Amplifier for Art, Science and Society

Design Brain III, Media and Design Laboratory, Hiflow, Geneva, 2022

Photo: Julian Heil


Artificial Architecture

Machines and Dystopian Dreams

Artificial Architecture showcases five years of pioneering work by the EPFL Media and Design Lab, exploring the fusion of architecture and artificial intelligence. This exhibition presents immersive projections, live prototypes, and a larger-than-life-sized “design brain,” highlighting the vast potential and nuanced challenges AI introduces to architectural design.

Design Brain I, Media and Design Laboratory, Deep City Latsis Symposium, Lausanne, 2020

Photo: Julian Heil

Design Brain II, Media and Design Laboratory, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Seoul, 2021

Photo: Hansol Bae

Design Brain III, Media and Design Laboratory, Hiflow, Geneva, 2022

Photo: Julian Heil

The exhibition critically examines the transformative impact of Generative AI, from encoding the essence of architectural imagery to uncovering subtleties invisible to the naked eye. The exhibit invites the public to immerse, reflect, and critically envision the future of artificial architecture: questioning the capability of machines to autonomously produce meaningful architectural works, their potential to grasp the architectural notions of “typology” and “form,” and manifest the intangible 'genius loci,’ as well as the ethical issues and unforeseen consequences of ceding creative control to machines.

The audience is invited to engage with the future of artificial architecture in three artworks that explore the various roles of Generative AI in architectural design. By immersing our thoughts into the creative process of machines, the exhibition envisions the possibilities and considers the implications of the development, encouraging us to critically examine its impact on design, society, and architecture itself.

Design Brain is the exhibition's centerpiece, intended to be a continually shifting spatial interface that reveals the inner thoughts of design machines. The large, dynamic structure, resembling a highly active brain, captivates viewers with a palimpsest of architectural imagery. The structure mirroring the visual cortex of deep convolutional neural networks embodies the AI's continuous thought process as it generates a seemingly infinite number of architectural propositions.

Creative Eyes is a double panorama projection that transports viewers to the complex stages of data collection, processing, curation, and the generative process. Witnessing various roles in architectural design, from passive "seeing machines" to active "creative design partners,” the data-driven approach generates architectural structures that echo the patterns and rhythms found in the existing architectures, pushing the boundaries of traditional form and typology.

Thinking Hands is a collection of 3D printed artifacts ranging from scaled models to abstract representations as physical manifestations of the development of AI in architectural design. They show how machines are embedded into architectural productions' creative and analytical processes by physicalizing formal and spatial propositions. These models are tokens of deeper narratives exploring the interplay between human intuition and machine intelligence. They invite audiences to contemplate how AI can address social, cultural, and environmental issues in architecture.

  • Events

23.3.24 | Discovery day — Activities for all publics
25.3.24 | Generative AI Project Review — Studio House X + Y (09:00 – 17:00)
25.3.24 | Symposium — Artificial Architecture (17:00 – 18:30)
Guests: Sarah Kenderdine, Chantal Matar, Nicole McIntosh, Georg Vrachliotis
25.3.24 | Opening Apero (18:30 – 20:00)