isn't a technical process, it's basically just getting assets in.

Thinking through how, you know, people want to protect their assets, which are ones that they think are most likely to be misused. Uh, and then we can position ourselves as custodians of the copyright to, to, to to spatial asset. The, the key point here, right? That, that is actually up, that is arising today.

Um, isn't it sits on the, the principle that people wanna use a registry and archiving system, which is that the main vector of threat, right? Um, uh, is um, is basically, uh, AI training libraries, right? It isn't that there's gonna be individual use cases that come and pick off your stuff. 'cause that stuff

is relatively easy to go against.

uh, and so basically you can find out, you can find out, um, which assets are, um, uh, being pirated by individual users. Pretty straightforward and [01:43:00] it's just very binary in that case. Essentially what you want is a situation where somebody's making money sufficiently you can go and sue them. It's not making money, you're just gonna ignore it.

That's how copyright work works today, right? You

don't sue people that lend each other books or lend each other CDs or play each other Spotify. Um, and, uh. So you go off to monetizable use cases, that's the standard base case of copyright infringement. And it's, you know, that's unfolding in, in, in a, in, in, in, its in the normal way, right?

You can use fingerprinting to protect, you know, access from being uploaded to platforms, but it's still all just standard copyright infringement stuff. The new thing in this, uh, you know, debate is basically massive ingestion of copyrighted content into machine learning, training, training databases, right?

And although a lot of people that have done that are spending a lot of money to kind of claim that this is a fair use or isn't really using, you know, copyrighted material at all, the law is coming out on both sides of that, right? Some,

you know, law is saying, oh, [01:44:00] fair use can be expanded to cover training libraries.

Other law is saying, no, no, you can't take any copyright content into your training library. Our view is creators should get ahead of AI ingestion on a point of principle, don't let anybody get your value for free,

right? No matter what the law says, get ahead of it, right? And so what we're now doing, right?

So this is part of, you know, the announcement that are coming out is going to create is not, and not just saying to them what I've just said to you, which is, Hey, you should archive your stuff for the purpose of just establish a copyright principle and thinking through licensing opportunities and getting your, you know, your inventory of assets together.

And gradually, you know, creating, you know, even just preview models of your whole, you know, portfolio of work. We're not saying to them, make sure your stuff is not stolen at massive scale. Because that's something the treasury can do, is we can go to the platforms as honest brokers and say, Hey, open ai.

Hey, you know, um, you know, uh, whoever else is building, you know, large scale, uh, training models for every category of copyrighted content. Just don't absorb [01:45:00] this stuff.

Whether or not you think it's copywriter, just don't do it on a, be on a, on a, on a, on a, on a, um, a good faith basis. People don't want you to use this stuff, right?

And so if you aren't gonna use this stuff, you will be directly contravening the intentions of the creators. And I think that best practice, good faith exercise is what, in the end will define why archived content, fingerprinted content is protected, right? If you, if you go back to the YouTube case, Google sat there for 10 years.

It's a slightly different argument from open ai, but it sat there for 10 years saying, we don't distribute copyrighted content. We have what's called Safe harbor under Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Right?

Users are all working out themselves. It's all a big mystery to us. We're just a black box and we don't get sued for this.

And then they thought, well, why don't we turn around and become good copyright actors?

Why don't we work in good faith with owners of licenses,

use a copyright ID system and ask users of obviously copyrighted content to pay for it?

[01:46:00] And that is what we think is gonna happen. But that's the second reason why we would encourage, you know, people that own anything that's worth copywriting, whether it's premium architecture, classic architecture, or kind of just standard quality architecture to register their stuff, is that as our fingerprinting model improves, we'll be able to prevent it being, you know, using any platform.

But already right now, we can say on a good faith basis on their behalf for free. Uh, it's not for free, but it's basically, I mean, a fraction of the cost. It would, it, it, it would cost them directly and probably at least a little bit more effective to go to the massive inges of content. Do not ingest as content.

It's not for you whether

or not copyright says you can do it.

Evan Troxel: This is the iTunes two Napster analogy, right? It's like people are all pirating music. They're, they're taking all this music and iTunes, Steve Jobs said, sell all your songs for 99 cents in a digital format, and people will show up, and they will do that because that's what people, they actually want to own their music.

And it, and it was, it was totally true. It was just that thing [01:47:00] did not exist. There was no

alternative to Napster to get digital, a digital format of your music, right? And so

by creating that platform, it just created It, it didn't just create a business, it created a great business, but it created a way for people to do exactly what they wanted to do legally. Right?

John Manoochehri: Yeah, I think so. We think Napster is a very interesting case, right? Napster was the technical technological liberation of content,

which Spotify then, you know, kind of pulled back into the licensed era, right? And we like to think we're that convergence at the same time. But, but, but, but, but what, what we call spatial asset.

Content 3D like environments and buildings, so forth at, at scale has never been released into the world.

There is no, you know, like, you know, content base, um, asset base that you could absorb into a peer-to-peer sharing system like Napster and distribute for free. Right? And

that's why this is an interesting critical moment in time where we would encourage architects not to sit there and say, well, you know, we'll see how this plays out.

'cause [01:48:00] when they start releasing their content, when, when anybody starts releasing content, it's gonna get pulled in,

right? There's no, there's no way you can prevent it from being, you know, pulled into to, you know, to to, to, you know, to training libraries and.

Free distribution system. So the best you can do is get ahead of it, not

just terms of fingerprinting.

'cause fingerprinting never worked for, for individual DRM cases, right? You be very careful about thinking about how you fingerprint digital assets because it doesn't work for dmm co print copying, right? You don't wanna go off individual copying all you wanna do with, you know, with fingerprinting, it's just make sure the platforms can check what is being uploaded at massive scale, right?

Uh, and so they can become your friends in terms of distribution and restriction. But then ultimately it's a question of making sure that, you know, the, the training libraries are being good corporate citizens. They go, you know, you just leak frog all the finger break please and go straight to just be good to creators.

And that's

kind of what we'd like to establish. I do think one of the most important things to come out of this conversation is that cre, creators of spatial content, whether it is, you know, [01:49:00] movie makers, artists, architects, um, and anyone you know, uh, who earns spatial content that is gonna be used to scale, just get used to the idea that you should protect what you own, and that people are coming to rip it off.

And no matter what legal argument they use, it is yours. Inversely, don't be a stick in the mud. Don't just say no to everything.


