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BIM-New World – Swiss Art Awards 2019

Building. Information. Modeling. Collaboration between architects and the construction industry once occured in rather ordinary office environments. Engineers, construction managers and tradespeople would all look at printed architectural drawings while sipping coffee at their desk. As they began to translate the two-dimensional instructions into three-dimensions, they would inevitably begin to freak out and then pick up the telephone and proceed to scream at the architect for seven or eight minutes.

Now, it is a bit different. Well kind of… everyone still yells and there are still physical bodies plopped down in the same shitty office chairs, but we are no longer ‘present’ within the same everyday office interior. Instead, hundreds of thousands of architects, engineers, plumbers, floor tile specialists, et. al. all around the world are now flying, zooming and orbiting—coordinating and complaining—within a radically different interior, the radiant world of BIM.

This model initiates a research project that examines the qualitative properties and psychosensory effects of the virtual environments in which architects and other industry professionals now inhabit for 8-12 hours every day. In this project, we understand BIM less as a managerial tool or a means to an end and more of a reality, an interior… a rich, sensual space. While we are busy BIM-ing away and shaping our buildings, is BIM busy shaping us?

In an effort to reveal BIM’s sensual, subjective and surreal character, BIM is directly translated into reality. We construct a contemporary, inhabitable version of François Dallegret’s illustration. In the move from screen to space, we switch off the architectural layers (walls, floors, doors), thereby preserving BIM’s most obvious and apparent qualities: wild polychromy, infinite perspectives, HVAC monsters, 3D orbit, plastic forms, cartoon shaders and continuously shifting scales all conspire to create an eerie, glowing atmosphere.

Can we reclaim (building) management from managerialism? We are not entirely sure, but it seems we should give it a try. In this BIM new world, it may be necessary to begin to recalibrate how we see and understand BIM. Rather than celebrating or cursing BIM as a technocratic instrument of a new managerial order, we can perhaps begin to complicate its identity and reassess our relationship to it by beginning to look at BIM as the incredibly weird, clumsy and even funny apparatus that it is at heart.

Status Competition
Location Basel, Switzerland
Year 2019
Type Exhibition
Team Bosshard & Tavor & vander Ploeg