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30UNDER30’s Petro Zghirin on pushing technological advancement

30UNDER30’s Petro Zghirin on pushing technological advancement


Australian Design Review (ADR) recently revealed the 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators of the Built World for 2023/2024. To celebrate, we are getting to know this exciting multidisciplinary cohort, the passions that drive their work and what makes them tick creatively.

Petro Zghirin is a 3D visualiser, animator and storyteller. He honed his skills in understanding the built environment and its impact on individuals and communities through studying architecture as well as within the adjacent fields of digital technology and design. 

Having successfully charted a transition from designing physical spaces to designing virtual spaces and harnessing the rapidly developing technologies of AI and VR, Zghirin has successfully leveraged his architectural insights to pioneer groundbreaking solutions that enrich individuals and communities. 

ADR: How did your love for architecture/the built environment originate and how does it relate to your current line of work?

PZ: My love for architecture began when I was a kid visiting Rome with my grandfather. Walking through Rome’s ancient streets, I sensed the souls of the people who built those incredible structures. It’s like this endless legacy that just fascinated me. 

You know, architects may come and go, but the architecture they create remains, leaving behind a timeless mark on the world. That experience really ignited my passion for architecture.

ADR: If you could work with any architect, designer, artist or other creative – living or dead – who would you work with and why?

PZ: If I could choose any creative genius to collaborate with, it would have to be a tie between Ye [Kanye West] and Michelangelo. Ye’s fearless creativity impresses me. And then there’s Michelangelo, the young game-changer who left an indelible mark on history with his unparalleled talent.

ADR: What does sustainability mean for you?

PZ: For me, sustainability is all about finding innovative ways to minimise our environmental impact while meeting the needs of the present and without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 

The idea of utilising 3D printing technology with soil materials from the very land where structures are built sounds incredibly promising and forward-thinking to me.

ADR: Is there a particular project that you’ve worked on that has been the highlight of your career so far?

PZ: One project that stands out for us [my collaborative partner Maryna Kuhai and I] is the development of Adam and the creation of Virtual Sanctuaries. Adam represents a groundbreaking leap in AI technology, revolutionising the way we interact with virtual environments and real estate sales. 

Virtual Sanctuaries, on the other hand, combines spirituality and technology to offer immersive and transcendent experiences for individuals worldwide. It’s been incredibly fulfilling to see how these innovations have the potential to reshape industries and positively impact people’s lives.

ADR: What drives your work and what do you hope to achieve in your career?

What drives my work is a passion for innovation and the desire to make a positive impact in the world. I am motivated by the opportunity to push boundaries, challenge norms and create solutions that truly make a difference. 

I hope to continue pushing the envelope of technological advancement, particularly in areas like virtual reality and artificial intelligence. 

My ultimate goal is to leave a lasting legacy of meaningful innovation that enhances people’s lives and transforms industries for the better.

ADR: How did it feel to make it into Australian Design Review’s 30UNDER30?

PZ: Making it into Australian Design Review’s 30UNDER30 was an incredibly surreal moment for me. I arrived in Australia a few years ago as a refugee from Ukraine. It’s beyond my wildest dreams to be recognised for the work I do on such a prestigious platform. 

I hope my story inspires others to chase their passions relentlessly, no matter the odds stacked against them.

Lead image: Zghirin (right) at the 30UNDER30 creativity retreat in Bali May 2024.

ADR’s 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators of the Built World stream is brought to you by major sponsor Neolith, alongside Miele, Interface and Tongue & Groove. The program is also supported by practice partners BVN, HDR Inc, SJB, Richard Stanisich, Williams Burton Leopardi, and Billard Leece Partnership. To find out more about the final 30, including their places of work and discipline areas, head to the 30UNDER30 page.


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