Dislocating Promises

How Digitization Organizes and How Organizations Digitize in Fire Safety

DBI is in the process of developing a new technological service called "Digital Fire Safety" which is based on digital tools and expert systems. It is expected that this digitisation of fire safety will replace large parts of the currently manual work procedures. "Digital Fire Safety" will make it easier for consultant architect and engineering firms to take account of fire safety as early as the planning and design phase as they can incorporate fire safety requirements in digital building information modelling (BIM).

This project focuses on the digitisation of safety and security in relation to fire safety where it is a matter of life and death and the responsibility for risk assessments is moved from one group of experts (fire inspectors/engineers) and delegated to another group of experts (architects).

Parameters such as (fire) safety, the previous reliance on experience-based and verbally-conveyed expert knowledge, familiarity with an IT system, which in reality is a matter of life and death, and confidence that the programme will provide quality assured knowledge, will impact on, cast off and change existing practice in the field: some of it will be digitised, some automated while other practices will, in future, become the sole responsibility of the architect. This sliding of tasks will, as a result of a digitisation, create new relationships, unknown types of challenges and new forms of social contexts. This will give rise to a need for anthropological analyses and is of great anthropological interest. Not least, the research conducted in this project will provide insight of great practical and commercial importance for the development and implementation of the system to DBI, architect and consultant engineer firms.

The project is being executed as an industrial PhD in association with the University of Copenhagen.

Read and download the PhD dissertation here.

Digital security The project ran from: 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2020.

Project Lead
Mette Marie V. Karsten
Lead Anthropologist (PhD)