Technical mediation and digital technologies in construction practice

Hans Voordijk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Digital technologies and users of these technologies interact with each other in different ways. This study explores the influence of this interaction on users’ behavior in construction practice: where and how do digital technologies in construction interact with their users, and what is their effect? The theory of technical mediation is applied to understand these influences. This theory deepens the analysis of human-technology interactions by adding that humans and technologies co-shape each other. Based on a literature review and studies of construction projects, technologies such as Building Information Modelling, Radio Frequency Identification, and Augmented/Virtual Reality are studied. Mediating effects of these technologies are analyzed from two perspectives: from which side does technology grasp the human body, what are the force and visibility of these impacts? It is shown that digital technologies in construction practice play different ‘actant’ roles by influencing or directing users in certain directions: digital technologies become natural extensions of the body (physical influence), function as ‘quasi-others’ (cognitive influence) or determine possible human–technology interactions through a ‘decisive’ design (contextual influence). Different preconditions for successful implementing and using these technologies can be related to these actant roles.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchitectural engineering and design management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 25 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • construction practice
  • Digital technologies
  • human-technology interaction
  • mediation effects
  • UT-Hybrid-D

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