sprucebox, a new online design tool
The race to try and bring good design to the masses has another worthy entrant: SpruceBox. This new, web-based visualization tool from architects Matthew Berman, Assoc. AIA, and Andrew Kotchen, Assoc. AIA, of workshop/apd allows consumers to envision what a kitchen or bath would look like with various product, color, and finish combinations. SpruceBox is available for kitchen and bath showrooms to install on their websites, and so far 87 showrooms (mostly in the New York metropolitan area) have signed up.
According to Berman, who co-founded SpruceBox along with Kotchen and software engineer Jay Orfield, SpruceBox's goal is simple. "It's about getting better design out to more people," he says. "Most people appreciate design. Most people can't afford to have somebody else do it for them." The company also includes partnerships with manufacturers, who provide information on their products as content for the site.
I tried out SpruceBox and found it very easy to use. Berman, Kotchen, Orfield, and their team spent a huge amount of time working to make the visuals beautiful and realistic, and it shows. The beta version is live; give it a try yourself and see what you think.--m.d.