Welcome to
AI and the future of architecture
On March 11, 12 and 13th 2023 the Classic Planning Institute held the TAG-23, the largest and most important online seminary on Traditional Architecture of the year. Three days of consecutive panels on different subjects, from urban planning to craftmanship. In particular, the talk I participated in on day two was dedicated to «AI and the future of Architecture» and the panel was composed as follows:
• Johan Recén Larsson​
• Alexandros Lavdas
• Riccardo Buratti
• Zack Kane
Moderator: Dr. Nikos Salingaros
The panelists' opinions diverge on the real usefulness of AI in Architecture, along with potential dangers of its use. However, the arguments in favor of AI use are interesting: as an analysis or compositional tool there might indeed be space for an useful implementation. Yet, I am skeptic on the matter, and made my critiques during my 10-minutes intervention, which revolved around precise practical and theoretical themes.

What are the implications of a progressive substitution of human cognitive and imaginative skills through Artificial Intelligence? Is it real intelligence, or just an advanced iterative algorythm? The risk is that we humans end up being influenced by what is supposed to be a tool, but it's in the end too powerful to be controlled properly. The mere possibility to use it not as an analysis tool, but rather as a design tool are already, in my view, flattening the designer on the type of outputs offered by the algorythm.
The inherent limit of algorythms are physical and political: a database is a finite dataset that is assembled and parsed through a set of human-given rules, and those rules are onthologically biased, as the criteria chosen to establish them.
A high degree of personalization of databases and training of the AI would partially address the issue with this technology in general, but it wouldn't suffice.
As a participant in the Round Table of Architecture, I share the principles of tradition and craftmanship that carry a humanistic approach with them. The self limitation in use of technology and the manual work relate to the intellectual effort necessary to achieve the Traditional Way. Making by hand is understanding, and understanding by doing is experience. It's called "brain-hand circuit". Hand crafting/drafting helps us understanding the world and finding a meaning in our existence, a structure and a culture, because we are first of all people. We have a human dimension that needs to be cultivated and spans over generations to concur in the making of Tradition. That's why we need as less AI as possible and as much natural intelligence as we can, confining the AI strictly on those tasks that would typically be arduous and repetitive for humans, such as analysis and research.
Riccardo Buratti

Below, the video of the whole panel. My intervention is between minutes 25:00 - 34:00

Posted: 07/09/2023 22:01 — Author(s): Riccardo Buratti