The True Purpose of Technology in Design

Digitally generated hologram of city in clouds on blue backgroundI was recently reading on the different technologies and their use in design, specifically for health care. As I read through them I kept thinking, “we do that.” We use gaming software technology to make your building into a package you can walk through. We use drones to do roof analysis and inspections. We use BIM software to identify various materials and key interference areas of a project. We use 3-d rendering to show the sequence of construction over time. We use the cloud to allow project data to be transferred anywhere in the world for review. My final thoughts were I wish someone would impress me!

The Role of Technology

I realized the use of technology is impressive only the day you see it. After that day it simply becomes a tool. The building of health care faculties is extremely complex and does require a lot of tools to coordinate and define for construction. The role of these tools is to convey information, to give others a clearer look into the mind of the designer. And this may or may not be a good thing.

A Shift in Focus

All the focus on technology sometimes reduces our attention on the people we are building for. Technology helps convey our design, but can’t convey what isn’t. It can’t show what is possible, what is so grand and wondrous that we haven’t thought of it yet. Technological limitations disconnect our design from innovative imagination and creativity. Technology can’t allow us to smell and hear what a building will be like after it is built. Some of the greatest buildings ever were built with extremely limited technology. No one knew exactly what it would look like before embarking on their journey of construction. But they envisioned something grand and wondrous!

Achieving Our Objective

Our healthcare-built environments serve those in need. I think we should focus on bringing them joy and gladness in their time of need. Technology limits us from accomplishing this goal innovatively. Yet these should be things we strive for, things we seek more than any other. Technology is great for “show and tell” when speaking to others and is great for developing plans for construction, but maybe not for the creation of innovative design.

The wonder of what can be is not something technology can create. And we can only create this greatness by focusing on those using the buildings. We work hard to create a sense of wonder and hope. What a joy it is to think on these things. And what a great world it is when we can use technology to convey those ideas!

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