The digital continuum represents the emergence of a design space in which the classical oppositions between matter and idea, form and information merge. By definition, a continuum is a space that creates continuity between elements that exist separately: space and time, software and hardware, project and its realization. An integrated digital design space represents the possibility of an in-depth renewal of the science and techniques of the design of inhabited spaces.
It is in a context marked by the acceleration of ecological and digital transitions that the world of architecture and construction has today entered a phase of profound change. Associated with the principle of Building Information Modeling (BIM), the principle of a digital continuum provides the framework for a new design logic, one that is in tune with the complexity of the world, and that succeeds the classical, sometimes reductive, models of modernity.
With the IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) standard, the digital design space has acquired a data model that makes it possible to respond to interoperability issues. It is on the basis of this foundation that the evolution of the digital continuum has now entered a new phase of development: on the hardware side with research into construction mechatronics, and on the software side around principles such as flow-based modeling.
The principle of a BIM model evolving in a digital continuum is what the architecture and construction industry has set itself as an evolutionary horizon: a deep integration of networked technologies, open models and collaborative design spaces. Just as the Internet has been structured around protocols defined by a community of actors, the future of the AEC sector's design space lies in the contemporary open source model.