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Data Science: The Latest Architecture and News

Empathy in Design: Measuring How Faces Make Places

This article originally appeared in The Genetics of Design and was then republished by Common Edge.

Since 2015, Ragusa, Sicily has hosted FestiWall, an international art festival devoted to enhancing the public realm and improving citizen engagement with the modern section of an old city. The image above shows two views of a residential tower before and after FestiWall. Which one grabs your eye?

We’ll guess you’re drawn to the one with the art at right. Running the image through biometric software predicts you’ll immediately focus on the man in the mural.

Labour in the Documedia Age

In 2013, Michael Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey ranked 702 occupations according to their probability of computerisation in the near future, from least probable (“recreational therapist”) to most probable (“telemarketers”). "Architectural and Engineering Managers” was ranked seventy-third, and “architects” eighty-second, while “architectural and civil drafters” ranked three-hundred and fifth. Clearly, technological advancements in fields such as machine learning and robotics are rapidly confronting us with issues of changing professional demand and qualifications. In this essay, Maurizio Ferraris turns the table on us: what if what we should be concerned with is not maintaining the human element in labor as production, but rather recognising human labor as consumption? Expanding on the arguments of his 2012 book, “Lasciar tracce: documentalità e architettura,” the author sees in automation an extraordinary opportunity in defining a renewed centrality of the human element, as the production of value associated with digital exchange is read through the three concepts of invention, mobilization and consumption.

Building Empathy: Zarith Pineda on Human-Centered Design and New Territories

Human-centered design places people at the center of our cities. Using this philosophy to rethink traditional approaches to planning, the architectural and urban designer Zarith Pineda founded Territorial Empathy. Pineda's research lab specializes in mitigating urban conflict through architectural interventions. Over the last few years, her team has been working to create a deeper understanding of equity and empathy.

Courtesy of Territorial EmpathyCourtesy of Territorial EmpathyCourtesy of Territorial EmpathyCourtesy of Territorial Empathy+ 14

Harvard GSD Student Envisions Autonomous Building that Rearranges Spaces Throughout the Day

As self-driven cars are being introduced to our city streets and tech companies have expanded their influence far beyond the boundaries of our computer and smartphone displays, a new generation of architects are charged with imagining how to employ the technology of tomorrow in ways that will advance and improve the world’s built environments. With autonomous transportation, virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence promising unprecedented tools for revolutionizing human infrastructure in a future that no longer feels particularly distant, present-day data gathering and analysis capabilities have already transformed our ability to understand trends on an unforeseen scale.

Taking full advantage of modern data science capabilities and semi-automated robotic technology currently deployed in factory settings around the world, Masters candidate Stanislas Chaillou from the Harvard GSD imagines how today’s new tech could help realize the longtime architectural ambition of creating flexible buildings capable of adapting to variable uses.

Amazon HQ2: Study by Data Science Experts Names Washington DC as Ideal Host City

Amazon’s open call for bids for its new headquarters, HQ2, closed last month, but in the months leading up to the final decision in 2018, analysts will continue to flood the internet with detailed studies evaluating who they believe should be the winner. In other words, the mirror-mirror-on-the-wall game for cities is just starting to warm up.

Earlier, ArchDaily reported on the data-driven approach adopted by Moody’s Analytics which projected Austin, TX as the winner. But another study by IT education company Thinkful now points towards Washington DC as the city most likely to make the cut. So what makes Washington DC the fairest of them all? Read on to see how data science techniques helped analysts at Thinkful with this prediction, what kind of approach they adopted, and how it differed from that of Moody’s Analytics.