Professor in Residence, Department of Architecture, GSD, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA
How is AI changing and going to change design, architecture and urbanism in the coming decades? Will AI substantially change the design process?
Artificial Intelligence is taking the world of design by storm. There is no denying the impact that AI technologies are having and will continue to have on the work of designers, architects and urbanists, as well as design educators and students. Whether to craft a new customized fabrication process, or to envision a building or to simulate the environmental impact of a large scale development, AI has opened up unprecedented opportunities to designers creativity.
But how should we position ourselves vis a vis this technological maelstrom? From skeptics, hellbent to diminish the benefits of any new technological advancement, to over-optimistic believers who see any new technology as the panacea for the world problems, there is a range of more articulated positions and critical research where we see thoughtful efforts trying to understand and test, without preconceptions in either direction, the potentialities of AI and the challenges that its extensive use may pose. As Phil Bernstein has clearly articulated:
…the day that your client will access her artificial architect via a web browser and a pair of VR glasses is far in the future. A little closer to reality is a world where AI plays an increasing role in our daily business, with specific opportunities for architects to leverage data and analysis toward more robust and predictable results. Rather than a threat, maybe this is an opportunity to offer valuable services to those clients and keep the robots at bay.1
Thus, “from threat to opportunity” is the thrust of this forthcoming issue of The Plan Journal. What are the possibilities that AI can disclose for architecture? To include more comprehensively clients and communities in the design process? To simulate more effectively alternative scenarios? To help designers in making more informed decisions? To test more accurately building performance and the environmental impact of designs? To advance an architecture based on reasons and a communicative rationality, thus furthering the “Modern Project,” rather than relying on esthetic caprice, creative egos, or subjective taste?
These are some of the questions that we will try to address with this themed issue and for which, in line with TPJ editorial policy, we solicit research, arguments, experiments and theses from educators, researchers and practitioners.
- Phil Bernstein, “Six Things Architects Should Know About Artificial Intelligence,” The RIBA Journal, July 21, 2022 - https://www.ribaj.com/intelligence/six-things-architects-should-know-about-artificial-intelligence
Priority for peer-review evaluation and publication will be given to complete manuscripts, but proposals in the form of long abstracts [300/500 words] are also encouraged as a first step in the editorial review process. Authors of accepted proposals will then be invited to develop complete manuscripts, which will then go through the peer-review process.
Submitting proposals as a first step is only an option and full manuscripts are encouraged also as first submissions.
Proposals due by June 12, 2023
Invitation to develop accepted proposals into complete manuscripts sent to authors by July 10, 2023
All complete manuscripts due by September 11, 2023
Accepted and edited manuscripts expected to be published on-line by January 15, 2024
Printed version of the issue expected to be available by January 29, 2024
Please log in and register on the TPJ manuscript management system “Editorial Manager”: https://www.editorialmanager.com/tpj/default.aspx(link is external) Once registered, from the “Author Main Menu” go to “New Submissions,” then select “Submit New Manuscript,” then, from the scroll down menu, select the article type “Article/Essay/Research” for a full manuscript submission or “Abstract (only)” for a proposal submission. Then, either way, follow the prompts.
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