Synergy and Alignment — The APIs Democratizing Role – Architosh


AT THE INTRODUCTION OF THIS SERIES, I stated that the Revit Open Letter story wasn’t fundamentally about Revit. Of course, and naturally, the letter itself and the group behind it singularly target and see it about Revit. But I prefer to take a bird’s eye view of the AEC industry as an industrial sector coping with its own transition from the paradigm of the “mass-manufacturing” revolution to and through the “ITC revolution. 

These terms, “mass-manufacturing” and “ITC revolution” refer to economic historian and theorist, Carlota Perez’s phenomenally influential work in the field of “business cycles” and technology revolutions and their linkages. Her techno-economic paradigm (TEP) model has had a profound impact since the publication of her first book, “Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital,” published in 2002. Here is what Irving Wladasky-Berger, Chairman Emeritus, IBM Academy of Technology said about her work:

“Carlota Perez has influenced and educated a whole generation, me included, on how to think properly about technological revolutions, as well as on the dynamics linking such revolutions with the seemingly unrelated gyrations of the financial industry.” 

While her TEP model helps one who writes about digital technologies think “properly” Perez herself warns about the dangers of interpreting current reality based on “recurrence” (her hypotheses in her model have been tested against the historical record). Still, I feel a mode of confidence wrapping up this series while attempting to frame (re-lens) AEC digital developments based on her model. It certainly helps when Perez herself writes in the comments section, “A pleasure to see my theory well understood (here and in other blogs by Anthony Frausto-Robledo) as a macro-context to the way specific technologies evolve.” 

Perez’s TEP Model

Since a proper explanation of Perez’s Techno-Economic Paradigm (TEP) model is beyond the scope of this article, I refer the reader to several articles on this site that place it as a macro-context for AEC innovation. (here) and (here) and (here)

But in a nutshell, the ITC (digital revolution) began in the early ’70s with the key invention of the Intel processor. The Perez TEP model says that successive technology surges in human history since the first Industrial Revolution pass through two distinct periods (large phases) with two sub-phases each. The first period is called Installation, the time when the new revolutionary innovation gets “installed” into industry and society, uprooting the old paradigm and creating great opportunities for the investment and capitalist class and great disruption for everyone. There is a Turning Point (a kind of overlapping period) between Installation and the next major period, Deployment. By the time we reach the Deployment period (generally it takes 20-30 years from the revolutionary invention’s birth) the old “technology regime” (or common-sense way of doing things) has been upended and replaced. 



It’s funny that you sent me the link on the people working on the AEC Delta Mobility project. That’s the kind of stuff we are working on behind the scenes with Forge, this notion of both data APIs and data workflows.



For instance, from the birth of the Intel processor in 1971, AEC professionals had essentially fully digitized from hand-drawn blueprint drawings to computer-aided design (CAD) drawings by 2000 (the year of the…

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