CORE studio is very excited to announce a new project that we’ve been working on over the past few months. It’s our latest stab at a dream we’ve been chasing for years now in a series of projects – Remote Solving, Platypus, Asterisk, Resthopper:
Discover powerful design tools for your workflow,
skip the learning curve.
Swarm is an app store for the design community. It connects Designers who need tools with the Superusers who are building them. Swarm allows design teams to discover and share solutions that empower creatives to do their best work.
In the AEC industry, the vast majority of Grasshopper definitions is produced by the minority of Rhino users – the Superusers – who typically find it difficult to share the tools they build with their colleagues. CORE studio is developing Swarm to bridge the gap between the growing demand for bespoke parametric solutions and the limited access to the experts who can develop them.
Swarm brings the power of parametric design to a much broader audience of everyday users. On the one hand, it provides a market for computational designers to share their Grasshopper definitions as self-contained Swarm Apps that run on the cloud. On the other hand, a family of Swarm Plugins makes those Apps available within a wide range of platforms (we’re currently prototyping plugins for Revit, Illustrator, Grasshopper, and a stand-alone web client) outside of the Rhino ecosystem.
Each Swarm App presents a user-friendly UI that hides the daunting complexities of the script’s inner workings behind a simple set of interactive widgets. Apps are available in the Swarm Marketplace, where designers from a variety of professional fields can both discover and publish solutions for their specific needs.
In addition to the marketplace and the desktop plugins, Swarm exposes an API that allows software developers to call into Swarm App endpoints from other desktop or web applications. CORE studio is using the Swarm API as a development platform to help accelerate application prototyping and development for Thornton Tomasetti and our other clients (Konstru, Asterisk, and a number of other internal tools are all-consuming the Swarm API in various ways), and is actively seeking opportunities to partner with teams who can utilize Swarm’s ability to iteratively deploy and maintain scalable computational design microservices.
Swarm is currently being alpha tested in CORE studio and Thornton Tomasetti, and by a handful of testers outside of TT. CORE studio has been collaborating with computational designers in multiple design industries – architecture, engineering, apparel, footwear, automotive – and superusers in AEC firms to inform the development process, and will continue to do so in pursuit of some still-open questions through the fall (mostly about the monies … we’re serious about the payment side of this project, but not quite ready to accept credit cards from users and issue payments to app developers).
We’re going to open up access to the alpha incrementally over the next couple of months, and are actively seeking partners who are interested in testing Swarm in a corporate environment. Please contact us! if you’d like to try the alpha once we open it up, or if you’d like to try Swarm in your offices.
And of course, stay tuned for more details! We’ve been dutifully keeping this work quiet for months now, despite all of our enthusiasm about the idea. Now that the gist is out there, we’ll do our best to flesh it out with more content over the next few weeks.