I mean, that, that's, that's just to kind of shift a little bit into, into the next part of this conversation, I think, which is that AI is very useful and Generat generative content is gonna be very, you know, powerful.

And at some point, procedural generation feeding violence will get very, very good. I mean, I think we've solid three or four years out from that, but yes, yes. Let's, let's let generative content flourish. But let's make sure that creators are fully protected and encouraged and, you know, elevated in the process.

And I think that if we can be in a situation where not only are we preventing generic ai, uh, uh, asset generators from just stucking in, um, training content, as spatial assets become available [01:50:00] to these machine learning training platforms, um, that we actually have custom trained libraries, custom trained models that can, that on private libraries, that can generate, um, much more authentic, even licensed generative output,


I mean, we haven't, we, we we're not ready to announce exactly what we're doing in this piece yet, but some of our creators have already started training, custom training machine learning models on their digital spatial asset content 3D content. And we are wanting to help them position generative outputs in platforms through license arrangements, through custom generators and so forth.

Now, that's already happening in the 2D image space. Right, that you have, you

know, custom training and licensed generation gen generator output. So what we'd like to do, you know, is to leap from all of the conversation right now and say, look, let's get all the library of spatial digital spatial assets protected both through fingerprinting and through a good faith request.

Do not [01:51:00] ingest like robots dot text

on the internet. Don't suck in my website, don't suck in my content. Um, and inversely to facilitate massively more, uh, uh, aesthetically credible, um, uh, legally, you know, amenable, uh, and financially viable, uh, ai, uh, machine, a ai generators generative content, um, in collaboration with creators and platforms, right?

We don't wanna beat the people that say like the, you know, society of author skills, I think it's called, um, said to Google, don't ingest our books. Google said, we

wanna make a giant shock out of your books. And they said, no, how dare you. Um, and it was just in a Google Books project kind of collapsed because the

authors guild said they don't wanna do it.

And we don't wanna be in that kind of copyright,

you know, cop situation. But we do think it's time to fully assert what the platforms are gradually learning, which is you shouldn't screw creators and

creating trillions of dollars of value. Let's all be pragmatically, let's all be friends [01:52:00] and, and see how this plays out on a constructive basis if we can.

Evan Troxel: Let's talk about the financial side. So you've talked about a marketplace where licensing could happen, but there's also kind of just the, the nuts and bolts of getting content into this. Who pays for that?

how how does that work for creators and and what would they be looking at?

John Manoochehri: Well, so a lot of this is evolving, right? I mean, in sort of, in sort of clumsy, you know, uh, the, the silicon venture times, we are, you know, in, in, in our product market fit finding phase, we have product, we have customers on both sides. We have some narrative that we think is about to become massively more relevant in this conversation.

Definitely as part of that, we don't exactly know the best way of doing it, right? So

I don't think it would be correct to say we have a pricing model or an operationalization model, onboarding model that is stable. Um, I think the best way of thinking of it in very broad brush terms is what we want to happen is that the onboarding of content and what we call the pre-listing or onboarding of content from creators in these different supply classes, architecture, film, and so forth, is.

[01:53:00] Staggeringly easy to get your stuff into the registry in the first instance so that you can do what we call pre-listing. Just get a, a snapshot of it, a 2D image of some sort out onto the marketplace side to what the market signal is. People

wanna license this stuff, whether it's a movie environment or it's a building, or it's a piece of art that has a spatial character, or it's the, you know, the, the, the, the, the, the real world in terms of, you know, real, you know, live locations anywhere in the world.

Natural environments, right? I mean, it's, you probably what you are linked to with the podcast is a bunch of demos of the product, so people gonna see roughly what I'm talking about. But essentially the point is that we wanna be very dig content in and be visible in some way. And somebody says, well, I'm kind of interested in this for my

movie or for my Apple Head Vision app, or my, you know, my Metaverse project or my, you know, healthcare app.

We will work out pricing signal and that will then inform exactly who pays for the onboarding, right? [01:54:00] What we do know is that some designers want to be upfront in front of the market.

They want their shit to be ready to go right? And so

they are already paying or they've already done the work 'cause of the way they evolve their workflow many years ago.

Um, to be ready for real-time rendering. So we take the Zaha Hadi, for example. They don't design their, um, architectural, uh, projects in the first instance with BIM Tools. They don't use a EC tools. They use Maya, which is essentially an animation tool,

right? They have meshed content

for extremely high, you know, aesthetic, visual, um, presentation value as the very first piece of software they use for most projects.

So then they cascade it down through Rhino and then, you know, in most cases sort of farm out the BIM ification of it and then the construction, you know, drawings and so forth. But they've already started in a way that is extremely advantageous to modeling out things, to spatial environments and visualization.

And so, um, we expect that their content will be in the registry in a much more visually appealing way than most content in the first instance and many other offices in the same place, right? If you [01:55:00] take the, the movies studios, you know, the movie, the back, the back catalogs of the movie studios we're working with are not only not in some kind of CG form, they're just the celluloid, right?

So there's many stages that we'd go through to

create, to extract digital environment from a Blade Runner set,

right? And which we would like to be doing. Um, that will take some time. But then some movie studios. Already have a ton of CG development, right? The, the biggest ones come out a closed shop like Disney and so forth.

It's largely a closed shop, but some studios have got pieces of their production workflow that have got very good established practices for CG content. So we can just get that stuff up, up and up and ready. But there's

a bunch of stuff that we can put out into the world and uh, hopefully, you know, we can share that announcement very soon for some of that stuff.

And so there, there, the argument is basically let's get everything in, in whatever form can be visualized in a very simple way. Um, it's stabilize whatever licenses. If we had just have one owner of it, partial owner, we can work out the royalties cascade and that you know exactly who owns what over time.

But the signal is gonna be who wants to use it for what? Or they credible partners, what is their [01:56:00] budget and what is the business model that they're attached to, which will liberate over time or budget. And so the financial pieces is straightforward. We want it to be essentially cost effective people to add their assets.

If they spend more money as creators to upgrade ize, mesh their assets, they're definitely gonna be more visually appealing and ready to sell. Right? And a lot of this is gonna be time bound, cost bound. So

they have control if they have assets that are mesh and ready to go. But I think a lot of the market will be a pool market, right?

