Dotdotdot – Works – BEIC European Library of Information and Culture
International competition winning team
Biblioteca Europea di Informazione e Cultura (BEIC)
Fondazione Biblioteca Europea di Informazione e Cultura
Digital strategy and experience design for a next-generation library

New technologies have opened up radical possibilities to reimagine what a library can be and how it serves its users. Founded on this spirit of innovation, the Bibilioteca Europea di Informazione e Cultura (BEIC) seeks to define an expanded role for the 21st century library – not just a repository of information, but a dynamic laboratory where contemporary culture is produced.

In July 2022, Dotdotdot was selected as part of the winning team, led by architects Onsitestudio and Baukuh, in an international design competition for the new BEIC building in Milan. Taking a holistic approach to digital strategy, we have envisioned technology as the backbone of the building – connecting users to the vast resources, both physical and digital, that it contains. Integrated into every aspect of how the library functions, our digital interface and user experience design introduces new ways for varied users to engage with the library and its services.

A personalized interface that responds to visitors’ needs
The new BEIC has a dual nature – both a physical building and a digital infrastructure – which together provide visitors with an unparalleled level of access to information and services. Working closely with the BEIC and the architects of the new building, we designed a dynamic digital interface to optimize the library’s automated services and help users navigate its collections. This holistically designed system includes a smartphone app as well as digital elements embedded throughout the building.
The app allows visitors to easily reserve workstations and order books and materials in advance of their visit. Upon arrival, a series of digital “touchpoints” welcomes each visitor and guides them through its collections and services. The key to this innovative user experience is an Indoor Positioning System (IPS), which can automatically detect a visitor’s position within the building and respond in real time with location-based information.
Digital displays and wayfinding screens, installed throughout the library, can serve information that is responsive and tailored to each user’s interests. Accompanying the visitor through different departments, the digital guide can recommend reading topics or activities, thanks to a profiling system based on a dedicated CRM. Visitors can access this information using the app on their smartphone, or on devices provided by the museum.
The digital infrastructure also serves the needs of people with disabilities; for instance, the mobile app includes an acoustic-based guidance system for the blind. The wayfinding screens are designed not only to provide personalized information, but also to respond to accessibility needs, allowing all visitors to freely access the library’s collections and services.
Beyond the library walls: A networked institution
The new BEIC is envisioned as the hub in a larger network: it will become the operating center for the entire system of libraries in Milan, forming links to both municipal and university collections. The digital infrastructure is what allows the BEIC to enter a seamless and constant dialogue with other institutions, transcending the limits of a physical building to give users access to an expanded and constantly growing ecosystem of information.
Winning team
Yellow office
SCE projects
Atmos lab

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