What is Design 4.0?

I was approached this week about building a nice big car factory. Their expectations are known, and the company is looking for reliable designers. On the phone, they said, “German client, need to design in BIM. They want a strong 3D.” This already showed that, unfortunately, there is a good chance that the request will not become a BIM project.

Because anyone who gives such a brief has never created an information model and has only understood the acronym BIM to mean “model”.

Okay, so what leads to Design 4.0?

But before we condemn anyone, I have to say that 4 years ago we started our first BIM assignment in the same way and after six months we knew that we had no chance of managing a real BIM project.

The good news is that a startup agile, youthful design firm can change technology in 2-3 years if it replaces its co-designers, clients, and mindset, introduces 1-2 new software releases per month and continuous experimentation, and if it survives the fact that a significant number of its colleagues quit because of the changes.

Attitude and competence are the keys.

We speak the language of digital construction, which is made up of classical architectural and engineering knowledge, data analytics, and IT and software development skills. While most of the construction industry today thinks of a design as nothing more than a set of lines on paper or computer drawings, or even better, a 3D building model, we think of it as a real-time information model.

What is the difference between the two approaches?

A drawing or model is a mere representation of a geometry to be constructed. This is the basis for implementation in a good case, but it is also where the mission ends. It goes into an archive and in the vast majority of cases never comes out, or if it does, by then that building almost certainly doesn’t look like one.

A Continental budapesti telephelye, aminek a generáltervezésével a BuildEXT volt megbízva, és ami a 2021-es Év Gyára versenyen 5 (!) kategóriában vitt haza díjat. Tervezés 4.0 mintaprojekt.

In contrast, the information model works
as a living, shared database.

It becomes a kind of shared knowledge throughout the entire lifecycle of a facility, to which hundreds of actors are connected, and into which designers, decision-makers, builders, and operators upload and download information quickly and efficiently.

A digital copy of the building remains in daily use, creating staggering savings.


The first smartphone appeared 10 years ago, and today we are all cyborgs.

We connect to collective knowledge via smartphones. The use of apps and the internet search engine has become standard. We have changed the way we communicate, the way we travel, the way we work, the way we listen to music, the way we choose a party…

The incredible thing is that so far the construction industry has not changed.

Csaba Livjak

Talk to Csaba about this article

CEO, Founder

Get in touch

Read more articles by this author!