Oh, that looks interesting. Mesh it, model it. This is my spec. Get it into a USD, this probably count, you know, I need these, you know, you know, this is what we're gonna do in terms of overall environment and render. And so that, and so what we're essentially trying to do there is avoid being a full operationalization partner for every iteration of a model, right?

'cause when we first started this, we was like, oh, well, we're just gonna have to get everything into every format and pipeline before we can license it. No, not true at all. People

see very clearly that if they want the Eiffel Tower property license for their project, they [01:57:00] will not be a version of it that is ready.

Um, in licensing terms or even technical terms, you need to get a custom license set up, which is what we've built a sort of custom licensing system that facilitates the license of choices for creators and a technical output pathway to facilitate what you want for your input pipeline. And that's what we think, you know, the best way, the best, the best opportunity is to get everybody's content in one or two clicks, and then if people have, have more sophisticated content, get them to the front of the queue because it's easiest to show that stuff and let the marketplace itself out, right?

Evan Troxel: And your system, ele enables end users, people who are shopping basically on your site for through the catalog of assets to experience them in some way,

I would

John Manoochehri: Yeah, absolutely. So, so what we call our discovery engine is our own endpoint, right? So it's a kind of sexy, WebGL based viewing system. It looks, as I say, in, in sort of operat, it looks as a, as a kind of product in this broad sense, [01:58:00] a bit like, you know, TurboSquid or, or 3D, sketch five or any kind of asset marketplace, but.

It's way more beautiful , and it has a bunch of very specific characteristics that are focused on premium licensing. Right? We're not trying to pump out very simple, you know, OBJ files,

uh, to people that are just doing hobby projects, right?

These are for projects that. Yeah. So we're trying to create essentially the inverse of that, which is basically people that say, oh, if I had access to a photo world version of this building, I could create a multimillion dollar movie or advertising campaign that would still save me million dollars in, you know, in in CD post production and location costs and, you know, you know, uh, damage to a, damage to a monument.

You know, all these things

that, you know, practical movie,

making, you know, entails, right? And so, so if we have like, you know, that focus, um, the, that, that is our focus and if those are our clients, right? We have to build a product set that facilitates that. So what we should have is discovery engine, which enables you to preview model.

[01:59:00] We have a thing called the deployment engine and a curation tool, an unreal engine. So that if you want to,

once you've pre-selected your assets in the web-based discovery engine, you then start going deeper into a workflow way. If you're gonna spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an asset, you have very, very powerful tools to make those decisions.

Um, and even an unreal engine kind of inspection system to really, you know, get into the details of the model. So, so the demand side, yes, is a marketplace, but it's structured for premium use. Now, we would love it to be the case that obviously individual users and hobby users across all access to this stuff, particularly cheaper versions of things that you should be universalization of access to content, particularly if there's public content, right?

One of the reasons why you want every piece of content properly licensed in the registry is that a lot of content is not for commercial use.

And so you want your IP protector not to make money out of it to, to prevent people from making money out of it. And that's the case, public monuments and so forth.

What you want there though is licensing that prevents not just monetized use, but inappropriate use. So there's a whole other, you know, dimension of, you know, of, [02:00:00] of, of the registry and the, you know, the output side of what you want to happen is that assets are properly licensed so that users can, you know, so you like, you know, hobby users and you know, nonprofit users can have access to models in the platforms that they're working in, um, without having to run the risk of, you know, falling foul of what, you know, licensing and restrictions may end up coming to, to, to pass.

And so we do want there to be a lot of consumerization of assets, particularly for assets that aren't being used for monetary purposes. What that leads to, we, you know, probably haven't got time to go into this too much, but the essential point is that we don't just want to be the marketplace for most use cases of the assets.

Realistically the premium marketplace. In fact, any marketplace deployment is gonna be embedded in somebody's software. Right. We would love to be right. An API integrated in whenever it arrives the filmmaker's version of Unreal Engine, right? Unreal Engine is not very highly specified for filmmakers, but at some point it will, there will be a sort of filmmaker's like, you know, software, you know, set [02:01:00] up for filmmakers so they can choose.

location environments, right? And just be up and running with

a mountain scene and a, you know, you know, a suburb in Paris and you know, the, the pyramids within, you know, minutes, right? And it's all properly licensed and speced with their specific use case, we want to commission adaptations or get a special license.

They can get that. So realistically we want to be the Shopify in marketplace terms of distribution. That's what we call that a syndication system. Not just a

marketplace rather than just the Amazon. Because actually there are so many endpoints where a marketplace dynamic for selecting assets is gonna be advantageous for the creators of the software or the project or the, you know, the, the user experience that we don't wanna get in the way of that, right?

So we do have a discovery engine, form engine and an unreal engine curation tool, but we really wanna be a headless system so that well licensed assets in any form can be distributed and syndicated to whoever wants to look at them and get them into use.

Evan Troxel: And there's gotta be some security slash privacy controls over maybe certain zones [02:02:00] in certain buildings that you just want to be able to, when you license out the building, maybe you're not getting all of the building because the entity that owns that building may not want that stuff to be known. So is there like a, some kind of a on off switch for certain aspects like that?

John Manoochehri: Well, so, so you, so this is getting into the weeds of o asset licensing and, and the market is not really clear yet in this regard. We, we, we've spoken to some architects, um. We've spoken to a ton of very, very highend architects, and I would say 90 outta 20 of them are interested. About 10 of them are ready to do it, and some of the rest are at different stages of caution and time, internal decision making.

But I think it's all gonna happen, right? I think that the cautionary piece is often with architectural offices that aren't interested or in a position to license sexy IP and just make free money outta it. They do have things like stadiums that have, you know,

um, uh, you know, security considerations or they've got, uh, you know, content that is heavily licensed out somebody else, and they think they can't really pull back any royalties to [02:03:00] themselves.

But we take the, the case of security realistically, Ray, um, if we spit out as a, you know, as, as I mentioned, you can split out the market into kind of premium architecture, which is kind of licensing sexy IP and classic architectures is sort of licensing iconic design, and then pre kind of core mainstream ion licensing good design.

That's kind of where the stadiums and so forth often are, unless what they're licensing is the actual engineering work, right. The pragmatics

of what makes that work just. Desh it, right?

Just make it a, you know, a, a, you know, a, a, you know, a uh, a, you know, some, some area that has just no design

specifics, right?

