The role of Artificial Intelligence in architectural design: conversation with designers and researchers
Giuseppe Gallo, Giovanni Francesco Tuzzolino, Fulvio Wirz
PhD University of Palermo, Department of Architecture
Giovanni Francesco Tuzzolino
Full Professor, University of Palermo, Department of Architecture
Senior Lecturer, University of East London, Department of Computing and Architecture
Published on: Proceedings of S.Arch 2020, the 7th international conference on architecture and built environment
Gallo, G., Tuzzolino, G. F., Wirz, F. 2020. The role of Artificial Intelligence in architectural design: conversation with designers and researchers, in Soellner, M., Proceedings of S.Arch 2020, the 7th international conference on architecture and built environment, S.Arch, Tokyo, pp.198-206.
Abstract: The proliferation of data together with the increase of computing power in the last decade has triggered a new interest in artificial intelligence methods. Machine learning and in particular deep learning techniques, inspired by the topological structure of neurons network in brains, are omnipresent in the IT discourse, and generated new enthusiasms and fears in our society.
These methods have already shown great effectiveness in fields far from architecture and have long been exploited in software that we use every day. Many computing libraries are available for anyone with some programming skills and allow them to “train” a neural network based on several types of data. The world of architecture has not remained external to this phenomenon: many researchers are working on the applications of artificial intelligence to architectural design, a few design software allow exploiting machine learning algorithms, and some large architectural firms have begun to experiment with deep learning methods to put into practice data accumulated over years of profession, with a special interest in environmental sustainability and building performance.
If on the one hand, these techniques promise great results, on the other we are still in an exploratory phase. It is then necessary, in our opinion, to understand what the roles of this technology could be within the architectural design process, and with which scopes they can facilitate such a complex profession as that of the architect.
On this subject we made ten interviews with as many designers and researchers in the AEC industry, In the article we will report a summary of their testimonies, comparing and commenting on the responses of the designers, with the aim of understanding the potentials of using artificial intelligence methods within the design process, report their perceptions on how artificial intelligence techniques can affect the architect’s approach to the project, concluding with some reflections on the critical issues identified during the interviews with the designers.
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I wrote a LinkedIn pulse article to explain the paper: Artificial Intelligence is not a magic bullet for Architectural Design