Architects don’t make buildings. Architects make drawings of buildings. But of course, someone has to make the building. The construction industry is one of the largest economic sectors and we all interact with the built environment on a daily basis, but the actual work of getting a building from drawing to structure has barely evolved over the decades. While the rest of the world has moved into Industry 4.0, the construction sector has not kept pace. Architecture has begun to embrace some digitalization. After all, not many of us work with mylar on drafting tables anymore. So with the architecture industry’s everlasting link to the construction industry, will the latter pick up some new technological tricks by association? And when it does, how will that change the role of the architect?
Artificial Intelligence: The Latest Architecture and News
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.
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.
White Arkitekter, in collaboration with Silicon Valley-based ReGen Villages, have joined forces to create fully circular, self-sufficient and resilient communities in Sweden. Inspired by computer games, the project puts in place organic food production, locally produced and stored energy, comprehensive recycling, and climate positive buildings.
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.
The AI & Architecture at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal in Paris, France was scheduled to be open for the past couple of months, showcasing work by Stanislas Chaillou on generative design and machine learning. However, due to the global pandemic, people were able to virtually explore the ideas through a series of interviews and a virtual tours. The work explored current scales of experimentation: plans, elevations, structures and perspectives in which AI could already make a contribution, whether real or speculative.
Opening in December in Shenzhen, China, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture (UABB), organized by the cities of Shenzhen and Hong Kong, will discuss the theme of “Urban Interactions”. First to use Facial Recognition and Artificial Intelligence, the public exhibition will test new grounds to reflect on the impact of digital technologies on the urban environment.
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.
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.