Architecture and Design: Creating a new renaissance era through generative AI

Age should never be a hindrance to one’s development. To keep on evolving, it is necessary that we continue to learn, explore new horizons, and go beyond our comfort zones to maximize our potential.

“When you stop learning, you stop growing,” as the saying goes. And this should be applied in all aspects of our lives. This includes “continuing education” in your chosen profession if we want to elevate our craft. And in my case, it is the world of architecture and design.

I have always been curious and loved to experiment, trying something new to put added value in the projects I was doing. This passion for learning, combined with my #alignmentwithnature advocacy, brought us to establishing, together with my business partner Atty. Jojo Leviste, our company Italpinas Development Corp. (IDC) in the Philippines.

For more than a decade now, our team has consistently provided our clients and stakeholders with unique, innovative, sustainable, and safe real estate products that satisfy and exceed their expectations.

AI generated architectural design images produced by the Midjourney app with “prompts” from the author and his fellow architect friends.

Excited to provide the market with something new, I have been studying the latest innovation in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is being talked about in many industries now. I am referring to Generative AI, a category of artificial intelligence algorithms that generate new outputs based on the data they have been trained on.

The Harvard Business Review magazine agrees that “Generative AI has potential applications across a wide range of industries, including art, writing, software development, product design, healthcare, finance, gaming, marketing, and fashion.”

Particularly interesting is how we can fully utilize and maximize the potentials of Generative AI in the field of architecture, especially in promoting sustainable designs by developing projects, in accordance with nature. And one may ask, why the specific interest?

Well, aside from it being the core of our business, there is a report by the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs last May forecasting that two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. There will be a surge in urbanization, mostly in developing countries like the Philippines.

Key cities in the country, especially in Metro Manila, are already congested as it is. We need to prepare for this rise of mega towns and cities, and we should be ready to provide for the needs of our people.

The power of these new Generative AI tools will play a key role on how architects and builders design the future. Image generation software, also known as text-to-image software, has the potential to revolutionize the field of architecture and concept designing. This technology allows architects to create visual representations of their concepts quickly and easily without the need for extensive manual effort of modeling or rendering. While this software is new and continually evolving by the day, it can help architects explore concepts a lot more easily.

This is revolutionary as it is making the creative process more intuitive and accessible. Architects now have a powerful tool in their hands that must be used wisely.

Through the help of Generative AI tools, more sustainable structures and cities will be designed and built. More than ever, we have a wonderful opportunity to create a new “Renaissance” where human beings live in harmony with the environment as enhanced by AI technology.

To set this in motion in IDC, I have been personally working with Italy-based friends Architects Stefano Tesoni and Giacomo Sanna, who share the same passion for design and sustainability with Generative AI.

Using Midjourney, an AI program that generates images from natural language descriptions called “prompts,” our goal is to create a new architecture that cannot be set apart from the natural environment. Instead, it becomes a natural environment itself.

We were totally floored by the result of our initial output. It is quite unique, and I am happy to share the images with you in this space. There is still a long way to go. The journey may take years, but we have taken the first step to embrace the innovative technology.

With the new tools made available to us, it is quite certain that the future of design and property development may no longer be the result of human efforts alone but a symbiosis between computers and humans. New shapes, new forms, new proportions will be created. The only constant in the world is change. As it was, and so shall it be. Embracing it is the way to thrive and become better. #

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