inspiring sustainable growth of cities and infrastructure

10th January 2016

Sociology…not just technology

Until recently the focus around BIM has increasingly been on software and technology. Overlooked is one key factor for which we – regardless of our position within the production chain – can do something about: People.

Emphasis on culture and “human factors such as personal initiative, mutual respect, trust, human nature, comfort with work processes, workflows, habit, identity, personality, authorship” – all need to underlie our transition towards a collaborative adoption of new digital technologies.

To quote Randy Deutsch: ”We as design professionals produce neither facilities nor documents, rather we enact change. In the design industry our key output hinges on the ability to inspire people to accept, adopt, drive, and sustain change as the driving force to realize tangible impact.”

Whilst in the past software re-sellers pushed BIM as a way to increase production, improve accuracy in construction documents, reduce the amount of site change orders, increased visualization, and performance simulation, we need to re-center this discussion around the challenge of implementing BIM, on “the social implications of digital technologies and associated work processes, on firm culture and workflows”.

Although anyone can load a single software license and rapidly become proficient in its technicalities. Successful implementation of BIM depends on sharing and collaboration. It is inherently a social endeavor of working together towards a common purpose. Given the amount of variables, there exists no single best way to implement BIM. Each situation requires subtle changes and refinements. Supporting this process of integration “we need to have good design” to set the parameters.

A suggestion would be that we leave the past behind but bear in mind that whilst technology “dominates the present, it is rooted in the past and tends towards the future”. I hope that you understand that technology is far “more than a method, it represents a historical movement” with the capacity to transcend into our built environment; an environment that has little or nothing to do with a “playground for children young or old” nor with the “invention of forms” but rather one that serves as the “battleground of the human spirit”.

My real hope it that people, technology and architecture crystallize into a true expression of one another in a place where “good design leads the way to create the built environment and our daily human experience”.
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