Phygital design. Mastering your Brain. IED Barcelona BIG Architecture


07 May 2024

German Otto, Design Technology Manager at BIG Barcelona, spoke about the relationship between technology and design in the design process in the third edition of the “Mastering your brain” series

Visualisation, simulation, information and manufacturing tools are making it possible to imagine and visualise spaces in a way never seen before. What opportunities, challenges and dangers might these technologies imply for the design process of the future? The talk “Phygital Design. Design Technology in Practice: From digital spaces to physical experiencesby German Otto, Design Technology Manager at BIG Barcelona, provided a range of responses to these questions.

Drawing on his personal experience at BIG Architects, first, Otto highlighted the importance of understanding how the new digital dimension in physical spaces should help to better understand and enrich them. “Technology must always follow the narrative of each space and be at the service of the designer. We don’t want these tools to dictate to us how we should work”, he emphasised.

Thus, he recalled the importance of not getting lost in the avalanche of digital innovations and putting the focus of the project back on the needs of people and their experiences in these environments. And then, following this, make use of the technologies that make it possible to convert these spaces into a reality adapted to the objectives identified. “In this new hybrid scenario,” he stated, “it doesn’t make sense to construct static physical spaces; we want our projects to be dynamic and flexible so that it’s possible to incorporate all these technologies (AR, VR, IoT… and those yet to come) that we want to interact with within them.”

Without a doubt, one of the tools that is helping the most in designing these types of spaces is AI. “Pushing the boundaries of creativity by allowing you to explore, test, fail and start again safely, saving time and minimising margins of error like never before,” the expert explained. Further, this kind of technology makes the communication flow among departments more agile, by translating ideas into a universal language easily understandable for all: designers, engineers, architects… Once again, technology at the service of design.

Taking place in the Open Space facilites of Point One on 10 April, “Phygital Design. Design Technology in Practice: From digital spaces to physical experiences” was held within the framework of the “Mastering your Brain” series. On this occasion, in line with the launch of IED Barcelona’s Official Master's Degree in Spatial and Digital Environments Design.

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