News - 1 July 2021

‘A Game-Changer’: UNStudio Invests in SpaceForm, Virtual Workspace for Architects

UNStudio and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have invested in SpaceForm, a virtual workspace developed by Squint/Opera that offers a new and more sustainable way to meet, collaborate and design remotely.

SpaceForm is a real-time, virtual meeting and presentation platform, which immerses architects, developers and designers in projects across any device.

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.”

He added: “SpaceForm is the first online platform that allows for immersive design reviews with clients.”

Jan Heuff, Squint/Opera’s Director and SpaceForm’s CEO called the platform “a game-changer”.

“We used a gaming technology stack, very similar to Fortnite, and applied it to the world of architecture and design,” he explained. “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.”

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.

Looking forward, it can help global teams present and design more effectively remotely, reducing the need for travel.

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."

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.

Read the full press release here.

Explore the SpaceForm website here.