So there's nothing that you are revealing in that sense, because in the digital environment, most of those things aren't needed, right? You don't need the physical structure.

For digital environments. Right.

So and so, So so that's the argument we made, right? To some of these, you know, the, uh, architects that were worried about licensing out designs for Stadium Stadium because there's obviously security considerations for where the structural components are and how you would, you know, [02:04:00] engage with it

if you were a nefarious actor.

Right. But so there, there we think the analogy would be like, you know, Google Street people where you just have black bits, right. You know,

on the, on the, on the, yeah,

exactly. And that, and that, and that makes perfect sense. Right. And so that, that in any case, by the way, like I think that the piece of the mo of this, uh, you know, uh, distribution syndication marketplace model that is likely to move slowest is the relicensing of finished architectural designs, right.

It just seems so antithetical to how architects want to work. Right.

It seems like, I mean, to, because this is gonna kill a lot of the industry , if you fully reusing other people's designs, right?

On a, on a property license basis, which of course should happen and inevitably will happen, but, um, that I think is not gonna move forward very fast.

Right? And so you can redact models and you can do all sorts of things to kind of, you know, avoid distribution of sensitive material. Generally speaking. That I don't think is the main problem. It's actually just coordination of, of the interested parties against a sufficiently sizable financial incentive.[02:05:00]

And then

these things will be solved, but that itself will take time to evolve.

Evan Troxel: But things get leaked out of those institutions too, right? I,

it's not like it's just automatically gonna stay

John Manoochehri: Well, but Right. But so, but, so, yeah, but so back to that point, right? So I think this is one of the interesting things is if people that, I mean, this is one of the arguments we made to the offices that have not yet decided to, you know, to join. But partly is to say, 'cause they have all this, you know, secret content and say, look, someone's gonna get it right?

You just want people in the world who are in your account saying, Hey, you need to take that down. You can't use that version of it. You should have a redacted version, right? You

do want there to be agents out in the market that can facilitate whatever copyright and security controls you want, right? If you wanna do it all on your own, well, that's great, right?

But at some point a lot of the stuff is gonna get out there. That's the nature of digital

content. And so, if there are people who are, I don't say policing, but facilitating best

practice that I think is never, that was in everyone's interest.

Evan Troxel: And that's the point of the fingerprinting. Right. So, yeah. I mean, that makes sense. I,

I guess, uh, you know, I'm trying to think of other [02:06:00] objections that you may be hearing and, and I should just ask you, instead of me trying to come up with what those are, are there other objections that are, that you're, that you're hearing when it comes to this idea?

John Manoochehri: I mean, as I say, so your, your sort of line of questioning is very much, uh, you know, very much matches how we've unfolded the market so far, right? The

first question is, who's gonna pay for me to register my stuff? And we

realize, oh, you know, it, it shouldn't be difficult to register things. So we can't expect that everything is licensed up front.

We can't expect that everything is meshed correctly or presented as a fully licensable asset up front. We're gonna assume that 99% or 95% of content. Today isn't in that case state. So we've simplified that. Um, the, the, the, the other objections do include, right, as you say, the security considerations. I think the, the main thing from the architecture perspective, right, that is a blockage and it isn't really a direct blockage for us, right?

Is that it's uncertainty about what it [02:07:00] means for the overall business,

right? I think that's part of a larger sort of shock mentality. There's so much change going on from so many perspectives, right? People don't really, how, I would say very coherent reasons why they shouldn't be involved in this. 'cause we think this is essentially de-risked, right?

It's actually a risk management thing more than anything

else. But it's like the shock of a new, right? Pretty much every one of our conversations that has terminated in involvement, we've gone through, I couldn't possibly do it. Well, we're gonna do it on these terms. Yes, but, well, we, we've done that, but it's now operationally very, you know, there's lots of work required.

Uh, well, we've done it, but you know, we, we, you know, there are other priorities. So we go through all these stages and then like, you know, then what comes out the end is, why aren't we moving faster? We, we need to get our shit licensed now. ,

Evan Troxel: of

John Manoochehri: we've had that a number of times, right? I mean, if I, if I, because I'm, I'm, I'm keeping names out of the conversation, but specific pathway has happened a number of times, which is

we couldn't do it. we can't get agreements.

It's gonna take a lot of time.

Evan Troxel: Yeah. It

goes from, there's no way. All the way

[02:08:00] to why isn't it done already? Yeah.

John Manoochehri: But, but in our case, it's, you need to be moving faster. And we're like, we, yeah, but you are the one holding us back, right?

So we have to be very polite about that. It's not that it's just a, you know, abstraction. It's like,

you, know, we sit there and we're, yeah.

Evan Troxel: throw something over to the client and it's like, okay, now we'll wait. And then as soon as they send it back, they're like, how come it's not done yet? I mean,


John Manoochehri: I, I would say, I I would say to put, to, to put a fance, 'cause this is probably where the most, um, durable concerns are from architects specifically as to whether they should bring their assets into a system that isn't just for archiving fingerprinting purposes, but is for licensing purposes. Because

some of the concerns are like, you know, do, do we just use any of this?

Do we need to be fingerprinting? It's very, very cautious. But if we start talking about licensing out the two, I think very credible concerns are, and you know, obviously I'm kind of baking into the, you know, the, the concerns if we, you know, ize with your, we accelerating machine learning absorption of our content, or we're always doing the opposite, preventing ourselves, protecting ourselves from that.[02:09:00]

I think the two most durable questions and concerns are basically, um, can we prevent inappropriate use of our assets once they're being licensed?

And then what does that mean for us in terms of reputation, right? Because, because it's not

quite the same question as what does it mean in terms of work firm?

What are we doing as, you know,

as an industry, where are we making money? That is a concern, but that's more part of like the

shock of the you and who are we hiring and what are we.

Evan Troxel: end up on a virtual porn set or Yeah,


John Manoochehri: Right. Exactly. So that's the first thing. And then, and then what does it mean in terms of reputation? How do we present ourselves as a business offering?


Do we say we're somehow kind of hybrid spatial designers, that we say we're architects? Like that? Those two things are diversions of each other. But I think the first concern is very legitimate. Right? Very, very

legitimate. And I think that, that's why I think I always say that's probably the strongest reason why treasury, um, will be a strong service provider.

