Paper presented at the DADA 2017 International Conference on Digital Architecture at Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.


Abstract: The trusted exchange of data lies at the heart of many processes in the fourth industrial revolution. Blockchain technology, or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), promises to ensure that data is secure, decentralized and immutable. In the financial, insurance and logistic sectors blockchain technology is treated as the next big disruptive force. A restructuring of services, resources and channels of distribution is already visible. This paper explores how the architecture, engineering and construction industry could profit from the application of blockchain technology and in how far the vision drawn for the digitalization of the industry is paving the way for their future applications.

The scope of analysis are policy papers on topics of digitalization from China and leading European nations. The aim is to identify benefits and risks of the digitalization process and highlight drivers and obstacles in the application of new tools, specifically blockchain technology, for facilitating project organization and transparency during architecture design and construction stages that will lead to better performance and quality of buildings and cities.

Keywords: blockchain technology; digital information exchange; sectoral transformation

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 Impressions from the conference:

DADA 2017 showcases how digital technology is about to enter all aspects of architecture research, education and practice. Connecting design with structural calculation, designing at a 1:1 scale in virtual reality spaces, using digital models for pre-occupancy studies and evaluations of communication patterns in early design stages of project using BIM were among those that most intrigued me. With funded research in place and many prototypes almost ready to use, the conference also addressed the cultural shift necessary for a sincere implementation of digital possibilities in everyday architecture practice. Speakers from the industry have highlighted that a new type of education and new types of professions in architecture who operate, shape and further develop digital tools will be necessary to lead the transition until all members of the industry will have acquired digital literacy. The wealth of digital tools available or soon-to-be available further raises the question in which scenarios their application is useful. Where can they reduce complexity, increase speed and promote building quality, as opposed to being applied because they exist. The discussions kept coming back to the basic questions of what kind of building we want to live in and how we want to work as architecture professionals with our clients, with project partners and what kind of buildings we want to construct for future generations to use and how this will shape the industry.

Proceedings of “Digital Culture” can be ordered here

English invitation  to “Digital Culture” by the organizers:

Chinese version here:

The DADA 2017 International Conference on Digital Architecture organized by the Digital Architecture Design Association in China, and the 2017 International Conference on Digital Technologies in Architectural Education and Research organized by the Education Committee of Digital Technologies in Architecture of the National Committee for Architecture Disciplines in Higher Educational Institutions will be held from September 9 to 10, 2017 at Nanjing University, Nanjing, China. The theme of the conference is “Digital Culture”. The whole event will include forums, exhibitions and workshops. Teachers and students, architects and industrial practitioners are welcome to attend.

Digital culture: in the past 20 years, with the rapid development of digital technologies, humanity has ushered in an unprecedented new digital era. The influx of digital tools into the society has changed the way people live, and what followed are the great changes of people’s consciousness including cultural attitudes. The development of digital technologies has a strong impact on the architectural culture, provides new solutions for the form, performance, construction and other aspects of architecture, and further expands the extension of architectural culture. At the same time, the digital design, taking relevant software and hardware as tools, and using algorithm and logic as the language, gradually forms a unique digital architectural culture. The theme of this conference is “Digital Culture”. Domestic and foreign experts, scholars and industrial practitioners are welcome to come to discuss the development and transformation that digital culture brings to the paradigm of architectural design, as well as the opportunities and challenges that digital culture brings to architectural education and industry.