A critical inquiry into the hyperreality of digitalization in construction

Boyd, David (2021) A critical inquiry into the hyperreality of digitalization in construction. Construction Management and Economics. ISSN 1466-433X

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The built environment is literally and metaphorically concrete but its creation from conception through design and construction involves many levels of abstraction. This spectrum of activities between concrete and abstract is complex and unexplored in construction but it will be shown that a deep understanding of this is required to make successful buildings in a modern age of digitalization. Abstraction is the simplification of an entity with a degree of generalization of purpose and causality but also used to promote the idealization of the entity. When abstractions are believed to be real then there are conditions of hyperreality. This article unpacks the nature of abstraction in the creation of the built environment through three vignettes of practice; considering: drawings, project planning and building modelling. Abstraction has been key to making buildings but is growing in significance because of building information modelling. The themes of loss of meaning, loss of control and loss of perspective are used to show that digitalization involves creating a dangerous illusion of the connection between data and reality thus creating a problematic hyperreality. This can be avoided by stronger thinking, more openness about abstractions and less exaggeration of their performance.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref journal articles via Jisc Publications Router ** History: epub 07-06-2021; issued 07-06-2021.
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/01446193.2021.1904515
14 March 2021Accepted
7 June 2021Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Management Information Systems, Building and Construction
Subjects: CAH13 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01-02 - building
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
SWORD Depositor: JISC PubRouter
Depositing User: David Boyd
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2021 08:50
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2022 03:00
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11781

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