Because in the same way that we're saying that, you know, our, our, our offering has become, we didn't expect this to be the thing, but part of offering to creators will be, we will be your bull work against mass absorption. Why machine [02:10:00] learning training libraries. Um, we are in a position to say to, uh, essentially the platforms more of an individual users.

You need to respect creator license terms. Currently that is not the case. Right?

We, we have conversations ongoing with, um, epic games and their marketplace, Roblox and their marketplace, Minecraft and their marketplace, and a lot of other sort of metaverse type marketplacey things that are out there. and almost everyone says, well, look, it's all very well, you know, that you have this sexy spatial content and we would love to get some of it, but of course we couldn't possibly subscribe to custom licensing conditions that these people might want.

I'm like, well, that's kind of an a, a, a oxymoronic position in the sense that you want premium ship that is exclusive and is highly characterized as a value proposition where you, where you wanna treat it like standard licensed

consumer stuff. And that is actually a standoff right now directly between I, well I will not mention when, which one of those marketplaces and any of the creators involved, but it's an ongoing legal question right now because the platform [02:11:00] says, look, we love to license this stuff at scale.

We know what you are offering, that we can make a lot of money outta it for ourselves and for you. And we can get a lot of users adopting this as spatial assets for their, you know, digital environments. But no, we can't, we couldn't possibly restrict, you know, and, and that, that matters a lot because actually if you go back to the, the case of, you know, registering and licensing things that are not for commercial purposes, right?

You discover that there's actually a lot more sensitivity there to, to use case dynamics and use case restrictions than there is even for commercial stuff, right? 'cause, 'cause frankly speaking. You know, ultimately everything to do with porn and sex gets somewhat normalized. And the, and as the liberal society, you know, trends, and certainly it's the case that if an architectural office that is pretty, you know, confident about its own identity, was paid millions of dollars for a porn set for tasteful porn, they go pocket with free money who caress, you know, it's legal,

right? Right. But, but, but that, but, but, but that, but that actually doesn't describe the reason to have in place very well established, restrictive licensing [02:12:00] practices,

because that isn't the worst use case. The worst

use case that imaginable is, let's say the World Trade Center memorial goes into a some point of metaverse environment and people start spending quality experiential time there as they should and will be able to, thanks, as you say, to the quality of these headsets and these experiences.

But guess what? There's somebody there putting extremely noxious, inflammatory, illegal, deeply disturb material in there for whatever

political purpose, right?

That's, that's the reason why we want very carefully structured licensing. It isn't that, you know, people who have fancy shit will be annoyed that somebody's paying them for something that is, you know, a bit,

you know, out, out there.

it, it, it, it's the people that aren't being paid at all

and only stand for social issues or religious issues or, you know,

something that's very sensitive to society

is then in the middle of something that is deeply disturbing and that I think is the most credible and, and, uh, and, and present concern in relation to licensing our content.

[02:13:00] And I would say that would be the piece that will take the longest to solve because it would require the platforms to stand to stand up for custom licensing. Where if

you put the pyramids in, or you put the World Trade Center, trade Center Memorial in, or you put the Holocaust Memorial Land, you have to have extremely tight controls,

legally binding controls over

who could do what there, because everybody is harmed, society is harmed.

The, you know, the original aesthetic and creative and cultural intent of these con of this content. Whole nation states are harmed if that stuff goes wrong.

Right. So this isn't somebody being annoyed that they're being paid by something they don't like. This is something way larger than that, and that isn't, it's one of the main things that isn't being taken seriously in the space, which is that licensing out of public monuments and religious content and cultural ICON's and just private shit, people that they even sell as mean something to them.

You don't want that stuff to be graffiti by somebody you don't like, you know, in a social media context. And I think that is where the most, you know, credible [02:14:00] concern is at scale and is not resolved yet. 'cause the platforms are not ready to sign up to what we would call, um, conditional or, or, or custom licensing.

And then that becomes a question of identity, right? Who wants to be close to risk

and most people don't, so you have to narrow the risk. So it just, just, you know, so you have a sense of, the way we have developed our discovery engine is everything is private. Right. There is a public version of Discovery Engine, which will be visible in some, you know, weeks.

So you can see a very limited set of content, right? But if you want to see everything that we have in the pipeline, um, you need to apply for a discovery engine, be a qualified potential

customer of asset licenses, and they will gradually show you things that are in more and more sensitive stages of licensing.

'cause this is the point, as I say, the, the, the, the, the, the grant concern is who is responsible, who, how do we control, you know, how things are used, which is, well just licensing, but, you know, platforms deciding to allocate liability and restrict users and so forth. [02:15:00] But then you have to put that back to the creator side identities and risks and associations.

So that's helped us a lot actually, is thinking through, um, how to do the business model is to say it's essentially okay, everything that really matters is currently in private view. So we pre quantify the buyers and have a public layer of this. Frankly, I think it will all work itself out, right? I think society is a way less nefarious than all of these arguments would seem to imply, but you have to respect what

people's sensitivities are, right?

We are a custodian of content and I'm happy that we're in that role. I don't like, you know, um, sort of scaremongering and imagining suggesting that, you know, everyone's gonna deface every monument and there'll be enormous numbers of sort of, you know, religious, you know, this is a, so sectarian conflicts coming into the spatial environment, but we have to, you know, set up best practices as we let society get on with this stuff.

Evan Troxel: Yeah, there was, there was something that you said the last [02:16:00] time that we, we spoke about buildings being kind of, or architecture being the base that everything is built on. In society and how everything, it, it ties everything together. Do you remember what that was? I'm, I'm looking 'cause I wrote, I wrote something down about it, but I'm, I'm struggling to find it here.

Here it is. Everything, everything fits on top of the built world is something that you said. And I'm just wondering like when you're, when you're thinking about this particular opportunity and challenge, uh, in an, uh, an industry that is slow to move when it comes to these kinds of things, to just kind of put a, put a period on this to say like how, how much the work that this industry produces matters and how it is going to tie into things they're not dreaming about yet in, in a, in a very short order. I think it, it's, it's gonna be even more the case because people are going to be [02:17:00] longing for new types of experiences. And this is going to be one of the ways in which that happens. And it's all gonna revolve around things that people have already experienced, maybe in different ways, but it's still, there's still a construct here and architects are

very well positioned for that.

