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Architect, Virtual World Native Bjarke Liboriussen and Ursula Plesner

Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School/“VW Sense-making and


and other Technicities in Current, Architectural Use of Virtual Worlds Innovation”, research project funded by the Danish Strategic Research Council

The implementation of 3D-modelling into the


design of architecture changed the
Interviews Interviewees
relationships between it’s primary actors Our work is empirically based in eight
(architects, clients, engineers, contractors, interviews (and counting). Six of the
etc.) profoundly. Since the software and interviewees have been trained as
hardware for 3D-modelling is still architects, two of them as industrial
undergoing tremendous developments, no designers, all are involved in the use of 3D-
stabilisation of those relationships are in modelling in architectural work, understood
sight. In order to carry out their work, broadly to include large-scale spatial design David Denton (architect, AIA) used “Second Life” as a Jacob Østergaard (architect, MAA) pioneers Bo Boje Larsen (architect, MAA)’s firm, 3XN, Bengt Kalderén (architect) consults on the
design and presentation tool for a mall to be built in RealSite, “platform for the future for city planning, employs advanced 3D-modelling in architectural implementation of Building Information Modelling
actors rely on temporary configurations of (e.g., memorials and exhibitions). Cairo construction and maintenance” design (BIM)

the socio-technical networks they are part Issues of IT tastes and skills occurred
of. across the interviews. Our interviewees
frequently bundled IT tastes and skills
ANT together and assigned them to model
subjectivities. To stress the crucial role
Technological change is a product of
played by ICTs, the concept of technicity was
interaction between a large number of
chosen to denote those subjectivities. Bob Ketner (industrial designer) and the Tech Virtual O. Liam Wright (industrial designer, thick “Second Tsu-Yu Chen (MA in architecture) developed H-town Bern Bötzel (architect) teamed up with, Anshe Chung
heterogeneous actors (Callon, 1991); human promotes collaborative exhibition design using Life” portfolio,) uses OpenSim to design and present in an OpenSim for Hometta (who connects private Studios to promote Bethanienturm, a development
“Second Life” proposals for a memorial project clients with architects) project in Berlin, in “Second Life”
actors, technical elements, discourses, etc. Technicities impact technological change.

Technicity Digital morphogenesis


Motivated by its firm anti-essentialist stance, Some of the technicities we have outlined to
ANT traditionally avoids zooming in on the right are interwoven with discourses Chinese
individuals. However, issues of taste and skill such as architectural theory. Here, the •Client: Foreign taste (experience over imagination)
are crucial in the ongoing configuration of “digital morphogensis” paradigm aims at •Worker: Skills for routine jobs
ICTs in architectural work. To address these changing architecture’s focus away from its
issues the subjectivity of individuals must be finalised, built form and towards underlying
drawn into the analysis. Jon Dovey and processes. The “bottom-up” technicity Client Gamer
Helen W. Kennedy offer the term technicity entailed in digital morphogenesis (the •Lack of spatial imagination •Fun over function
to encapsulate, in conceptual terms, architect’s fascination with digital
the connections between an identity technology and willingness to delegate some Architect
based on certain types of attitudes, of his or her power over the design process Engineer •Superior spatial imagination Virtual world native
practices, preferences and so on to unpredictable simulations) resonates with •Inherently cultural craft •Affinity for ICTs
ideals of architectural design as a •Lack of spatial imagination
and the importance of technology •Free, abstract thought •Affinity for avatars
collaborative process open to end-users. •Inherently technical craft
as a critical aspect of the •Function over aesthetics
construction of that identity. To be
subjects within the privileged twenty- Social media virtuoso
first-century first world is to be •Share, link, co-create
increasingly caught up in a network Digital morphogenesis
of technically and mechanically
mediated relationships with others •Digital simulation (of processes occurring in nature)
References •“Form-finding over form-making
who share, to varying degrees, the Callon, Michel (1991), 'Techno-Economic Networks and Irreversibility', in Law,
same attitudes/tastes, pleasures John (ed.), A Sociology of Monsters: Essays on Power, Technology and •Bottom-up over top-down processes
and preferences (Dovey and Kennedy, 2006: 17).
Domination (Sociological Review, London: Routledge),
Dovey, Jon and Helen W. Kennedy (2006), Game Cultures: Computer Games as
•Formation over form” [Leach 2009: 34]
New Media, (Maidenhead: Open University Press).
Leach, Neal (2009), 'Digital Morphogenesis', Architectural Design, 79 (1), 32-37.