Artificial intelligence (AI) is a wide-ranging branch of computer science concerned with the development of systems able to perform tasks typically requiring human intelligence. The technology is advancing at a high pace, and it shows great potential for implementation across many fields. AI brings along opportunities that would radically change the existing workflow within the architecture profession. Although for now, the progress manifests itself at the fringes through research projects, art and cross-pollination between different study fields, it might not be long before this body of work reaches a critical mass, thus penetrating main-stream design workflow. Whether we are talking about well-established architecture practices, tech startups, architects with backgrounds in computer science, the following series illustrates the advent of AI in architecture.
AI+ Architecture / Stanislas Chaillou
Stanislas Chaillou’s study of the potential of AI in space organization and architectural layouts has already gained significant notoriety. Through the use of deep learning and more specifically, GANs (Generative Adversarial Neural Networks), Chaillou developed a system that generates and furnishes floor plans, accounting for functionality and style.
Artificial Intelligence in Architecture / 3XN
Although this is solely a research project, the example shows how a renowned architecture practice positions itself with regards to emergent technology. In preparation for a paradigm shift, 3XN, through its research division GXN, has already undergone a thorough analysis of its design processes and AI technology.
Daedalus Pavilion / Ai Build
AI Build, a London-based startup producing autonomous construction systems has teamed up with ARUP Engineers to create Daedalus Pavilion, a 5×5 metre latticework structure resembling a butterfly in flight. The project was meant to illustrate how robotics and artificial intelligence can change the future of the construction industry. The installation was built out of biodegradable filaments by Kuka construction robots.
Plaza Life Revisited / XL Lab SWA Group
The team employed a machine learning algorithm on video footage to develop heat maps describing dwell time, frequent and infrequent usage, and pedestrian counts.
The Plaza Life Revisited research provides robust metrics to back up assumptions of how individuals occupy public space.
Generative Design Tool / Sidewalk Labs
Last year, Sidewalk Labs announced the development of a generative design tool that uses machine learning and computational design to create urban planning scenarios. Using geographical information, regulation, street layouts, orientation, weather patterns, building heights as input data, the tool generates a series of possible scenarios for architects and planners to assess and refine.
Ada / Jenny Sabin
Created as part of Microsoft’s Artist in Residence program, the installation Ada, named after first computer programmer Ada Lovelace, uses AI to create a performative environment. The first architectural pavilion project to incorporate AI, the exoskeleton translates data from visitor’s facial expressions and their voice tones into specific sentiments.