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Dynamics of Design Collaboration: BIM Models as Intermediary Digital Objects

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Engineering and architectural design research has studied the uses of various kinds of artefacts and visual representations like sketches, drawings and design plans. The implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) creates a new constellation of instruments and calls for further reconceptualising of the collaborative design process. The paper presents analysis of BIM models as co-developed intermediary objects in the design. They function both as objects of joint problem solving and as a concrete but dynamic means for collaboration both virtually and in face-to-face meetings. We suggest that BIM models provide novel forms of ‘virtual materiality’: in design meetings BIM models provide a tangible means for designers’ collaboration. Versatile indexical use of 3D BIM models dominates discussion and problem solving in design meetings.


Paavola, Sami; Miettinen, Reijo (2019): Dynamics of Design Collaboration: BIM Models as Intermediary Digital Objects. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 28. DOI: 10.1007/s10606-018-9306-4. Springer. PISSN: 1573-7551. pp. 44927