Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries in Building Integrated Design Using Collective Objects

By Daniel Forgues and François Chiocchio.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Integrated design in construction is considered as the best approach to solve problems related to the linear and fragmented design process such as poor quality and solutions that are sub-optimal. The main challenge, however, is to break fragmented mindsets and knowledge boundaries around which professional practices are built. Professionals perform poorly in an interdisciplinary setting. Each discipline is using its own tools and related technical language and is reluctant to give away their specialized knowledge. Another problem is the resistance of design professionals to involve client and future users into the design process. Therefore, these teams are often dysfunctional and ineffective. One approach proposed in activity theory is to introduce new collective objects to the team, forcing them to rethink the way they work in a new context. This research is using a constructive research approach to explore the impact of new Building Information Model (BIM) collective tools as boundary objects to facilitate boundary crossing across disciplines. The expected contribution is to provide new practice knowledge for integrating design practices in construction using BIM as collective tools.

Keywords: Integrated Design, Fragmented Mindsets, Collective Object, Building Information Modeling, Activity Theory, Constructive Research

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 437.604KB).

Dr. Daniel Forgues

Professor, Department of Construction Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Daniel Forgues is a professor in project management, information technology and sustainable construction for the École de Technologie Supérieure construction engineering department in Montreal. He graduated in architecture, has a master’s degree in project management, a master’s degree in information management and a PhD in engineering at the University of Salford in the United Kingdom. He is the founder and director of the Research Group on Integration and Sustainable Development. His research fields are management of complex projects, IT in construction, productivity, and integrated design. Prior to his academic career, Daniel has spent twenty-three years working in project management and consulting and in delivering professional training for private and public organizations in construction in IT and in manufacturing in process reengineering, project management methodology, maturity audits, change management, and PMO implementation.

Dr. François Chiocchio

Professor, Department of Psychology/Department of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Associate professor in the Industrial and Organizational program at the Université de Montréal's Psychology Department. His research focuses on projects, teamwork, and collaboration. He has published in major peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Project Management Journal, the International Journal of Project Management, Journal of Vocational Behavior, and Small Group Research) using both qualitative and quantitative research designs. Measure and assessment specialist, he developed several instruments for selection purposes or that provide feedback on competency development; work for which he was praised with national (i.e., Canada) and provincial (i.e., Québec) awards. He was awarded major funding from the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC), the Project Management Institute's Research program, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). He currently manages numerous research projects involving many collaborators and graduate students. He teaches various undergraduate and graduate classes on psychometrics and assessment and received a prestigious award - the Prize of the Ministry of Education - for his collaborative web platform designed to help student teams communicate and manage their projects. Dr. Chiocchio also has strong management experience that stem from managing his consulting firm and having worked in the Canadian federal public service as a project manager.