AI and the Future of Architecture
August 17, 2022
From manufacturing and medicine to cybersecurity, AI has helped industries grow, evolve, and get closer to their full potential. Automation is key when it comes to efficiency, and the benefits that AI brings are too good to ignore.
When it comes to AI in architecture, much of the field relies on human ingenuity, ideas, and creativity — and you cannot really automate those. Instead, we need to consider the practical implications that AI has for the AEC industry and how it can be used to improve workflows, delivery times, and overall project quality. In fact, we can already see AI being extensively used in many aspects of modern architecture. With the advancements in technology, we can only expect AI to enhance and optimize the work of architects even more in the near future.
Initial Research and Testing
Every architectural project begins with lots of research — defining the design, looking at historical data, and fleshing out the concept. While this process used to cost architects countless hours, advancements in AI have improved research and testing significantly. AI can work with huge amounts of data, drawing out conclusions and recommending the best possible courses of action. With its help, architects can simultaneously research and test several different designs, scenarios, and other crucial aspects of the project.
Parametric architecture is a design system that is extensively used by some of the most renowned architects in the world and is often regarded as a secret weapon. Essentially, it is a system that allows you to define and modify a set of parameters, resulting in completely new types of output and truly unique results.
This approach works similarly to a programming language for architects — by using the correct set of parameters, you can create a virtually limitless number of iterations of your structure or product in no time. Parametric architecture utilizes complex algorithms and geometric programming to quickly reshape a building or structure to fit a totally new set of requirements.
Put simply, AI-powered parametric architecture takes a lot of the grunt work away from the architects, giving them more time and resources to focus on other parts of the project. We can safely say that this method will become more and more widespread in the future, leading to exceptional designs and vastly improved workflows for architects.
Optimized Planning and Construction
The process of planning a construction project can be exceptionally complex. In many cases, the planning phase can span several years — or even more if the architect has a really specific vision in mind. The construction phase also comes with its own set of challenges, which make meeting tight deadlines problematic. However, modern developments in AI can help optimize both the planning and construction stages for maximum efficiency.
With AI, architects have access to a large amount of data — from detailed parametric models and simulations to accurate cost estimation and scheduling. As a result, the time for planning is reduced significantly, while the calculations are more accurate than ever. By utilizing AI, the chances of a human mistake are minimal, which ensures that the project as a whole will progress in the right direction. Combined with tools such as AutoCAD Architecture, you can ensure your project is both on time and cost-efficient.
As for the construction stage of a project, advanced developments are already being implemented worldwide. AI-powered drones and other machines can take care of simple and monotonous tasks instead of human workers. With AI becoming more and more sophisticated, we can expect autonomous machines to take over increasingly complex tasks. As a result, human workers will have more time on their hands to work on the more important aspects of the project.
AI has its uses not only when it comes to the planning and construction of a building. The concept of “smart homes” has been around for quite some time, with technology catching up to its ambitious ideas. A house or an apartment will soon be a complex environment, capable of automating tasks based on AI-driven decision making. With the rise of the IoT and increased interactivity between devices, our doors now unlock and open automatically, windows get dim based on the amount of sunlight, and more.
The modern architect needs to look at AI not simply as a tool for the planning and execution phase, but for the operational stage as well. Enhancing the user experience and optimizing living conditions with the help of AI is the next challenge that architects need to consider.
As a logical continuation from the smart home concept, soon architects will be faced with the reality of “smart cities.” That includes an AI-driven ecosystem that has an optimized, effective flow based on real-time data. Within smart cities, cars, smartphones, public places, and even buildings will constantly communicate with each other. As a result, citizens will enjoy vastly improved living conditions with less waste, reduced traffic, and increased safety.
Of course, architects will have a central role in designing and executing the smart cities of the future. While city planning is incredibly complex, AI will help streamline and simplify the task as much as possible. Overall, the future of architecture is closely connected to AI and its expanding capabilities.