V{M} – Visionary Machines

Taubman College M.Arch Thesis 2020—2021
Image: Mario Klingemann, The Butcher’s Son, Imposture Series, 2017

The studio Visionary Machines (V{M}) presents itself as an opportunity to critically investigate the role of Artificial Intelligence in a future world of building. The studio interrogates the consequences of the implementation of AI techniques in architecture pertaining to its role as an agent of culture. Are we starting to share the agency when it is about design decisions? How does such a design conglomerate contribute to architecture as an agent of culture? Is there something like AI culture? Is it shared with humans? Is it posthuman? The application of these novel techniques has an impact on the nature of sensibility. Architects possess an inherent sensibility, acquired through personal experience, education, exposure to sources, and innate behavior. Unique sensibilities require restless research, repetition, training, and a good portion of obsessiveness. Can AI’s develop a sensibility? Do sensibilities need to be unique at all? These questions interrogate the nature of design within a posthuman universe in which design agency is shared with other agents.

In artistic practice, humans have excelled in the ability to create unique visual experiences through the representation of complex relationships oscillating between content and style. So far, the underlying algorithmic basis for this ability is unknown, and there is thus far no artificial system able to recreate these capabilities. Nonetheless, biologically inspired vision models such as Deep Neural Networks have been successfully implemented in key areas such as object and facial recognition. The question remains: what is the difference between human and posthuman approaches to architecture? In the spirit of the creation of novel insights -which is one of the goals of a contemporary thesis project- the thesis proposes an idea of human/AI interactions in creative processes.
Faculty Advisor:
Matias del Campo


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