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Buildings and technology: making the connection

The biggest-ever Smart Building Conference concluded, and the biggest-ever ISE began, with the Opening Address from award-winning German architect Ole Scheeren yesterday.

In a presentation entitled ‘Connective Architecture(s) Reloaded’, Scheeren examined the relationship between buildings and technology, and between physical space and the digital space.

For Scheeren, the two are all about the connectivity that enables people to live together, work together and communicate with each other – and the impact each has on our daily lives
and their creative influence on each other.

“Buildings and technology need to go hand in hand to achieve maximum impact,” he said.

For Scheeren, the role of the architect in creating the future in which we will live – a point he illustrated with a reference to The Matrix, a dystopian vision of how technology and real life can inter-relate in the hands of a rogue architect – is a vital one. He sees a building as an organism, as a life form – not just as a construct.

“I’m interested in how we can do things differently,” he continued. “How can we live in a more exciting, more open way?”

For those involved in the perhaps more prosaic world of making the smart home and the intelligent building a reality, Scheeren provided an inspirational and thought-provoking commentary on, and insight into, how we will be thinking about buildings in a future where innate intelligence and inbuilt connectivity are the norm.