Neue Publikation: Building a better world? Competing promises, visions, and imaginaries-in-the-making of the digitalization of architecture and construction.

7. November 2023

Neue Publikation von Kathrin Braun und Cordula Kropp in der Futures, Vol. 154, December 2023, 103262.


The building sector is responsible for a huge share of global greenhouse gas emissions and waste production, is unable to meet the growing demand for housing and struggles with skills shortages. However, the digital transformation of architecture and construction promises new solutions for the sector's most urgent challenges. In this article, we use a discourse analytical approach to map the landscape of imaginaries in the making regarding the sociodigital future of construction in Germany. Examining a broad range of documents by professional associations, consulting firms, industry and business actors, governments, international organizations and other stakeholders, we have identified four main competing visions: industrialized automated construction that promises increased productivity, efficiency and competitiveness; data-based integration that promises partnership and collaboration; digitally enabled, singularized architecture, where the logic of the unique is given precedence over the logic of the generic; and sustainable construction, where computerbased-technologies ensure the reduction of waste, emissions and consumption of resources. Examining these competing visions and the claims they are making on the present allows us to open up a space for negotiating conflicting objectives and asses the potentials and limitations of the new sociodigital possibilities more reflexively.

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