I am down to give a talk at a conference with the theme “Open BIM & industry 4.0 “  As usual I have my own take on these topics.

Let’s start with BIM. There is a sense in which this term repeats the same word three times. To model is to shape, to give form. To inform is to shape ideas, to build a picture in our minds. And building is also a process of forming. You could almost translate BIM as “Form Information Forming”

I first realised this while questioning the pedants who wanted to ban the term “BIM model” Language is supremely malleable. It is constantly “shape-shifting” even as we use it. It turns out that “BIM” is distilled from 3 words that probably originate in one of our earliest trades: pottery. The act of shaping clay with our bare hands became a rich source of metaphor.

A Potter takes a shapeless lump and transforms it into an object with beauty and purpose. The Hand-Eye-Brain feedback loop operating for thousands of hours during the…

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