Generative Architecture in Augmented Reality
A good painting is the result of observing, thinking and employing all the skills and experiences of the painter; and so is a good architecture design. But the problem reveals itself when you are on a tight deadline and you don’t have the money or people to whom you could delegate the work; plus, most of the time you have deal with a pressing client who is in hurry to have their building up and running in no time. That’s when the concept of generative design or generative architecture comes into practice.
Most of the time an architecture designer starts with trial and error on a CAD software, a piece of a paper or even a napkin. They would design features and go back and take them away. They spend a lot of time contemplating the best location for each of the object and take stranding into account. With generative architecture and with the help of artificial intelligence the designing gets done in a much more efficient way.
In generative architecture also known as generative design (GD), the designer needs to establish high-level objectives and define restriction, then with the help of AI the design space gets automatically explored and the design possibilities are generated to provide ideas and results. Aside from efficiency, the whole process is extremely exciting as sometimes a happy accident happens and a creative design comes up and sometimes nature’s algorithm gets embedded into the final design. While generative design in the context of manufacturing is receiving more and more attention, its application to the planning of architectural spaces has already been praised by architecture community.
Architecture designing in traditional sense was a tedious procedure which included graphic expression, collage, freehand drawing, architecture modelling, etc. One had to acquire a set of skills to use pencils, rulers and scales to prepare a technical plan of a building. With the advent of technological development that changed the course of architecture industry, new software and systems begin to appear; Computer Aided Design (CAD) and (Building Information Modeling) BIM became integrated parts of the architecture. These new tools offered substantial advantages over freehand drawings; first and foremost, precision was taken into a whole new level. Using machine precision to design spaces improved the efficiency by a large extent. Applying color, texture along with new 3D software brought about presentation neatness and new possibilities in modeling and design. BIM systems were another advancement that required coordinate graphing programs with compatible databases containing the characteristics of all designed parts of the building (Coloma Picó, E. 2008). BIMs included physical and visual characteristics as well as descriptive features for each wall, nod cost and etc.
From early 90s the concept of augmented reality came into existence. This new technology, that at the beginning was regarded as part of virtual reality slowly found its way in architecture community. Using Augmented Reality (AR) made it possible to treat a design as if it were real. Via AR the 3D object would come to life though the cell-phone and digital devices. By this technology you can measure space and virtually walk in the park that has just been designed. As one can imagine there’s a huge difference between looking at a design created by CorelDraw or AutoCAD and living it virtually. Aside from AR to be easy to use and cost-effective, there are numerous advantages of the technology; some of which are provided here.
Guto Requena is Brazilian architect who used Generative Design Architecture to build stools which were inspired by the beat and melody of local music. The result is called Samba Collection which consists of the organic stools carved out of marble. To create Samba Collection, vocals, bass, treble and medium were extracted as parameters to make the literal visualization of Samba songs. Guto Requena used a CNC machine to sculpt the results.
The Startup MX3D collaborated with Laarman Lab, Heijmans, Autodesk, and others to create a pedestrian bridge made of steel in the Netherlands. The bridge is dedicated on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. The world’s first 3D-printed steel pedestrian bridge is built with the help of Generative Design. The technology was used to mix the potentials of the machine’s 3D printer with different tests of shapes and design possibilities through the application of minimal parameters.
A research experiment called Evolving Floor Plans is yet another relevant project which examines hypothetical, optimized floor plan arrangements. In this research, with the help of a genetic algorithm, the rooms and the predicted flow of people are evaluated and the optimized layout is resulted which reduces walking distances, the use of hallways, etc. Optimization is the sole objective of this project. Generative Design Architecture can task made use of generative design. In all of these projects, computer is not just a storage device or a graphing tool but rather a creative force behind a complicated and comprehensive design.
The creativity of the computers have always been an evil force in science fiction movies. However, in real life this can be computers can play a much more positive role. This is the case with architecture design. In previous methods of designing, the user was the creative agent but when it comes to generative architecture, the computer makes many alteration and comes up with the plan. Painters and designers as well as architects have always used concert objects, sketches and drawings to come up with the desired plan of action. Computers, in the other hand, use a programming language that empowers the expression of some ideas and restricts the others (Bohnacker et al. 2012). This methods results in parameters to define the framework of the desired design. With generative architecture the computer is no longer a graphic tool or a drawing facilitator but rather a creative tool that specifies the logical relationships among the parts of a design by the means of programming. With the help of GA, the architecture is not in charge of whole project but is a guide and facilitator that makes and breaks rules and guidelines to lead the computer for final result.
There are many benefits to Generative Architecture in Augmented Reality. First, the tweaking is easy. Each design goes through many changes and alteration before it goes into practice; if you can experience the GA result in real life, it would be far easier for you to decide on the end-result. Also, when you are given many results it is easier to go through them and compare results in a real life environment. This way the final solution has been weigh against other possibilities and therefore is a top choice. Furthermore, as an architect you have to provide the client with a variety of choices. Making these iterations and alterations is a time-consuming process which can be managed with Generative Architecture in Augmented Reality. Using this technology you would be able to make the desired changes in real-time and improve the efficiency of the overall duration of the process. Finally, Employing Generative Architecture in Augmented Reality is a lot of fun!