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BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group & UNStudio invest in SpaceForm, Squint/Opera's virtual workspace for architects

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. The latest iteration of SpaceForm has helped to fill this gap. Looking forward, it can help global teams present and design more effectively remotely, reducing the need for travel.

UNStudio and BIG have partnered with the SpaceForm’s developer, Squint/Opera, to grow the platform, which is hosted in the cloud and builds on over 30 years of project collaboration experience from these three companies.

UNStudio’s Founder and Principal Architect Ben van Berkel said: “SpaceForm provides a platform for story-telling and the ability for design teams to turn a project into an interactive narrative experience. Stakeholders can discover their own journey throughout a project while helping make key decisions.”

Among its innovative features, the platform will simulate immersive, 3D environments in real-time for collaborative reviews and presentations with key stakeholders, and seamlessly connect other visualisation software such as Rhino 3D, Rivet, Sketchup and Unreal to allow easy data sharing. It will also allow you to visualise digital twin and urban data for better decision making and design choices, and immerse virtual audiences in architectural designs on any device.

As Bjarke Ingels, BIG's Founder and Creative Director, described it: "SpaceForm is the augmented creative collaborative environment of the future which will allow an instantaneous confluence of actual and imagined realities."

Jan Heuff, Squint/Opera’s Director and SpaceForm’s CEO called the platform “a game-changer." He explained that, “we used 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."

The first prototype of SpaceForm was built in 2018, and it has since been developed further with the help of the Epic MegaGrant and feedback from many architects and designers. The latest prototype was designed to help fill a gap that arose out of the pandemic, when it became clear that digital platforms were not optimised for communicating large scale, complex projects with multiple teams and stakeholders.

The new iteration is now a 3D multi-user platform for presenting architectural designs and digital twin data in real-time.

The beta version should be ready for download by the end of 2021.

See the press kit here.

Explore the SpaceForm website here.