Morpholio 2.0

One year after its initial launch, Morpholio, the portfolio app and social platform all in one, releases an expanded update with seven tools to advance your design practice.

Portfolio

Upload your work and create your portfolio of work with images that the app organizes in a clean and modular grid. It also makes your projects instantly shareable with users in the Morpholio community.

Portfolio

An image from your virtual portfolio, with navigation and interactive options in the top left corner.

Portfolio

A Morpholio user’s portfolio page, with images denoting different projects, which other members can "follow."

Portfolio

An image from an architect’s project page.

EyeTime

Morpholio "EyeTime" records how much viewing time every image on a project page receives. The feature analyzes user behavior to give the designer immediate feedback. Here, an interior architect’s project draws eyeballs.

EyeTime

A fashion designer’s portfolio. Morpholio’s creators work with representatives of several design fields to build a "robust" app infrastructure that can accommodate all kinds of activity, from architectural to automotive design.

Crit

"Crit" does what your student instructor never could--concisely critique and accelerate the development of your project. In Crit, several colleagues can all make comments and sketches on multiple images at once.

Palettes

The "Palettes" mode gives users 17 color options to work with while in "Trace" that were developed in collaboration with several world-renowned graphic designers.

Palettes

A high-res image from a photographer’s project.

Trace

"Trace" represents a major feature for Morpholio. It overlays digital trace paper over an uploaded image file that can be marked up with sketches and doodles in several different colors.

Trace

"Trace" represents a major feature for Morpholio. It overlays digital trace paper over an uploaded image file that can be marked up with sketches and doodles in several different colors.

Trace

An automotive designer’s project sketch.

Trace

Sketching over a set of photographs, making notes on compositions and the photo arrangements.

Pinup

The "Pinup" feature is a virtual gallery where a user can pinup work for feedback and enable other users to follow projects.

Pinup

A project page, this one featuring a stool by an industrial designer.

Pinup

A project page featuring a graffiti artist’s work.

Printables

"Printables," the final new addition to Morpholio, exports print-ready images.

Mobile

Take Morpholio with you wherever you go on your iPhone or iPad. The developers are considering releasing an Android version of the app.

Morpholio 2.0

A Swiss Army knife of design tools: all seven new features Morpholio 2.0 offers users.

Co.Design

Morpholio 2.0: A Portfolio App With A Built-In Studio Crit

The Morpholio portfolio app relaunches with seven tools that promise to change the way you design.

Anyone who went to architecture or design school knows that studio is a mean but formative experience. We like to pretend we’re idea-shamans who work in a brilliant vacuum, but those so-called Aha! moments are nearly always forged in the company of colleagues. The best work nearly always emerges when you’re sitting there with others, chinking away at the problem and refining it over time. In other words: studio. Because in the end, everything is a draft. That’s why you bounce a promising idea off others for instant, unmediated feedback. That’s how ideas take shape.

A new(-ish) app aims to replicate studio culture on your iPad, minus the painfully long crit sessions and trails of presentation paper. Morpholio 2.0 condenses everything you remember from your old studio days (hopefully without the 4 a.m. sugar binges) and makes them portable for the first time.

Launched in late 2011 as an interactive portfolio app with a social media component built in, Morpholio was envisioned as both a tool and platform. Using it, architects anywhere in the world could upload and share their work, and, of course, critique one another’s designs. The Morpholio Project surfaced soon after, headed up by four architects—Anna Kenoff, Mark Collins, Jeff Kenoff, and Toru Hasegawa—who met at Columbia and forged a working partnership. They’ve now produced an entire suite of robust design apps that both practitioners and students will find useful.

The original app sported feedback via EyeTime—a time-based feature that mapped a user’s behavior to determine which image or project attracted the most glances. Morpholio Trace added drawing to the mix, so users could annotate and "trace" over projects in real time. Morpholio redux introduces five more tools to complete the studio experience. The new "Printables" operation is particularly handy: It exports any Morpholio project as print-ready files. "Palettes," with 17 interface options that each correspond to a different design subset—from interior design and fashion to automotive design and even body art—promises to broaden the platform’s reach and appeal far beyond the architectural community. That last point isn’t lost on the developers; as Morpholio co-creator Mark Collins tells Co. Design, in the last year the team has "collaborated with experts from various disciplines to build a robust design-centric infrastructure that is being used by everyone from photographers to tattoo artists."

One thing the cloud-powered app won’t do? Stifle the creative process through rigid functionalities or an overly fussy interface. "What studio culture does best is generate ideas, test them, and iterate them which requires a messy, non-linear process," Collins says. "Just like the way our brains work." Morpholio’s design taps into this "messiness," giving the designer an arsenal of flexible tools that aid in generating ideas. In "Crit" mode, for example, users can pull up several project images at once which colleagues can then freely adorn with comments and sketches. The feedback trail doesn’t stop there: In "Trace" doodles can be scrawled over a 3-D model and saved, while "Pinup" opens up individual projects and even whole portfolios to the opinions and scrutiny of the entire Morpholio commentariat.

The fact that Morpholio has already attracted more than 100,000 users speaks to the platform and app’s many virtues. Still, the team sees room for improvement. They plan to keep tinkering with the app as the project progresses. Expect continued updates, two more apps this summer, and, possibly, an Android version on the way. The goal? To lay the framework that designers can use to test their ideas and concepts in a social forum. "The app allows your work to exist outside of a vacuum," co-creater Anna Kenoff says. "Morpholio embeds critique in the design process, magnifying it through both convenience and availability, and we couldn’t think of a more powerful tool for creatives."

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