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The Art of BIM:
When Coordination Enters the Gallery
Amelyn Ng
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What happens when the manifold technical labors of design coordination become art? Two years ago, BIM drawings were framed and salon-hung in a Palladian mansion (Figure 1). Curated by Farshid Moussavi, the 2017 Royal Academy show in London, Architecture as an “Instruction-Based” Art, featured two conventions of computer-aided coordination: layers and colors. The aim was “to reveal [architects’ complex] decision-making processes to the public,” giving a “backstage” view “into what architects actually really do.”1 Yet this x-ray vision seems to obscure rather than explain technical labor. I ventured to Drawing Matter, a farmyard archive near Somerset, UK, where some of these works are housed by Niall Hobhouse, a British art dealer, property developer, and drawing collector (Figure 2).

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See Farshid Moussavi, “Architecture as an ‘Instruction-Based’ Art,” Drawing Matter, https://www.drawingmatter.org/drawings/architecture-room-royal-academy-s…(accessed March 28, 2019), and “Submitting your Architecture Work to the 2017 Summer Exhibition: A Message from Curator Farshid Moussavi RA,” Royal Academy, https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/page/summer-exhibition-2017-architecture (accessed February 17, 2019).