John Manoochehri: Hmm. Okay. So, uh, so this, this is the inverse of me kind of like making slide digs at architecture. This is me

sort of trying to, to underpin why architecture is essential

now and it, and always and what it really does. And I think one of the problems with architecture, architecture having being weak in its own theorization is that vaguely speaking, what people understand inside and outside the professionals, what's going on is there's some kind of standoff between aesthetics and engineering, and that's not what's going on.


engineering piece of architecture is, is negligible, right? Engineering is largely solved. The technical piece of architecture is not engineering, it is spatial configuration,

Evan Troxel: Mm-Hmm.

John Manoochehri: And

so if you want to take architecture seriously, you have to think what is it really doing? Technically it isn't solving engineering.

I mean, [02:18:00] historically all this is blended together. So, so it's a little bit difficult to see architects, were master engineers. Right now, the great architecture of the modern world that truly works rather than just being a static novelty, is, is, is, is are built spaces that are

spatially configured

in ways that are profoundly

Evan Troxel: it's not the framework. It's, it's the void


John Manoochehri: Right, and so and so and so and so, if you take spatial configuration, you unpack that. Well, what is spatial configuration as opposed to engineering or aesthetic? Well, what spatial configuring configuration is, is a, is a myriad of fascinating and very specific disciplines, right? If you look at the very little bits of architecture that are properly theorized, right?

So the beginning, so space syntax is not probably theorized, but the beginnings of it are setting up the beginning of theory. When you look at things like, you know, the, so-called J Graph, some of what's going on in architectural design technology around, you know, um, draft theory and topology and so forth starts to get to like the core theory of spectrum configuration, but it's pretty [02:19:00] narrow.

If you look at SoCal circulation diagrams, how do you get in and out and around the building, right? If you look at how that relates to program. Where is the water cooler?

Where is the bathroom? Where is the, you know, the, the buffet? Where is the, you know, the pinging pong table versus where the sight lines are versus where the private areas are versus, you know, this is the actual science of architecture and it's basically intuitive.

It isn't really taught clearly at architecture schools,

and that is now gonna be at a massive premium because everyone's gonna try and fake it and they get it wrong. Right?

You, you go into digital spatial environments right now of any sort, right? All horrendous bullshit doesn't make any sense, right?

Becau, because the very nature of being quasi embodied in a digital spatial environment, right, has an implication. Even

you don't have an actual body,

you have a sense of space that is configurate, that's configured around

your, the affordances of the real human body,

right? And so what you discover is that we're gonna regrow and use science of a spatial configuration for digital [02:20:00] spatial environments that is kindred with and cognate with the science of spatial configuration for physical spatial environments.

But that is gonna be an exploding space of opportunity because you don't have to fucking build anything. You don't have to solve, you know, tectonics or the cost of structures you can read truly speculative and go to the edge, right? So if we take an example, right? If we look at cathedrals, the science, the design of cathedrals, what is it that makes them magical, right?

Well, one of the things that makes magical is how these light,

right? If you go to Notre Dam, right, we're all gonna go back there when it's, when it's, when it's opened again, and you go to any other, like, you know, classical cathedral. The thing that breaks your heart is how light is used and how it, how it, it, it, it

animates space, right. And how it narrates space. And I think that when you, when you realize that one of the main constraints on experimenting with just light, uh, and colored light, but light in general, how light interacts with space has been building things , it's so hard to build things that are [02:21:00] interesting in terms of how they configure light.

That just, that, just that one thing alone is gonna be a whole new universal opportunity. Right? So I genuinely believe, going back to the point about creators and how they will drive, like the, the form factor and the uh, uh, and the experiential value and it iterate, iterate towards universalization of these technologies is we will have cathedrals in digital special environments.

And the people will want to spend a lot of time there.

And what that, and that's just one little tiny slice of spatial configuration. So if you take architecture as a profession that has, I wouldn't say solve, but it's the only profession to attempt to solve on a case by case basis. Um, spatial configuration.

It isn't doing engineering of structure, it's not tectonics. That's, there's a limited piece of architecture.

The aesthetics of it is obviously related, but it's in many, in many cases, particularly today, separate from the spatial configuration aspect, that is the technical work of architecture. And that has such a vastly [02:22:00] expanded scope in spatial technology, spatial competition, and digital spatial environments.

And so if architects want to see a new horizon opportunity and they are interested in what our architecture actually does, rather than just building spaces for money for conventional program, the horizon is

digitally and literally endless.

Evan Troxel: It's interesting that you brought up cathedrals because I, I was in Las Vegas in November for Autodesk University, and I got to go into the sphere a couple of times,

and it's basically a digital environment for a thousand people or however many people can, it can

see. And, uh, you, they, there's a movie that you sit through.

It's, it's an hour long or so, and it's called a Postcard from Earth. And you get to visit various scenes and they, it's not just visual, obviously. There's a huge audio component to this. There's like a 67,000 speakers or something in this inside the sphere. And [02:23:00] then there's also air cannons down at the bottom and they're shooting up.

So, so you are having a multisensory experience with a bunch of people. Um, but what I found most intriguing about that experience was the scale shift that could be achieved. And this is something that happens in VR goggles too. I've been in my own designs inside VR goggles and your sense of space, because it's a one-to-one, uh, scale factor.

It, it feels legitimate. And in that movie we went from being outdoors in a Utah, right? So desert, gorgeous desert environment. It feels expansive. Then we go into a cathedral and it feels like you're in the size of a space of a cathedral and the

light and the shadow and the

stained glass and,

John Manoochehri: mm-Hmm

Evan Troxel: just the acoustics of it, everything. And then you're in a taxi cab. And you can look wherever you wanna look. You

can look around in

this [02:24:00] space, you're, it's not just where the camera points, the camera captured a 360 degree, 60 degree spherical video. And in the cab, I can look to my left, I can look to my right, I can look at the, the, the top of the cab. It felt like I was in that size of a space. And I am in an enormous space. I'm not in VR goggles, but it's not gonna be different when you're in VR goggles. And I think

it is kind of mind blowing as a, as an architect, as a designer of space to see how significant of an impact that can have on somebody's experience. And it's completely digital.

John Manoochehri: hmm.

Evan Troxel: absolutely incredible.

