Architecture of Language

Yanci Chen, Yining Yuan, Zhipeng Liu

A{AI} - Architecture and Artificial Intelligence


Matias del Campo + Sandra Manninger


For a long time, the written or spoken words have been considered as just a tracing of architecture, an always less than adequate reflection of their ‘reality’. However, language itself constitutes a ‘reality’, which may be different from other senses, but nonetheless equivalent. In this thesis, with the development of artificial intelligence, we explore and build a new design system to create architecture of language. And set future city Xiong’an as the specific context.

To put the relation of architecture and language in an academic context, Adrian Forty proposed a four-part system to understand architecture in his book, Words and Building (2012). The system contains the building, photograph, drawing, and its accompanying critical discourse, whether presented by the client, architect or critic. Unlike any other complex social practice, one of the main tensions in this system is between drawings and language. Although both mediums are a major part of architect’s production, unlike drawing as a code mainly controlled by architects, architects’ command of language will always be disputed by every other language user. At the same time, over the last decades, in the area of architectural design, the sign of shifting from computer aided design to computer suggested design appeared. Therefore, in this thesis, language is introduced as an initial point and a computer suggested design system has been developed applying Generative Adversarial Network.

With the text to image transition accomplished by AttnGAN, the input written language can produce varied images and the longer the sentence is, the more details will be shown in the image. Following this logic, varied sources of text have been collected including movie scripts and development goals for Xiong’an to produce images which will be translated into three-dimensional space. This process happens repeatedly, from city scale to architectural scale and finally human scale. Different texts are introduced in these three stages to influence three-dimensional quality. The final result contains several city blocks with a detailed complex containing three buildings in it. The complex is designed to provide centralized information service for citizens and tourists.