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The Big BIM Theory – Why digitization will save architecture and the planet

Thu, Dec 5/19 – 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Médiathèque / Room 200

Peter Russell will give a lecture outlining a roadmap for digitisation in the construction industry and beyond. Taking the current state of digitization (BIM) as its departure point, the lecture will explore the consequences for digitisation in the face of climate change and other disruptive technologies.  He will also discuss the implications of artificial intelligence and synthetic biology in the design, assembly and use of buildings.

About Prof. Peter J. Russell
Dipl.-Ing. Architect, M.Arch. B.E.D.S.

Professor of Computation in Architecture - TU Delft 

Born in Canada, Peter studied engineering & architecture, completing his Master’s degree of Architecture at Dalhousie University. He subsequently worked in Switzerland and Germany and is a registered architect in Europe. His expertise in computers in the planning and construction process led to posts in Berlin and Karlsruhe and a professorship at the RWTH Aachen University. In his research, Peter focuses on building information modelling (BIM), ambient assisted living, interactive architecture & the extension of architectural pedagogy through blended-learning practices.

The issue of relevant pedagogy  has led to a series of student design-build projects where learning-by-doing has evolved into learning-by-building. Initial student projects to design “follies” for public events have grown in scope, resulting in the 2012 RWTH Aachen entry in the Solar Decathlon Europe in Madrid. The Counter-Entropy-House met self-imposed criteria for resource answerability in addition to the SDE competition criteria. His appointment as Observer within the organising committee of the SDE 2014 allowed Peter to garner best-practices from previous editions of the Solar Decathlon. Peter’s position as Professor of Computation in Architecture in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the TU Delft helps to strengthen the SDE Council of Experts where he is a Charter Member.

His passion for precision, answerability and courage are common threads in his professional and academic undertakings. By incorporating his pedigree in research and practice into education, Peter seeks to inspire and empower those accepting the responsibility for the built environment through initiatives such as the Solar Decathlon. The transposition of these tenets to steer policy on the built environment is Peter’s most welcome new challenge.


Image Credit: RWTH Aachen University’s “Counter Entropy House” entry in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 relied on recycled and re-used components to reduce its new materials to 15% of the house mass. Photo: Kai Kasugai.