And so, I, I, I guess the reason I wanna tell the story is because I, I really do feel like you are going as an architect, as a designer of the built environment, even in the digital sense, you are going to be able to have impactful

John Manoochehri: Hmm,

Evan Troxel: on people's experiences

in these digital spaces. And

why wouldn't you want to do that too,

in addition [02:25:00] to

the things that you're doing in the real world


John Manoochehri: you. That's very, very eloquent. I mean, what, what it allows me to do is to kind of like, set up as we're the punchline of our spatial computational thesis. Um, uh, it's essentially this, right? W when we talk about spatial computation in the thesis, we essentially sort of start with this idea that there's this convergence main technologies onto a spatial infrastructure layer on the internet.

And so, you know, spatial computing is to, um, metaverse, as you know, uh, internet is to cyberspace and so forth. So we set up that whole technical premise, but then we, we kind of invite the larger conversation on, on a relatively simple idea, which is that if we want to understand. In very human terms, not in technical terms where we are going with all the spatial computation, particularly once we set up the caution that social VR and these virtual alternative worlds is not likely to be in my, in my view, technically or psychologically.

Or socially, let alone commercially the main event. What else is there? Well, it, we don't know 'cause there's infinite opportunities, but what we think is worth [02:26:00] saying, and this is sort of to some extent framing some of what you are, you've, you've laid out very beautifully, is that if you ask yourself the question, what, you know, what is it that's going on in these digital spatial environments and you want to sort of unpick where, I think with great respect, mark Zuckerberg has made quite a profound mistake.

I, if you ask what's going on, you, you, you start from the Zuckerberg perspective, which is what's going on is technical immersivity. We have a headset, we have a virtual photo reel experience. Holy shit, that's amazing. I'm very immersed in that. But that technical immersivity turns out to be not that interesting.

We don't wanna stay there. We have more and more and more photo environments to explore and somehow we don't stay in there. People have bought the Oculus Pro headset, which is, you know. probably as good as many of the ones that are out there, at least in terms of they can do that. The photo world experiences don't somehow become sticky.

And so what we see in the spatial competition thesis is technical immersivity [02:27:00] isn't quite a red hairy, but it's a bit of a chime in the sense of what

at attaches people to digital spatial content is what we call narrative immersivity.

It's having an identity in a human psychological construct that matters to them,


And so what you, what you, what you can contrast is a digital spatial environment. A digital, a spatial technology that has incredibly low technical immersivity. Let's take Google Maps where all you want is a blue dot on a flat 2D screen. Alright? Now then the technical I emissivity of that is low and the tech and the narrative I immersivity of that is essentially zero.

When you just open a map and you're sitting there going, well, I'm where I'm, if you need to be in a hospital because your friend, partner child is mortally ill, and you've sat out on the map how to get to the hospital, 17 minutes in the car with traffic, that is the only fucking narrative in your life that makes sense.

You are 110% engaged in that narrative.

Fully immersed [02:28:00] and the technical immersivity does not matter to you. In actual fact, were it to be more immersive. You have a fucking set of goggles and ar shit and the other stuff you can get out of the Google Maps like application you would not want it.

'cause it gets in the way of the narrative.

So what you discover is that if you want to take spatial competition seriously, and the whole world of value and experience, understand that the technical i inclusivity aspect can be a distraction from what actually makes humans want to be done. And when you look at that, what you discover is that if you go back in the history of world civilization, it is mistaken to think that technical progress is the only thing that people seek or is determines of all, um, human value.

You know, it wasn't the case that the, you know, the cave dwellers around the Lasko cave needed to wait until the TV and a market economy and, you know, you know,

TV dinners were available before they started putting content on the wall, right? The, the, that was their movie. That was their

tv, presumably, right?[02:29:00]

I mean, they did it for some reason. It's a spatial and it's a spatial piece of content. And the reason why, presumably it is valuable to them or was valuable to them, somehow narratively immersive, we don't quite

know why. Some education, culture, training, religion, whatever it may be. And when you go through the history of content, you discover that, holy shit, we have massive narrative immersion in things that are technically hardly immersive at all.

What's a book?

Evan Troxel: Mm-Hmm. . Mm-Hmm.

John Manoochehri: What's a song

if it isn't massively narrative narratively immersive without any technology. Right. And so if you wanna really reframe the metaverse, and this is what I think should happen, this is how you reclaim the word metaverse. You talk about massive narrative emersion. And this is, as it were, the bigger picture of spatial configuration, right?

Which is if architects are doing anything with their spatial configuration, they're telling stories that matter and they're putting us in those stories.

That's how architecture should be defined, right? Stories that matter with us having a role, right? When we enter the space, suddenly we're in the story.[02:30:00]

That's how cathedrals work.

You're in the space, you in a conversation with God because of the way the light interacts with the space

Evan Troxel: Right, right.

John Manoochehri: And so and so, when you see this space configuration is a way to set up not just the value of the digital space environment, but any human engagement interface. . And you understand the narrative.

Immersivity is what we seek is why we're all taking drugs these days, or people that are bored with tv, right? It's why therapy is happening. It's why we're all spending a lot of time, you know, working out everything that is not consumerism is 'cause somehow the physics of it isn't sufficient for us.

So what are we looking for?

Some kind of narrative emotion, a story in which we have a role that matters to us

in every domain of our life.

And you are absolutely right Evan, that the spatial aspect of that is probably the most powerful because the in the human. Faculty system. The visual [02:31:00] faculty is massively more powerful than any other,

Evan Troxel: Right?

John Manoochehri: and it is the one that binds all the others together.

Evan Troxel: Mm-Hmm

John Manoochehri: When people hear things, they spatially localize them. Right? I mean, this specific point is why I am so fascinated by this is because if you want to look at human progress, you get back to the visual capabilities of cognition. How visual cognition relates to identity. How spaces and narratives dominate narrative immersivity and role making for people in society.

It is so foundational, right? So back to my Sanskrit stuff. If you want to find a way to talk about cognition in a way that's much more interesting than silly conversations about a GI think about how people instant in space. It's one of the main reasons why the a GI conversations don't make sense is 'cause there isn't a core to the identity of the agent, which is what happens in spatial instantiation.

You have to be somewhere. A GI is in LLM. Census aren't anywhere. So that's why I [02:32:00] don't think they exist. They don't have a spatial instantiation.

Evan Troxel: Mm-Hmm.

John Manoochehri: That's what happens in spatial instantiation.

You are somewhere, and from that comes your, from the narrative immersion in that space or not comes your role and from your role comes your identity and comes your, from your identity comes your role.

