The Future of Architecture is Multi-Player

A couple of years ago, MVRDV pioneered a system to involve the residents of Hamburg in an urban rejuvenation plan. The Grasbrook Maker was envisioned as an interactive, multi-user platform to democratize design. Architects set up the design framework within which participants could place public buildings.

Collecting inputs from multiple stakeholders is fundamental to architecture. In fact, architecture is one of the most collaborative disciplines in the world. Every project, from a residence to an urban masterplan, involves a team of clients, architects, engineers, contractors, financiers, and many more.

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Courtesy of Snaptrude

Today, the need for collaboration in architecture goes far beyond coordinating construction drawings. We need tools that support cooperation at every stage of design. Furthermore, the move towards remote and hybrid work poses the need for a digital solution.

But how do you translate the simplicity of tabletop design reviews into a digital environment? Can remote communication be as effective as putting up ideas on a whiteboard? Or as seamless as if a colleague is sitting next to you?

The answer is a resounding yes

Design practices are increasingly looking to connect their teams better. Some firms have adopted multi-player tools from the world of app design to accelerate decision making. Of course, this falls short of discussions over an actual 3D model.

This is why Snaptrude built a multi-user, collaborative 3D design platform. Created with feedback from architectural teams across the globe, Snaptrude is centered on teams working together. 

On Snaptrude’s shared 3D canvas, you can simply point at something and ask your teammates for their thoughts. You can design and test options together on shared models. With intuitive tools, it feels like you’re discussing ideas across a table.

It essentially acts as a three-dimensional whiteboard with your model at the center. Think the Matrix meets the Metaverse! Draw a wall or change its material, and it is immediately reflected on your team’s screens. Then get instant feedback from colleagues with commenting tools. 

As one Snaptrude user puts it, “This is collaboration at a level we have never seen before.” 

“Bluebeam in 3D”

Early-stage design is iterative across multiple media - paper, digital tools, emails, and more. Snaptrude enables you to keep all your design information in one place. You can bring in 3D models from Revit, Rhino, or SketchUp, and even PDFs, AutoCAD drawings, sketches, and diagrams. 

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Courtesy of Snaptrude

Then share it just like Google Docs. Invite team members or clients with controlled access. Editors can make design changes while Viewers can navigate around the model, see project data and add comments. Larger organizations can even centrally manage models, templates, and libraries in shared workspaces.

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Courtesy of Snaptrude

In-model collaboration trumps file sharing

Tight deadlines, multi-disciplinary work, and remote location of team members have made it imperative to have an up-to-date single source of truth. A Snaptrude model is constantly updated with all the changes made by collaborators. Since no synchronization or file merge is required, the design changes of each stakeholder are immediately reflected on your screen.

For example, when an architect reduces a building’s footprint, the landscape designer immediately knows that the green area needs to be extended. Yet another team member may detail a unit plan, while the Project Head may want to review the latest area program and costs - all in the same model.

Get actionable feedback instantly

Focus design reviews using the Brainstorm tool. It broadcasts your Snaptrude screen, enabling your team to follow you through the model. Colored cursors identify team members in the session, acting like “digital index fingers” taking you through someone’s thought process. You can walk clients through your design, or add external consultants to quickly define project requirements.

Integrating feedback into the design environment expedites the design process. For example, when a client-facing project manager markups a model, the design team is immediately notified to take action. You can reply to comments, resolve them and track comment history, centralizing your team’s communication. 

Unified design environment for teams

Snaptrude empowers you to remove silos in the early stages of design. It supercharges design delivery by bringing your team together. Centralized data, real-time model updates, comments, and brainstorming tools streamline communication. With Snaptrude, architects can, for the first time ever, design simultaneously on the same model, on the web. 

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Courtesy of Snaptrude

Snaptrude is free to try! Sign up or book a demo to learn how Snaptrude can help your team design better together.

Cite: "The Future of Architecture is Multi-Player" 20 Apr 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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