Collaborative Agency of Architecture AI

Roberto Corpus, Tianci Liang, Ruxin Xie

A{AI} - Architecture and Artificial Intelligence


Matias del Campo + Sandra Manninger


According to Leon Battista Alberti, the modern paradigm of architecture relies on an idea composed in the mind that is then translated into a standard code of orthographic drawings- plan, elevation, and section- to provide the enough information for its manifestation. This notion, known as Alberti’s Paradigm, separates the architect from the master builder, placing the architect as the sole author of the work.

The rise of the digital age has challenged Alberti’s Paradigm as new technologies have presented novel explorations of representation and production. The advancement of Artificial Intelligence within the discipline of architecture questions the architect’s agency in the design process. This thesis explores the conception of an architecture which challenges Alberti’s top-down approach and embraces AI applications that offer architects a way to conceive their intentions through visual abstraction, prototype reconstruction, and comprehensive sensibility.

The selected AI application for this project is a neural style transfer, an optimization technique which merges a content image and a style reference image to output a 2D image result that maintains the content but dons the style of the style reference image. This AI application of using a convolutional network presents an evident moment of the designer’s sensibilities, the selected images, and the deep learning ability of an AI working together to develop a project.

The inputs were selected to examine the results from the merging of simple volumetric geometry (2D image, content) and an artistic representation of tree branching (a painting by Croatian artist Ivan Generalić, style), a pattern which has inspired architects throughout time periods based on advancements of construction technology. In the emergence of AI, architectural agency is reclaimed by the architect through intentionality and agility, challenging the mere reliance on embedded technical knowledge to conduct the design-feedback-analyze-design process. 
Style Transfer Result

Community Center: Transversal Section

Community Center: Perspective View into Entrance Lobby