Meaningfulness in society at large. So I don't think it is correct to underestimate the power of these things. I think actually what will happen is that breakthroughs in little corners of, I mean spirituality may be too strong, but like psychedelic cognitive experimentation and mental health and education will be the things that tell us in addition, in parallel with, you know, creative experimentation and you know, thinking through the wow factor, how powerful the stuff is.

And I don't think it's accidental. It's not 'cause Zuckerberg tells us to put on a expensive headset or Tim Cook has run out. What iPhones to sell is. 'cause we were always going this direction, is that the visual machinery of cognition is [02:33:00] the most powerful route of human self and social understanding.

And if we invent a technical version to experiment, explore, expand that, and we fill it with technically well configured spaces, basically configuration, which is what architecture can lead. And we evolve around that narrative, narratively, immersive experiences for individuals and groups.

That sounds like interesting progress for


Evan Troxel: It does. Yeah. A

John Manoochehri: I mean, not, not, I mean, not, not, least right, because so much of what, what happened there is dematerialized, right? WI don't think what this will lead to is escapism anymore. You know, I mean,

the internet is escapism, but we had, you know, escapism from novels and newspapers and TV and movies and so forth.

Escapism is always part of, you know, our resistance to p pragmatic engagement in that, in the, in the substance of life. I don't think this is gonna be any different from that. People will spend their time, how they spend their time. I think it will bring us to as much as any other medium, like new experiments in, you know, [02:34:00] what, what it means to build out humanity and society.

But I also do think it would cost a lot less in material terms.

But I think there are other ways in the rating, sustainability aspect of treasury. We don't have time for that right now, but I do think, um, dematerializing people's aspirations and consumption patterns is a huge part of it.

They will be able to go to the rainforest without having to fly on a plane and go

through, you know, take a jeep to the logging trails, end up in the rainforest going, I fucking hate it here.

It's hot. I'm being bitten. I've, I've contributed to damaging this place.

I'm sure I'm about to be shocked by somebody. What the fuck am I doing here? It's, is hopeless.

Same for Mount Everest, right? People can experience the world

Evan Troxel: Yeah.

John Manoochehri: narratively without having to do all the physics, nothing. That is gonna be very interesting.

Evan Troxel: Yeah, it is. I, that's, uh, I, I'm, I'm glad that we got there. This was a, a beautiful way, I think to kind of wrap up the conversation. Is there anything else that we're missing here? I.

John Manoochehri: I mean, I think, well, so this has been great because this [02:35:00] has been, I think by far the most sort of, um, um, uh, explicit unpacking of the layers of what this is and why are interested in it and we're interested in it and why we want, you know, creators of spatial assets and builds additional environments to be interested in it.

I would say I have to do my job as a, as a, as a, as an entrepreneur and say, I would love people to engage. Right? And, and, and they should tell us what this is going to be because it's a very simple proposition. Let's get content available for use, uh, that respects its potential and it's value. And if you are a designer of spatial content architecture primarily, but also film and reality capture real estate.

If you're building spatial experiences and you want the best stuff technically, creatively or legally, we'd love to have the conversation and, and, and, and, and coming back, right to, to tell, to hear from people how this is massively misguided and will never work right. Is gonna be great. [02:36:00] So feel free to come up with the opposite rather than constructive engagement and onboarding absolute brick bats.

And, um, but for me it's not just, you know, getting this done practically, it's also understanding all these things 'cause it's almost pretty fascinating. So practical engagement is great. Conversation is equally good. Thank you Evan.

Evan Troxel: And people can find you at Treasury Space

John Manoochehri: Yeah, treasury space. And there's a treasury, uh, uh, Twitter account, a treasury LinkedIn account. And then we're just about to, um, boot up the Treasury Instagram account. And, um, I mean, pragmatically, I think, you know, the, the, the things people can do is get their registry account set up, get in the pipeline for that.

If you know, if there's a wait list, we'll help you depending on, you know, what your status is. We'll make it cheap for you or free, depending on your status. If you are building anything, get a discovery engine. We'll give you a initial iteration for free. Just play around with it, break it. But if you just wanna be part of the conversation, we have what we call sessions, [02:37:00] uh, both scientific sessions and, um, general architectural design technology, space technology sessions.

They're all linked from the treasury space homepage and the, and the socials. But particularly for architecture people, they'll be interested in that. I mean, in the next three months, we have the last, the, the, the, the, the continuing three of a four-part series of, um, of uh, uh, a specific session miniseries focused on architecture with Zaha Hadid and guests.

In the next session, we have Zaha and Epic games. In the last session, we have, you know, Zaha Hadid in the form of Patrick Schumacher and the head of technology at Foster and Partners. I mean, this is high-end stuff, right?

And so that would be the place if you in London grab a ticket. 'cause it'll be pretty much sold out.

Um, but there's also happening online to be inside, I would say. A less of a sort of surplus level version of the conversation. More

specifically, what is Zaha doing? What is Foster doing? Who thinks what? And we as treasury can take more of a backseat and facilitate what we think is the [02:38:00] right conversation.

Uh, you know,

we, we want people to be deciding and then we can, you know, uh, um, creators and, and users to decide and we can help, um, you know, on that basis. But join in, in the conversation if you don't wanna be actively involved in, you know, using or, or licensing our assets. And so, treasury sessions, LinkedIn website, and there's other ways to get involved, but those are the main ones.

Evan Troxel: Nice. Well, I'll have links to all of that in the show notes for this episode. And John, this has been, I always love talking to you, John. It's, it's like

listening to a podcast on 1.5 speed when I listen to you, which I, I appreciate, uh, because, uh, I, but, but it's been, it's always a fascinating conversation.

You're a deep thinker, you're a big thinker, and, uh, I, I frankly wish there were more of you out there, so, uh, I appreciate what you're doing.

John Manoochehri: Thank you Evan. It's a delight to speak to you. As, as I mentioned, you're one of the only people who, um, has sufficient grounding in the, in, in the practice. Sufficient grounding, the technology, sufficient, um, sort of interest in the conversation, sufficient reach and credibility into people's, [02:39:00] you know, thought spaces and commercial practices to have these conversations.

Right? So the fact that we wanted to get this done after a a, a fair while of fiddling around with it

is is a delight for me and a, and a privilege. So thank you so much.

Evan Troxel: It was worth the wait. Yeah. So

thank you again, and, uh, I'm sure we'll have you back for a round too sometime.