Before Stabilization: Communication and Non-Standardization of 3D Models in the Building Industry

Ursula Plesner, Maja Horst

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Developments within 3D digital modelling are often heralded as a much needed solution to problems of information loss and communication difficulties within the building industry. Despite the abundance of technical possibilities for innovation, however, there is currently no standardized, widely used digital model that solves these problems. Rather, actors in the building industry are assembling technological and other elements in various ways, trying to configure a stable innovation. This article sets out to describe the innovation communication involved in different emerging assemblages by focusing on the articulation of different expectations to their promises. We identify three different sets of expectations, namely visions related to building information modelling, Virtual Worlds and interactive simulation platforms. The aim of the paper is to demonstrate how visions are a crucial part of the communication about innovations in information and communication technology (ICT), and to contribute to an understanding of how different visions promise particular future configurations of workflows, communication processes, politics, economic models and social relations. Hereby, the paper adds to the literature on the relationship between ICTs and organizing, but with a distinct focus on innovation communication and distributed innovation processes taking place before ICTs are stabilized, issues which cannot be captured by studies of diffusion and adaptation of new ICTs within single organizations.
TidsskriftInformation, Communication & Society
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)1115-1138
Antal sider24
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2013


  • Expectations
  • ICT
  • Innovation
  • Innovation communication
  • Non-standardization