How Can We Harness AI to Design a More Healthy Sustainable and Equitable Future
NBBJ Managing Partner Steve McConnell, Yale Associate Dean of Architecture Phillip Bernstein, PNNL Technical Director of Analytics Dr. Mark Greaves, Ph. D and Architectural Record editor and journalist Clifford Pearson discuss the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to design healthy, sustainable and equitable built environments.
This piece originally appeared as an op-ed in Architectural Record.
Architecture needs to do more than ever. It is no longer sufficient for buildings and places to meet Vitruvius’ rubric, firmitas, utilitas et venustas—strength, utility and beauty. Now architects must also respond to a broad range of environmental, social and community concerns.
Designing even a single-family home today requires attention to climate change, pollution, the carbon footprint of every material used in construction, fair labor practices throughout the building supply chain, affordability, racial equity, and the development of healthy communities—in addition to all the usual demands of the client and regulatory agencies.
An explosion of information and data on all these issues now influences every step in the design process, and simultaneously threatens to overwhelm the people running that process. How can architects meet the demands of this new class of design goals without losing sight of their less quantifiable aspiration to create inspiring and captivating buildings?
Recently, I joined forces with Philip Bernstein, strategic advisor to NBBJ, and Associate Dean and Professor Adjunct at Yale; prominent architectural journalist Clifford Pearson; and renowned AI scientist Mark Greaves to outline the increasing potential of AI integration in the design process. Not only can the use of AI help make sense of these growing complexities, but it can also have a positive impact on the built environment—supporting health, education and communities. In addition, we recommend the federal government take three important steps to advance the practice of design to more reliably create places and buildings that respond to national priorities for healthy, sustainable, and equitable places.
You can click here to read our full thoughts in the whitepaper titled “Harnessing AI to Design Healthy, Sustainable, and Equitable Places,” and you can also enjoy a companion piece about this subject in this recent article in Architectural Record.