Artificial intelligence, machine learning and generative design have begun to shape architecture as we know it. As systems and tools to reimagine the built environment, they present diverse opportunities to rethink traditional workflows. Designers also fear they may inversely affect practice, limiting the services of the architect. Looking to building technologies, new companies are creating software and projects to explore the future of design.
Ai: The Latest Architecture and News
Cities across the globe are undergoing makeovers - swapping out old, antiquated technology for new, sleek alternatives. The development and implementation of computer vision and real-time analytics are ushering in the newest wave of smart cities. The combination of cloud-based dashboards and machine learning are providing actionable data to be collected and understood regarding everything from vehicle concentration to pedestrian activity. As cities continue to push forward and develop socially and technologically, there is no doubt we will continue to see cities incorporate tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to facilitate such changes. Despite the fact that eye-popping technologies like drones and robots are at the forefront of this technological revolution, there are also a number of unexpected ways cities are becoming smarter.
Designer and Fulbright fellow Stanislas Chaillou has created a project at Harvard utilizing machine learning to explore the future of generative design, bias and architectural style. While studying AI and its potential integration into architectural practice, Chaillou built an entire generation methodology using Generative Adversarial Neural Networks (GANs). Chaillou's project investigates the future of AI through architectural style learning, and his work illustrates the profound impact of style on the composition of floor plans.
Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) the doom of the architecture profession and design services (as some warn) or a way to improve the overall design quality of the built environment, expanding and extending design services in ways yet to be explored? I sat down with my University of Hartford colleague Imdat As. Dr. As is an architect with an expertise in digital design who is an assistant professor of architecture and the co-founder of Arcbazar.com, a crowd-sourced design site. His current research on AI and its impact on architectural design and practice is funded by the US Department of Defense. Recently we sat down and talked about how this emerging technology might change design and practice as we now know it—and if so, would that be such a bad thing?
This article was originally published as "Doom or Bloom: What Will Artificial Intelligence Mean for Architecture?" on CommonEdge. It has been slightly abridged for publication on this platform; the full interview can be read on CommonEdge here.
Programmer Joel Simon has created an experimental research project, Evolving Floor Plans, to explore speculative and optimized plan layouts using generative design. Interested in the intersection of computer science, biology and design, Joel organized rooms and expected flow of people through a genetic algorithm to minimize walking time, the use of hallways, etc.
The creative goal is to approach floor plan design solely from the perspective of optimization and without regard for convention or constructability. The research aims to see how a combination of explicit, implicit and emergent methods allow floor plans of high complexity to evolve.
The field of robotics is coming of age. Robotics and artificial intelligence represent the next cutting edge technology to transform the fields of architecture and design. The past decade's surge towards more computationally defined building systems and highly adaptable open-source design software has left the field ripe for the integration of robotics wither through large-scale building fabrication or through more intelligent/adaptive building systems. Through this surge, architecture has not only been greatly influenced by these emerging technologies, but has also begun influencing other disciplines in unexpected ways. The purpose of this book is to provide systems of classification, categorization and
Amazon’s innovative, checkout-free convenience store concept, Amazon Go, has opened to the public in Seattle.
Located in the base of an existing Amazon office building, the 1,800-square-foot (167-square-meter) store offers grocery and convenience items. To begin shopping, customers simply scan an Amazon Go smartphone app and pass through a turnstile.
Using machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence technologies (incorporated into the software powering cameras and weight sensors), the store can then track the actions of customers as they remove items from the shelves, creating a virtual shopping list as they go. When a customer is finished shopping, they simply exit the store through the turnstiles and the user’s Amazon account is automatically charged.
Installation Showing the Perspective of a Self-Driving Car Aims to Evoke Empathy for Artificial Intelligence
Driver Less Vision, an installation at the 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism by Guillermo Fernandez-Abascal, Urtzi Grau and Daniel Perlin, is an immersive 3D video experience comprised of spatial scans of Seoul, projected into a dome and paired with surround sound. The supporting audio is the internal monologue of a personified autonomous vehicle, driving through the streets of a future Seoul, Korea. The installation transports vierers to the front seat of the autonomous vehicle, providing a new perspective of traversing cities—through the car’s point of view.
Benjamin Bratton, Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Design at the University of California, San Diego, is the new Programme Director at Moscow's Strelka Institute. The New Normal is based on the premise that "something has shifted. [...] We are making new worlds faster than we can keep track of them, and the pace is unlikely to slow."
Have our technologies have advanced beyond our ability to conceptualize their implications? "One impulse," the course advocates, "is to pull the emergency brake and to try put all the genies back in the bottle." According to Bratton, this is hopeless. "Better instead to invest in emergence, in contingency: to map The New Normal for what it is, and to shape it toward what it should be."
What are the philosophical consequences of automation after the integration of pervasive AI into the architecture, landscapes and cognitive maps of our planet and its populations? We suggest that "natural models" of automation pre-exist our technology, with profound implications for human and planetary systems. We’re interested in specific examples and models outside of our cultural milieu that test the limits of bodies, that map habits and their disruption through noise, and reframe the relation between life and consciousness. The following examples index the performance of networks in tight cycles of feedback loops: machines teaching machines. To go to the root of the philosophical consequences of automation our path is through abstract and universalist models of ‘natural laws’, redeployed into specific local situations. We use the term ‘drive’ for its myriad implications connecting across the examples we have chosen.
The following essay by Nick Axel (Volume's Managing Editor) first published by the magazine in their 49th issue, Hello World!
With the rise of computational networks and power, cognitive models developed and debated over in the postwar decades have finally been able to be put to work. Back then, there was a philosophical debate raging alongside the burgeoning field of computer science theory on the nature of consciousness, in which machines of artificial intelligence served as a thought experiment to question humanity. Yet with the proliferation of data and the centralization of its archives, theoretical practice moved from conceptual experiments to empirical tests.