Machine learning and generative design are profoundly shaping modern life. A central critique to the value and advancement of artificial intelligence, especially in the context of architecture, is the ability for a machine to design, as well as the resulting fear that professional services may be limited. As cities continue to develop, new tools emerge to help envision and create the built environment. How can architects embrace generative design to reimagine models of sustainability, inclusive practice, and new aesthetics?
Generative Design: The Latest Architecture and News
Artificial intelligence is transforming how we design and build. By 2050, the effects of AI adoption will be widely felt across all aspects of our daily lives. As the world faces a number of urgent and complex challenges, from the climate crisis to housing, AI has the potential to make the difference between a dystopian future and a livable one. By looking ahead, we're taking stock of what's happening, and in turn, imagining how AI can shape our lives for the better.
In May, aec+tech hosted an event on Clubhouse discussing how architects are using generative design in architecture firms today and towards the future. Five guest speakers from reputable architecture and tech start-ups —Zaha Hadid Architects, BIG, Outer Labs, 7fold, and RK Architects— joined the session to share their experiences and insights.
Are machines capable of design? Though a persistent question, it is one that increasingly accompanies discussions on architecture and the future of artificial intelligence. But what exactly is AI today? As we discover more about machine learning and generative design, we begin to see that these forms of "intelligence" extend beyond repetitive tasks and simulated operations. They've come to encompass cultural production, and in turn, design itself.
Sidewalk Labs has unveiled Delve, a new generative design tool that aims to help developers, architects and urban designers identify better neighborhood design options. It uses machine learning to reveal optimal design options from a series of core components, including buildings, open spaces, amenities, streets, and energy infrastructure. By applying machine learning, it explores millions of design possibilities for a given project while measuring the impact of design choices.
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.
This 12 day design and construction workshop at the AA School in London, teaches a design process which synthesises computational design tools and materials with natural variability such as bamboo, informed though first-hand experience of the material and 1:1 scale bamboo construction.
We need to look at new sustainable, locally available natural materials for construction, and architects need to respond to this challenge and develop new processes to work with natural materials which ensure structural integrity and affordability.
The AA-ITB Bamboo Lab is a collaborative programme of the AA Visiting School and the Institut Teknologi Bandung which explores the fusion
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.
This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication under the title "5 Technology Innovations Can Help Your Architecture Practice Work Smarter."
Before airplanes, it took mail carriers on horseback months to transport letters across the country. Before washing machines, it took a full day of physical exercise to wash and dry a family’s laundry. And before cranes, it took decades—sometimes centuries—to build large structures such as castles and cathedrals.
The point being: Whatever you do, technology probably gives you a better way to do it.