Tomas Rossant and Alan Cation on the Architecture of AI

2023 07 31 T Rossant A Cation AI

Ennead Partner, Tomas Rossant, and Director of Computational Design, Alan Cation, co-authored an op-ed for the latest issue of Architecture Magazine. Their op-ed was featured in "The Architecture of AI," an article that asked architects to address the impact AI could have on the industry.

"AI is not new to architecture. As a profession, we have been able to utilize machine learning and genetic algorithms for the past two decades to solve specific kinds of design performance and optimization problems. This has always required some degree of advanced, specialized knowledge in computational design. What is new now is the sudden ubiquity of these AI models to be used by almost anyone with access to a computer, significantly lowering the barrier of entry to harness the power of complex computational workflows. Whether one views that with excitement or alarm, it is a reality that requires our attention, and we would argue, affirms the importance of our expertise when leveraging this technology. Images are not buildings. To synthesize any new medium into what we broadly understand as architecture still requires the full knowledge and expertise of architects to technically realize the built environment."
"At Ennead, in our 65-year history we have always been early adopters of new building technologies, digital software, fabrication methodologies, and project delivery models. Our success as a design practice has depended on our approach to change. We meet it with mindfulness and openness, and through the lens of our firm’s ethos – design for civic good. And this is how we are engaging with the new frontier of AI, which we are optimistic will deliver significant and productive change to our industry, changing the balance of work to allow for more time spent on critical problem-solving. Never have there been such an array of tools in the hands of the architect. We feel that if AI is deployed correctly and ethically, with security and rigor, we will be able to work more efficiently to design and deliver buildings that are ever more impactful at addressing the great problems facing humanity. Perhaps in the end AI will prove to be a tool to raise the value proposition of the architect."

Read the full article here.