SpaceForm is a unique virtual workspace for architects, hosted in the cloud, that immerses teams in 3D projects across VR, desktop and mobile, for presentations and collaborative design reviews. It’s a new and more sustainable way to engage, collaborate and present remotely. SpaceForm was started by creative agency Squint/Opera, helping communicate complex architectural projects to colleagues, clients and partners in a better, clearer way. In the last year, we have used the latest technology to build a standalone collaborative platform for presenting design and data to audiences anywhere.
We’ve bought a gaming technology stack, very similar to Fortnite and applied it to the world of architecture and design. The use of immersive, real time gaming technology in the built environment is exciting as it opens up new ways to explore and engage with the unbuilt world. Real time environments allow people to feel what a space might be like, when you can explore that space with your team and clients, together, on any platform - this is a game changer. SpaceForm allows for smarter, more sustainable designs, and better decision making along the way.
We all know that since March last year, business travel has been severely disrupted. This has had a major impact on the architecture and design world where communicating large scale, complex projects is nearly impossible over Zoom. SpaceForm has helped to fill this gap for our clients, they can now take a 3D model and build a presentation around it - then invite their colleagues and customers to experience it together. Looking forward, it can help global teams present and design more effectively remotely, reducing the need for travel.
We believe that the recent shift in remote working and right platforms will converge to reduce the need for so much business travel, we want to drive that shift. Other use cases include sharing any 3D files: film, animation, automotive or even just having a more fun team catch-up session with whiteboards.
Industries beyond design that this platform can be used for, include: Museums, Interior Design, Film, Animation, Game Design - anywhere that 3D assets are built and need reviewing and/or presenting. As we’ve built SF to now work in a web browser, it democritises the technology and opens it up for a whole new audience, not just professionals. For example: public design consultation, the museum without walls, international collaboration etc. Our first two partners and case studies for SF, have included global organisations and projects. The platform supported their need to communicate with international teams, remotely.
SpaceForm originally received an Innovate Grant in 2018 to build a proof of concept and it has most recently won Megagrant funding from Epic games. UNStudio and BIG Architects have invested in the platform and plan to roll it out across many of their international projects. We have built three commercial projects in the last 12 months and have another 5-6 international projects in the pipeline. At the end of this year, we are releasing a private Beta to the wider industry over the next few months building up to a full beta.
Started by S/O in 2017 as a way to engage clients in large media design projects, one of the first uses of it was as a review tool for our media work in The Empire State Building experience. After some initial resistance by the client, once they started to see the benefits they only wanted to use the platform to review and approve designs. The two main categories of use case are external, as a way to tell interactive stories about future spaces, or internal, as a design review/collaboration platform. Today it’s still very much used in the design capacity by architects, but also as a public consultation and even later during the marketing process.
Every step we take is aimed at making SF easier and simpler to use. Our aim is to become the best way the design industry shares ideas. As a platform it has some much potential in other areas, either creative industries, as a general meeting tool for remote teams or even some specialist use cases like medical or in the automotive design world. Whenever people need to share 3D information or just meet together in an immersive space, SF could fill that need.
We see this as a massive step towards wider public recognition, validation of the concept and showcasing the business to outside investors. We would be excited and honoured to be part of the 100 Ones to watch 2021