33 minutes | Mar 1, 2022

The Carbon Footprint of the Metaverse

Even if you don't care about technology, it's likely you've heard something about the metaverse. It's a sort of 3-dimensional, immersive internet that would take lots of technologies that exist already today, like video games, VR, and NFTs, and find a way to connect all of them.

While our team was reporting on this new phenomenon for our January/February 2022 issue, we began to wonder about the carbon footprint of the metaverse. There is no metaverse without the cloud, which actually lives in buildings—steel and concrete buildings called data centers. If more people get in the metaverse, more stuff gets on the cloud, more data centers—you get the picture. There's got to be a way to start addressing this before the problem gets out of hand.

Can we build an online world that doesn't destroy the real one? In this episode, reporter Audrey Grey speaks to Drs. Julie Kriegh and Hyun Woo "Chris" Lee, UW College of Built Environments colleagues, who were part of a team imagining a completely different future for data centers.


The Design Guide to the Metaverse: metropolismag.com/viewpoints/metaverse-design-guide/

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Deep Green is a production of SANDOW Design Group.

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