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2020: The year that the Spacemaker platform flourished

Team
December 17, 2020


2020 has presented its fair share of challenges to us all - and perhaps more than ever we need to take time to reflect - both personally and professionally. To celebrate the challenges we overcame, while learning from the ones we didn’t. To remember the enjoyable moments and who we enjoyed them with. To recognise those difficult times and who was there to support us when we needed it. 

As part of my own period of reflection there are many things to focus on. At a professional level, most obviously, our recent acquisition by Autodesk comes top of  mind. It's certainly one of the greatest highlights of the year. I could not be more humbled to be working with a team that brought an idea to life and turned it into a successful product within a mere four years.

This big-ticket success deserves a bit of a closer look.  I recently reviewed our list of updates we released to the Spacemaker platform this year, and it is nothing short of impressive just how many there are. It’s difficult to spotlight any particular update - they are all highlights for very different reasons, and they are all the result of someone’s hard work. So instead of focusing on what was most important, I asked our team what they were most proud of. Below are a few of the answers I received.


Note: I’ve included an (almost) exhaustive list of all the improvements we’ve made to the platform in 2020, at the bottom of this blog. It’s worth a look!


Our favourite new features of 2020

Parking

Espen Kristian Wulff Wold - Data Scientist and Product Manager

“Carl stated that he would dress up as Santa Claus for the company meeting if we could produce a working prototype”

“The parking feature, released early this year, had a somewhat irregular origin: the 2019 Christmas party! There had been talk about the need to support parking for a while, but none of the product squads had gotten around to start working on the problem. In the late hours of the night, in a stroke of motivational genius, Carl stated that he would dress up as Santa Claus for the year's final company meeting if we could produce a working prototype. In one week the team threw together something that - while being far from a finished feature - actually contained the core logic of the parking feature we have today! True to his word, Carl showed up to the meeting in a full Santa suit and handed out chocolates!”


Explore

Klara Vatn - Head of Design

“2020 was the year where we finally cut up our AI into smaller, more digestible, sizes. Users are now able to utilise and interact with our AI and more easily understand the outcomes. The launch of Explore gave AI a more supportive role within our user’s workflow, as opposed to tending to to overtake them.”

Apartments

Arne Magnus Bassoe-Eriksen - Customer Success Manager & Architect

“It was one thing to produce static apartments, but this was a whole different ball game.”

“It was a true pleasure working together with many different disciplines within the company to release the floor plan tool! It was one thing to produce static apartments, but this was a whole different ball game. We needed to find a way to create adaptive floor plans that can be automated, hand picked, or changed. Furthermore, we needed to develop a way for the user to specify a certain mix of apartment layouts… it was a large task, but we managed it!”


Geometric constraints

Marie-Lahya Simon - Customer Success Manager & Architect

“It was very exciting to develop the geometric constraint feature. It started as a response to a very specific need for one market and ended up being a game changing feature for all of our customers. Every country has their own urban constraints and they are always very difficult to assess, so allowing some flexibility while still answering the user's needs was the most interesting part.”


Product-led support

Nikolai Bratsberg - Data Scientist

“If you have used our chat function recently, you may have noticed a few new faces. After a lot of preparation and hard work, our Product team recently started staffing our chat and help functions, giving you a direct communication line with the experts who built the software. This way, we hope you will get the help you need faster. This is a recent change, but one I’m proud of because it involves the enthusiasm of so many people. We’re still improving, so please don't hold back if you have any feedback!”

Looking back with pride

So, what am I proud of? I have a simple answer: I’m proud that everyone at Spacemaker takes so much pride in their work. There’s not a single person at the company who works at Spacemaker just because “it’s a job.” Everyone is full of amazing ideas, and believes in our mission of building better cities. As one of the founders, it’s humbling to see so many people so invested in something I’ve conceptualised.


The fact that we’ve met such a challenging year head-on shows how much drive we all have. The Spacemaker platform has grown phenomenally over the past 12 months, and there’s no signs that this will slow down. Almost every single day I get a message on Slack regarding a new feature or improvement. I know that 2021 will see some incredibly exciting things come to the platform - and I can’t wait to talk about them more…!


Ranked from newest to oldest, here are the updates we made to the Spacemaker platform in 2020. We...

  • Introduced a version history
  • Created a way to manage sun dates in project settings 
  • Added wind analysis settings at a project level
  • View your imported model in Analyze
  • Introduced multi-user visibility 
  • Added noise analysis settings at a project level
  • Create the ability to copy your proposal to a scenario
  • Said goodbye to filler volumes
  • Added control of elevation and height for scenario objects
  • Added a new definition of ground floor in daylight
  • Introduced more flexibility with apartment layouts
  • Launched the profile page
  • Added the ability to copy proposal to assets
  • Launched a sun and noise on ground update
  • Created a new way to design under constraints
  • Created ability to view assets in Analyze
  • Enabled a way to export with local coordinates
  • Created a new move tool in Modify
  • Improved the building coverage calculation
  • Launched the ability to create and manage custom function tags
  • Introduced shape tools in new setup
  • Updated view distance analysis
  • Introduced high resolution screenshots
  • Added the ability to select what to import
  • Launched a series of parking updates
  • Introduced simpler geometry import
  • Launched wind analysis
  • Launched Height studies in Explore
  • Created a way to export comparisons to PowerPoint
  • Added function filtering in Analyze
  • Improved assets management
  • Launched a beta version of new setup
  • Created a way to export stats to Excel
  • Introduced a new way of generation proposals
  • Launched Parking in Sketch
  • Introduced the evening sun time interval
  • Added a graph for sunlit outdoor area
  • Added inclination of roads and rails
  • Introduced obstruction angle optimization
  • Added the ability to have commercial areas in residential projects
  • Redesigned the project page
  • Launched Scenarios - consider multiple future situations at once
  • Launched the ability to have polygon edited buildings
  • Added settings for maximum view distance 
  • Updated navigation and setup 
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