The incorporation of new technologies into architectural designs has been expanding design possibilities over the last few years. Automation in construction processes can be used both in large scale city strategies, and smaller-scale demands like in the construction of residences. One of the more recent ways that technology has been integrated into the design of workplaces is through the incorporation of artificial intelligence, which uses data that can “teach” the machines how to work in several levels of autonomy.
The way that artificial intelligence can be incorporated into the daily function of the workplaces depends on the type and amount of data used to fulfill the projects, and how it can contribute to the evaluating the efficiency of construction, simulation of human movement reflected in the drawings, structural calculations, and other design opportunities. Here, we've compiled a short list of projects that effectively utilize artificial intelligence below:
Philips Lighting Headquarters located in Eindhoven, Netherlands, takes advantage of understanding how lighting could become a center point of a design project. According to the project description, the idea to adapt the original building from the mid 20th century was a starting point to conceive workspaces that could reflect innovative designs provided by the lighting technology company. The proposal features a parametric designed "tree", which is composed of 1500 "leaves", hanging pyramidal panels suspended from the ceiling. These "leaves" are programmed to generate different lighting scenarios using artificial intelligence, in an organic and non-repetitive way.
The concept of the Amaro Store is based on a fully digital system of online clothes for purchase. With the opening of its guide shop in São Paulo, the project takes the use of technology to the physical space of the store to create a new shopping experience. The space utilizes artificial intelligence cameras that capture the consumer’s profile, approximate age, reactions, and responses to simulations through facial recognition.
The use of artificial intelligence in this office building helps to maintain inside temperature control. Besides contributing to the environmental comfort of the project, this kind of artificial intelligence optimizes the electrical energy consumption by limiting non-need heat input and losses, without the necessity to turn to mechanical resources to generate them. In this building, the inside temperature control is done by an automated system that moves the panels of the façade. According to the project description, “the double-skin glass façade makes it possible to limit heat loss in winter and is controlled in relation to the heat input through a system of apertures and solar screens with motorized louvers, which control irradiation and lighting in the work areas.”
A more specific example of how artificial intelligence might contribute to the optimization of buildings is the project of Powerhouse Brattørkaia in Norway, which was designed on a site that experiences severe weather conditions. The project uses an intelligence-based system to control the lighting levels of spaces, which minimize the demand for artificial lighting during the day, reducing the building's overall energy use. According to the design team's description, this intelligent system of light entrance adjustment, called “liquid light”, is sensitive to the dynamics of use and occupation of spaces, which optimizes the Powerhouse's performance and allows it to consume only about half the amount of energy lighting than a typical commercial office building of comparable size would.
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These few examples represent only a fraction of the multitude of ways that artificial intelligence can contribute to improving the processes and results of architectural projects. In the digital universe that we currently live in, the use of tools like these might allow us to create more appropriate spaces for the users, bringing technology closer to a human scale.