AI in the architecture industry has provoked much debate in recent years - yet it seems like very few of us know exactly what it is or why it has created this storm of emotions. There are professionals researching AI who know more about the field than I do, but I have hands-on experience using AI and algorithms in my design over the past 10 years through various projects. This is one of the challenges that our field faces. How can we make practical use of these new tools?
Dissociating architecture from furniture is almost impossible. As Le Corbusier parking contemporary cars in his project photos suggests, the objects that decorate a domestic space demonstrate the wealth and lifestyle of the user who lives in it. From the moment that humanity ceased to be nomadic, there has existed records of rudimentary furniture. In an excavated site dating from 3,100 to 2,500 BCE, a variety of stone furniture was discovered, from cabinets and beds to stone shelves and seats. Since these early examples, furniture has always been used to express ideas: be it the exclusive and luxurious furniture of Ancient Egypt, meant to demonstrate the power and wealth of the empire, to the functional and simplified designs of the Bauhaus, meant to reconstruct rationality in the world, studying the evolution of furniture design is instrumental to understanding architectural styles.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is based on the idea of optimizing, streamlining and expanding the reach of the most diverse operations. Their systems are programmed to identify patterns and carry out predictions, decisions, and ultimately perform and actions with speed and accuracy. The efficiency of the models depends on the quantity and quality of the data, which can be obtained by applications, cameras, and sensors. In the urban context, technology based on the use of artificial intelligence has been seen as a way to improve the management of cities, especially those that are denser and have larger footprints.
This article was originally published on The Architect's Newspaper as "Architects apply the latest in fabrication, design, and visualization to age-old timber."
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.
As Artificial Intelligence has become one of the most significant forces driving innovation and economic development, this societal transformation requires new knowledge and an additional set of skills. Just as knowing a BIM software has become a prerequisite for most architecture jobs, understanding or even knowing how to use AI-related tools would become a desirable asset, if not a requirement in the future. However, with a vast array of information available, how does one begin to venture into this topic? The following is a compilation of online resources, lectures, and courses, that could provide a better understanding of the field and how to incorporate it into the practice of architecture.
Liam Young was once described by the BBC as "the man designing our futures". The Australian-born architect and director has carved a vibrant path through architectural discourse, standing at the intersection of design, technology, and media. A self-described "speculative architect", Young is the co-founder of thinktank Tomorrow's Thoughts Today, using vivid imagery and films to spark conversations about the future of the built environment, and the relationships between humans and machines, bits and atoms, artificial and natural. He also co-runs the Unknown Fields Division, a nomadic research studio that travels the world in search of landscapes that speak to his focus on global flows of materials, technologies, and ideas.
In this article, we tap into how AI could be augmenting, changing design processes, and how architects and other professionals are responding and incorporating these technological advancements into their design work. What kind of innovation can AI bring to this industry, and what has been experimented with so far? This selection of projects can help form an opinion on the architectural application of AI.
In his book "Life 3.0", MIT professor Max Tegmark says "we are all the guardians of the future of life now as we shape the age of AI." Artificial Intelligence remains a Pandora's Box of possibilities, with the potential to enhance the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of cities, or destroy the potential for humans to work, interact, and live a private life. The question of how Artificial Intelligence will impact the cities of the future has also captured the imagination of architects and designers, and formed a central question to the 2019 Shenzhen Biennale, the world's most visited architecture event.