Going Beyond BIM, Let’s Talk Big Data
I often struggle with the fact that all talk of technology in architecture and design practice is BIM centric, and focused purely on how we can increase productivity. The result is a response to the question that surrounds most commodity products, “How do we do it quicker, better and cheaper,” which in turn tends to commoditize the primary services we provide.
On a rare occasion, individuals look at how technology outside of the profession is having an impact on the profession. Written in April of this year by Daniel Davis, How Big Data is Transforming Architecture, is one of those articles.
Originally published in Architect Magazine on April 23, 2015, Davis argues that there are three ways in which data is changing architecture:
- Clients are demanding data from architects
- Clients are demanding data from buildings
- Data is changing the process as much as it changes outputs
While I do not disagree with any of the three major points of the article, I happen to think that a lot more could be said about how data can change, augment, or supplement the process in design firms.
Data is one of the biggest byproducts of the 21st century. Almost everything we do produces data, from swiping credit cards to emailing, “liking” photos on Facebook, and requesting directions in Google Maps. Meanwhile, an increasing number of gadgets in the built environment, such as thermostats and refrigerators, are bolstering the Internet of Things and relaying the data that they gather.