Think Wild, Think Free: BIM vs Creativity

With a tremendous rise in demand for algorithmic solutions, dwipbox talks about BIM, the architectural technology that has superpowered the conventional ways of design and execution of buildings.

Fig 1: Unleashing creativity

The creative potential of humans is the driving force behind their evolving civilization. The designing and planning enclosures of space is a form of art for human utilization. If creativity was to be taken out of architecture, we would find ourselves in raw forms of various disciplines like social science, history, operational analysis, math, etc. It would be equivalent to a body without a soul.

Historically, architecture and design have relied on visualizing the project based on sketches, physical model and drawings. However, over time, innovation has played an important role in the designing of services to meet the challenges of rapid change in development. During the 20th century, CAD developed into the mainstream software for designing architectural drawings and schedules; which can then be shared electronically for structural and service layouts. At present, this process is undertaken by a logical conclusion with the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM uses a 3 dimensional model of the structure with input from all disciplines to build a unified design of the project.

The prime benefit of BIM is its impact on productivity which in turn saves design time. The program also aids in transparency in the design process. In April 2016, the UK government passed a rule that requires any public-sector project to use the technology and document the process. With the use of BIM, designers can work better with respect to environmental planning in a building. According to the Royal Institute of British Architects’ National Building Specification, 39% of the people working in the construction sector believe that the program will help them reduce carbon emissions by 50%. It also identifies the potential difficulties in the project during the earlier stages of design which leads to efficiency in risk management.

But the question that arises in everybody’s mind – Can BIM stunt Creativity?

Quoting Hans-Martin Renn from Renn Architekten, “In the beginning there is vision. BIM does not change that. This vision needs to be filled and underpinned. Building products, technology, and demands placed on architects have all changed. The whole structure is new. It's great when you can see where the difficulties lie as early as the planning stage and not just on the construction site. BIM is a method that supports creativity – technologically.”

BIM might work against the heuristic that ends up in concept breakthrough and innovation. To avoid this, designers should still be educated and facile within the ability to govern all of the standards historically to sensible design and architecture.

With thoughtful designing and use of BIM, some projects have outsmarted the conventional projects:

The Nanjing International Youth Cultural Center in China is the first bottom-up tower construction in the country. Beginning at the street level and building upwards and downw