The practice of Architecture, its methods, traditions, and know-how are today at the center of passionate debates. Challenged by outsiders, arriving with new practices blended with new-age technologies including artificial intelligence has brought a truly profound evolution in how architecture is being done now.
The conception of buildings has in fact already started a slow transformation: first by leveraging new construction technics, then by developing adequate software, and eventually today by introducing statistical computing capabilities including Data Science & AI.
“Modularity, Computational Design, Parametricism and finally Artificial Intelligence are to us the four intricated steps of a slow-paced transition. Beyond the historical background, we posit that this evolution is the wireframe of a radical improvement in architectural conception,” says Stanislas Chaillou, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
According to the Economist, 47% of the work done by humans will have been replaced by robots by 2037, even those traditionally associated with university education. Having said that, a recent study at University College London (ULC) and the University of Bangor said that although automation and artificial intelligence, for the time being, would not replace architects, the discipline will undergo massive transformations in the near future. Computers can replace tedious repetitive activities, “optimizing the production of technical material and allowing, among other things, atomize the size of architectural offices. Each time fewer architects are needed to develop more complex projects.”
Architectural Digest notes that to create new designs, architects usually use past construction, design, and building data. Instead of putting their minds together to create something new, it is alleged that a computer will be able to utilize tons of previous data in a millisecond, make recommendations and enhance the architecture design process.
With AI, an architect would very easily go about researching and testing several ideas at the same time, sometimes even without the need for a pen and paper. Also, an architect could pull out a city or zone-specific data, building codes, and redundant design data, and generate design variations. Even on the construction side, it is said that AI can assist with actually building something with little to no manpower. Will this eventually lead to clients and organizations simply reverting to a computer for master-plans and construction?
Researchers at Oxford suggest that even with AI coming into the scene, the essential value of architects as professionals who can understand and evaluate a problem and synthesize unique and insightful solutions will likely remain unchallenged.
Let’s explore how AI can be used in Architecture.
Parametric architecture is a hidden weapon that allows an architect to change specific parameters to create various types of output designs and create such structures that would not have been imagined earlier. It is like an architect’s programming language.
It allows an architect to consider a building and reframe it to fit into some other requirements. A process like this allows Artificial Intelligence to reduce the effort of an architect so that the architect can freely think about different ideas and create something new.
Construction and Planning
Constructing a building is not a one-day task as it needs a lot of pre-planning. However, this pre-planning is not enough sometimes, and you need a little bit of more effort to get an architect’s opinion to life. Artificial Intelligence will make an architect’s work significantly easier by analyzing the whole data and creating models that can save a lot of time and energy of the architect.
All in all, AI can be called an estimation tool for various aspects while constructing a building. However, when it comes to the construction part, AI can help so that human efforts become negligible.
Laying the Foundation
The countless hours of research at the starting of any new project is where AI steps in and makes it easy for the architect by analyzing the aggregate data in a millisecond and recommending some models so that the architect can think about the conceptual design without even using the pen or paper.
Just like while building a home for a family, if you have the whole information about the requirements of the family, you can simply pull all zoning data using AI and generate design variations in a short time period.
AI for Making Homes
This era of modernization demands everything to be smartly designed. Just like smart cities, today’s high technology society demands smart homes. However, now architects do not have to bother about how to use AI to create the designs of a home only, but they should worry about making the user’s experience worth paying.
Change is something that should never change. The way your city looks today will be very different in the coming time. The most challenging task for an architect is city planning that needs a lot of precision planning. However, the primary task is to analyze all the possible aspects, and understand how a city will flow, how the population is going to be in the coming years.