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Jan 20, 2022

Master’s in Architecture, Computational Technologies Program is Taking Architecture into the Future

JANUARY 18, 2022 Excerpt from The Box Article

“Architecture is invention,” the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer once said. Today, students in New York Tech’s M.S. in Architecture, Computational Technologies (M.S.ACT) degree program are inventing new ways to look at architecture. It’s all happening through artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic systems and being applied in exciting ways that could impact architecture and, more broadly, environmental systems for the next several decades.

“We are teaching students to look at the future but generate applications for today,” explains Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa, M.Arch. II, director of the program. Through AI, machine learning, and computational technologies, his students are embracing the best of architecture’s principles and innovate them for the future.

Take the “Museum of Babel” project involving the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) in New York City. Salma Kattass, a Fulbright Scholar in the M.S.ACT program, developed a 3-D scanning survey of the museum to activate an informed realism. In other words, the 3-D scanning acts as a kind of X-ray, making it possible to see all layers of the spiral-shaped Guggenheim at once. With its conical shape, the Guggenheim has possibilities of infinite growth. To show this, Kattass superimposed collections from the Met within the space of the Guggenheim using AI and API (application programming interface).

“The Met is a collection that contains all human culture in a single location. The idea then was to include all the Met archived collections retrieved through API and 3-d scanning within the infinite typology of The Guggenheim and develop a ‘Babel Museum,’ since the Met itself contains the same contradiction of human cultures and languages as the Babel Tower,” said Lorenzo-Eiroa about the project.

The “Museum of Babel” project reflects how the latest technology can be used in tandem with, and not as a replacement for, the fundamentals of architecture, according to Kattass, a graduate of the National School of Architecture in Rabat, Morocco. “I believe that if architects and designers embrace machine learning and AI…as an optimizing creative force, it will reveal opportunities for design that were formerly inconceivable,” she says. “AI, machine learning, and automating technologies help optimize an informed design process, analyzing and interpreting huge amounts of data and perfecting simulation and prediction models, therefore expanding and improving our design capabilities.”

By Diane DiPiero

Original Article