AI & The Future of AECO Software

I’ve been asked what my thoughts are on the future of architecture and the emergence new breakthroughs in AI developments. Here are some thoughts.

Similar to patterns in revolutionary technological leaps, certain aspects held as irreplaceable will be replaced and others we’d like replaced will not be replaced. In the short term, the field of visualization will have a dramatic impact. However, designing an entire building worth respect to all design requirements will be more challenging.

Co-authoring with AI tech will become a new skill to hone, and knowing how to use these emerging technologies will give the users a superpower. Not too dissimilar to how one can be good at Googling, one could also be good at “prompt engineering”.

Ideation opportunities will limit the “writers block” when designing. A designer could have a rough idea and start throwing ideas into the engine to get inspired. Before this leap, you would research externally on Pinterest, books, your educational background to piece together aspects. With AI, that inspiration is searchable within your rough sketch of a mass on a site, or an interior space.

This concept is similar to how ChatGPT can be the new Google search engine, where a user doesn’t have to visit a few sites before getting the answer to a question. The answer is a composite of those sites. The same idea applies here: instead of putting together the inspirations for design, it’s brought right within your interface.

The generated output has semantic understanding of the outlying concepts and simulates what the human brain does with inspiration. The applied inspirations (training data filtered by the prompt) is integrated, generating something new that never existed and won’t exist again.

There’s uncertainty on how dramatic AI will change the AECO landscape this year. I think it will be drastic and will keep on exploring how far we can take it for: visualization, ideation, generative spaces + geometry, and automation of repetitive tasks. I believe this will elevate our industry across the board where it democratizes design services and expands our reach to help more people in the world.

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