Artificial Intelligence(AI) has already been incorporated into architecture today. But as AI continues to grow as a whole, would AI become the next generation of architects?
The Impact of AI
Architecture has begun to change through generative design and machine learning, subbranches of AI. These have begun to reshape and reimagine the current built environment by providing diversity and changing the design workflow. While there is no argument that AI is a big help by presenting a new path for architecture, designers and architects cannot help but worry about their roles in the future. Would they become redundant and eventually be replaced by AI as the new generation of architects and designers? Let us take a look at what AI is capable of in architecture.
With current developments of AI usage in architecture, designers and architects are the ones who set the limits, boundaries, and end goals of the design. At the same time, AI uses generative design and machine learning to provide multiple routes to realise the vision of the designers and architects. But what are generative design and machine learning?
AI's ability to create designs that blend functionality and aesthetics.
Generative design is an exploration process based on a designer’s goals, including their end vision and the design parameters, such as materials used, manufacturing processes and methods, spatial requirements, and overall cost. The AI would develop multiple design variations and alternatives to a single solution with these boundaries. While coming up with solutions, the AI can test and learn what works and what does not to create an optimised design from its previous iterations. Generative design can lead to remarkable results such as complex shapes and lattices, sometimes even organic forms.
AI can be used to design
Machine learning is a computer’s ability to learn from the data it is presented with and make decisions without the human factor.
Architects often look at past designs and the data regarding the design process to go about new projects, which usually take up a lot of time and effort. However, when AI is presented with the same data, if not much more of related data, using machine learning, it can analyse the data within a moment and provide the architect with recommendations for a design. Having AI process mass amounts of data would save architects time and effort, resulting in faster project completion.
So how would AI change architecture as we know it?
Architects can save time and effort and focus on other pressing matters.
Machine learning can make decisions and recommendations in the early stages of a project by analysing the data of current and past designs of other projects and the construction and building data to make optimised recommendations for the overall design and the construction process. Architects can free up their hands when the AI handles mass amounts of data and information and start their concepts and ideation process. With AI and its adaptive learning abilities, it could severely shorten the overall process.
Architects would have an easier time designing for cities. As society continues forward, there will be a rise in smart cities worldwide, such as Singapore and Dubai. Architects would have to consume a lot of data to think about their designs precisely, such as the city flow, the people, and the future population. With machine learning and its analysing capabilities, AI would provide solutions for architects based on previous data and potential patterns within the data, which would give the architects a better breathing space instead of spending countless hours thinking about incorporating these factors.
Beautiful and unique structures made by Parametric Design.
Parametric Design is an instrument that grants architects the freedom to play with design within certain boundaries by setting limitations and boundaries. And with data, the AI would be able to suggest seemingly endless solutions to a particular project within a short time frame, utilising geometry and complex algorithms to create unique shapes and optimise them for specific purposes. Having AI handle the limitations reduces the effort needed to think about functional designs. It allows architects to think about a building and reshape it to fit other criteria and eventually develop a new and unique design solution.
Can AI grow to possess the creative?
If machine learning is AI absorbing present and past data, then the generative design is AI’s ability to envision and create a future. With AI, future architects would have to spend fewer efforts on designing and more extraordinary measures to consider how they would satisfy their clients.
Still, the question remains: will AI development be so advanced that it will replace human architects and render them obsolete? Or would AI and architects be the perfect combination to achieve positive changes in society?