Welcome to Data Driven Design and Construction

DIKW222Over the next year I will be writing a book, Data-Driven Design and Construction, to be published by John Wiley and Sons in 2015.

The same folks who published my last book, BIM and Integrated Design, back in 2011.

Since that book focused on information (the “I” in BIM), and this one on data, by this time next year I will have worked my way halfway up the DIKW pyramid. Albeit not in order.

I look forward to reaching the pinnacle by addressing the topics of knowledge and wisdom in design and construction in my tenured old age. But that’s for another blog.

This blog is for those who would like to join me in my current data-driven exploration of this still nascent field: mining, applying and analyzing data to improve architectural design and construction. And indirectly, in doing so, the world.

This blog makes some assumptions.

  • That data – and especially meta- or big data – while hot topics today, will remain so.
  • That to maintain or reclaim their roles as leaders, architects, contractors and others in the AEC industry need to account for data derived from digital models, and also be able to gather, navigate and communicate the derived information while working collaboratively on integrated teams throughout the design and construction cycle.
  • That design and construction are the last profession and industry to address these challenges – and are only beginning to do so now.

This blog will also ask and explore a lot of questions, some of which are:

  • How do we, as a discipline, capitalize on data and metadata to drive innovation in architecture and construction, just as other disciplines and industries have?
  • What forces and technologies are coming together in the second decade of the millennium that make the gathering and use of data possible for industry practitioners for firms both small and large?
  • Why is the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry the last to discover – and utilize – data, for their benefit?
  • In what ways can design and construction professionals and owners benefit from capturing, collecting and using data in their building models?
  • What implications does the DIKW hierarchy have for presenting findings to owners and others who may not be as data savvy?
  • What is the business case for implementing a data transformation within one’s organization?
  • How is data currently being used in the AEC industry?
  • Can building data be crunched into a form that can be analyzed by non-experts? Or will architects and other design and construction professionals need to adapt to working with, even alongside, data scientists and analytics experts?
  • Is there a precedent for this situation, perhaps in another industry, that architects can learn from would do well to model and emulate?

If you would like try to take a stab at any of these, or know someone who might, I’d like to hear from you. By leaving a comment below, sharing a link – or by reaching out via email: rdeutsch@illinois.edu

Thanks for visiting the D3 blog. I look forward to taking this journey with you!


Randall Deutsch AIA, LEED AP

Associate Professor

School of Architecture

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign