Dr. Giovanna Graziosi Casimiro was one of the main architects behind the Decentraland fashion week. Having worked in digital design since 2010, she is an expert in digital production. Currently, she is the community and events producer at Decentraland and one of the leading experts in event curation virtually.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Giovanna Graziosi Casimiro at the Non-Fungible Conference in Lisbon about her background, role at Decentraland, and the challenges associated with holding a virtual event as grand as the Decentraland fashion week.
Dr. Giovanna Graziosi Casimiro
Sitting on a staircase, to avoid the hustle and bustle of the conference, I asked Giovanna about her background and how she got involved in the web3 space, intrigued by her journey. Giovanna explained that originally she started as a multimedia artist and researcher:
“So I started as a multimedia artist. My background was in digital art as a researcher and an artist, creating physical wearables. I learned a lot at the beginning of my career, and then slowly, my academic research was going toward the XR industry.”
Giovanna then did a master’s in augmented reality for museums and art galleries. She started to work on AR/VR projects worldwide through consultation and management while later taking a Ph.D. in heritage and open source technologies, studying crypto anarchy and decentralization.
She explained that by coincidence, her studies led her to get a job at Decentraland and how it was the perfect fit:
“I worked for a VR studio in Finland as a lead producer. Then I was invited to talk with somebody from the Decentraland. It was the perfect place to merge my academic expertise with my professional expertise.”
Wanting to know more about Metaverse academia, I asked Giovanna about the skepticism surrounding web3 within academic circles. She explained that although there was some skepticism at the time of her study, academics at the time were starting to lay the foundation for metaverse study:
“So I think that they were not necessarily writing about what web 3 would be. But they were setting the rules for it and what it was not going to be. And I think you find a lot of this in academic research people are not defining but rather setting up the base for us to do things.”
Getting lost in the minutiae of academic research and spirited by my own educational background in political science, we continued to discuss the political elements behind Web3. With the power of DAO and the decentralized nature of Decentraland, Giovanna explained how the platform is very much like the ancient Greece of old, from a democratic stance due to offering a new platform for decentralized discussion:
“So if you go back to the Greeks, people would be able to go and speak their minds and convey their ideas in a collective social space. I feel Decentraland is like that, like the origins of what exercising politics were”
And offers a new way to talk about ideas:
“Because of the DAO, decisions about how the platform will shape all the world’s rules are decided by everybody. And there’s this freedom that anyone can publish a proposal. You don’t necessarily need to hold assets or vote, you can propose something, and the community will vote. So this forum is more like a communal debate. So I think it is a new way to talk about politics.”
At Decentraland, Giovanna was the head of the Decentraland fashion week, a week-long fashion experience based in the virtual world of Decentraland. The show featured some of the biggest names in fashion and some of the smallest due to the minimization of cost:
“There were some costs, but we tried to minimize the costs for the independent development of brands. We had two main districts, one for luxury and one for new designers and digital-only”.
Likewise, getting brands interested and engaged was rather organic:“It was not so difficult to be contacted by the brands or contact the brands. It started happening organically with us.”
But it wasn’t without its challenges:
“I think what was challenging over the process was to make sure that the deadlines were respected, because many brands have their internal processes, they cannot just make a decision and say, oh, we’re doing it.”
From a more holistic approach, Giovanna explained the goal for these virtual style events:
“Our mission was to create an event that could sustain, and we do that all the time. We’re going to have that in year two, such as art week in July, pride month in June, and Fashion Week. So we put our team on big events and call on the community of creators to help us build and make things happen.”
“We have many small projects and dedicated projects for brands or communities specifically and major events coming such as pride month in June. This is going to be very special too and we have the art week in July and the music Metaverse festival coming in November. So those are the things we’ll be working on.”
You can find out more about Dr. Giovanna Graziosi Casimiro and the projects she is working on here: About – GGC (ggcasimiro.com)