Weapons of mass architectural destruction

Why is current generative design software so underwhelming? This is the question I posed to a speaker several years ago at a Design Futures Council seminar in Sydney. It was somewhat of a provocation (who me?), but it came from a deep scepticism about the so-called future of design. Startups across the globe were claiming they were using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to design buildings, and they had the .ai domain to prove it. But from what I could gather – artificial or not – there wasn’t much intelligence about the design output. Change was undoubtedly coming. But would AI’s big bang enter us into a world of post-Cambrian architectural diversity or become a Weapon of Mass Architectural Destruction?

The great tech delusion

The year was 2019, and vertically integrated companies like Katerra and WeWork were being hailed as unicorns and the future of the AEC industry. Startups were solving the housing crisis by developing generative design software to…

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