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Beyond the computer: changing medium from digital to physical

Whyte, J. (2013) Beyond the computer: changing medium from digital to physical. Information and Organization, 23 (1). pp. 41-57. ISSN 1471-7727

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.infoandorg.2013.01.002

Abstract/Summary

How can organizations use digital infrastructure to realise physical outcomes? The design and construction of London Heathrow Terminal 5 is analysed to build new theoretical understanding of visualization and materialization practices in the transition from digital design to physical realisation. In the project studied, an integrated software solution is introduced as an infrastructure for delivery. The analyses articulate the work done to maintain this digital infrastructure and also to move designs beyond the closed world of the computer to a physical reality. In changing medium, engineers use heterogeneous trials to interrogate and address the limitations of an integrated digital model. The paper explains why such trials, which involve the reconciliation of digital and physical data through parallel and iterative forms of work, provide a robust practice for realizing goals that have physical outcomes. It argues that this practice is temporally different from, and at times in conflict with, building a comprehensive dataset within the digital medium. The paper concludes by discussing the implications for organizations that use digital infrastructures in seeking to accomplish goals in digital and physical media.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Digital Practices
ID Code:30827
Publisher:Elsevier

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