some·place Is an Aesthetic, Web3 Wonderland Inspired By the Joy of Mary Poppins
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When many of us think about the metaverse, we probably picture something along the lines of Ready Player 1. The image my mind conjures is a digitised world where we plug in and lose hours, days, weeks (or longer!) in a world that doesn’t really exist. Now, I’m not too proud to admit that this perception is likely borne from the fact that I am no web3 expert, but thanks to some·place co-founders Lana Hopkins and Juliana DiSimone appearing on The Flipside podcast this week, I now know a little bit more than I did yesterday.
In the final episode of the season, Hopkins and DiSimone explain to hosts Sali Sasi and Julie Stevanja that the next wave of digital shouldn’t be thought of as a place to escape to, but rather, as a way for people to show what really matters to them. One example is that, with blockchain, people are able to wholeheartedly own the art that sparks passion within them.
“When we think about, for lack of a better word, the metaverse or cyber world, really what it comes down to as a philosophy for us is a moment in time — it’s not about going to a place,” says Hopkins, adding that there probably aren’t many people who want to disappear from reality and live in a dystopian world.
“What it’s about, is creating a product that allows you to have something in your pocket, in the palm of your hand, that gives you an amplified experience that you cannot get anywhere today, but is exactly where you are right now. It’s about a moment in time.”
Looking in on the metaverse as a newcomer (and speaking only for myself), it can feel like a highly masculine space, with people like Mark Zuckerberg and the likes of Jake Paul already staking their claim in the new world. But some·place is doing things differently, by creating a limitless destination in web3 that feels human and approachable for women and underrepresented people.
“Think of some·place as a highly immersive and high fidelity platform where brands and creators can deliver their stories and narratives through very beautiful, elevated 3D experiences,” says DiSimone.
She explains that one of the key ingredients in their “pie” and what makes some·place so unique and special is the way they have approached the design, by considering it as a foundational element in the product, rather than an afterthought.
“What we’re seeing a lot is that [people think] once the product is half-baked, they will just fix the visuals in the future once they fix everything else,” DiSimone explains. Instead, they took inspiration from the way movies like Mary Poppins make you feel as a viewer, and then baked it into their product. “We want you to feel embraced, welcomed, and like it’s a place you want to spend time in.”
So, what actually is some·place?
“We’re really thinking about the future and what we’ve been able to see with incredible 3D engines, while also [giving people the ability to] connect with an audience and rewarding them through participation,” says DiSimone.
“Fans of a brand no longer want to be seen as consumers, and when I talk about brands, I mean NFT communities, celebrities, and personalities — a brand as we know brands to be, traditionally,” she continues. “But they don’t want to be seen as consumers anymore, they want to be seen as valuable community members and, above all, valid participants. You want to know that whatever you’re doing is participating in the future of something.” That is what some·place allows the user (aka us) to do.
In this episode of The Flipside, Hopkins and DiSimone speak at length about the many challenges women and underrepresented people face when seeking funding for a new business. They caution women who have found success to remember the path they took to get where they are and remember that, “power can be distributed, it doesn’t need to be held”.
But it’s these challenges that have stoked the fire in their belly to create a digital world with no limitations.
“We have no gravity, we have no time, we have no weather in the digital space, so why are we building tables and chairs, exactly as they look in the real world? It doesn’t make any sense,” says DiSimone. “One could say that some·place looks and feels so real that you almost feel like you’re in a real place but what makes it real is not the chair or the couch that’s in there, it’s the sunlight. It’s the elements that make you feel like you recognise it, but could never believe it is possible. It’s not real, it’s digital.”
You can listen to The Flipside wherever you listen to your podcasts, with episodes dropping every Thursday — each with an exclusive offer from one of the Her Black Book brand partners. In this episode (which you can listen to below) Adore Beauty is offering 15% off orders over $75 when you shop via the Her Black Book app. You have until midnight on Sunday 23 October to take advantage of the discount, so be quick! To unlock even more exclusive deals and offers, download the Her Black Book app now.