The production of the discrete city
This chapter examines the built environment through the lens of computers. It is divided into two parts. The first one examines what and how computers see the world, identifying a clear output, which is a simplified, discrete and machine-processed version of the world we experience as humans. A number of case studies illustrate the mechanisms underpinning the process by which computers read the environment and how they see it. A number of algorithms and their implementations are explained and commented upon. Whilst the first part of the chapter presents a number of machine-ready data to expose the translation of the intelligible and sensible world as seen by humans into a discrete and data-based system for machines, the second part explains how such data are used. In particular, it explores how designers, architects and urban planners use these data in their space-shaping activities, through the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and City Information Modelling (CIM) technologies.