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How Architects Are Using AI & The Impact On Manufacturers

With AI gaining momentum in recent years, architects and manufacturers have been exploring its potential to transform the way buildings are designed, constructed and marketed. This week, we are exploring the intersection of AI and architecture plus highlighting key trends and tools that are reshaping the industry.

October 2nd, 2023

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In this episode of the Smarting Building Materials Marketing, Zach and Beth are joined by Paul Keskeys, the editor-in-chief at Architizer, and he shares his expertise and insights on how architects are utilizing AI.

The discussion highlights the role of AI in architecture, its connection to building materials and the challenges and opportunities it presents.

Episode Rundown

01:05 - How architects are using AI
05:13 - AI challenges: speed, tools, directions and where to start.
11:04 - How AI tools can combine objective data and poetic design
13:56 - Where architects show their true value
18:23 - The importance of exploring digital prototyping tools

Meet Paul Keskeys

Paul Keskeys, a registered architect, has a wealth of experience in the field. Originally from England, he graduated from Edinburgh University and University College London before becoming an architect in 2011.

Paul's journey led him to New York, where he now serves as the editor-in-chief at Architizer. Combining his passion for writing and storytelling with his love for architecture, Paul helps architects stay informed about the latest trends and technological innovations in the industry.

Paul’s unique perspective as an architect turned editor allows him to bridge the gap between the practical aspects of the industry and the storytelling elements that captivate readers.

AI Usage in Architecture

As the conversation shifts toward AI's role in architecture, Paul emphasizes the novelty and complexity of this emerging technology. He admits that even though he is still in the learning phase, he has curated a collection of resources and experts in the field to help architects navigate the vast landscape of AI applications.

AI Usage in Architecture

To provide a more practical framework for architects, Paul created an AI Architecture Cheat Sheet. This cheat sheet serves as a starting point for architects to familiarize themselves with the different tools and leaders in the AI space, such as Stephen, a practicing architect experimenting with AI-generated images from text prompts.

It highlights key individuals to follow for knowledge sharing and dives into various AI tools for different aspects of architectural design and visualization. While some of these tools are still in the experimental stage, they offer architects a new way to turn concepts into reality.

The cheat sheet acts as a resource for architects to explore the possibilities of AI and keep up with the rapidly changing landscape.

Beth mentionsarchitect Ömer Nuray from Budapest who is using MidJourney to model various visual representations of buildings and shares the output on Linkedin.

The tool allows for quicker iterations and significant visual impact in a matter of minutes. This shift in bringing technology to the beginning of the design cycle rather than adding it at the end is expected to impact how design evolves and influences design trends.

Paul’s advice to architects and manufacturers is to dive in and start experimenting with these tools to unlock their potential.

The Future of AI in Architecture

Zach asks Paul for his perspective on the future of AI in architecture and on how AI will shape the industry in the next year or two.

Paul highlights that while AI tools like ChatGPT can generate plans and essays quickly, the true value of architects lies in their ability to translate clients' needs and desires into tangible spaces.

Paul emphasizes the importance of effective communication and coordination between stakeholders in the building process. He believes that despite the advancements in AI, the complexity of architecture requires human intervention to pilot and oversee the integration of various tools and technologies.

I don't really see the whole process — from sketch to building in the real world — being fully automated in our lifetime, like even with the pace of AI. So there's always going to need to be someone coordinating and driving that process.” — Paul Keskeys

While automation can be beneficial for specific tasks, Paul predicts that architecture will not be fully automated in the near future and emphasizes the ongoing need for architects to drive and coordinate the process.

AI's Impact on Building Products

AI is not only revolutionizing architectural design, but it also has a significant impact on building materials. Paul explains that AI plays a crucial role in turning concepts into construction, bridging the gap between rendering and reality.

Even if you don't think that it's going to be relevant to you specifically or your industry specifically, it's just good to be able to know what others are using, right?” — Paul Keskeys

The integration of technology and physical building materials is essential in creating innovative, sustainable and efficient structures.

Zach, Beth and Paul chat about how AI can streamline the process of turning a concept into a construction, ensuring that the physical materials align with the design intent.

From optimizing manufacturing processes to predicting material performance, AI is revolutionizing how building products are developed, marketed and used.

Architects and manufacturers need to stay informed about AI's potential to leverage these advancements and deliver better building materials.

Paul encourages manufacturers to leverage AI to optimize their product development processes and improve overall efficiency.

Through AI, manufacturers can gain insights into consumer preferences, create smarter products and better meet the needs of architects and designers.

AI in Product Design and Marketing

Beth asks Paul about how manufacturers should approach AI architecture, considering they may not be directly involved in platforms like Midjourney.

Paul suggests that manufacturers should still explore and familiarize themselves with AI tools, even if they may not seem immediately relevant. He emphasizes the importance of learning from others in the industry and staying informed.

When it comes to product manufacturers, they can utilize AI tools for design iterations and creating different variations of their products. However, he cautions that the key is to listen to the needs of their clients and community to determine which variations are most compelling.

It's great that you can potentially create 100 images of different prototypes or different variations of your existing product, but it doesn't really mean much if you don't know which of those 100 is the one that your architects or your clients might want.” — Paul Keskeys

Manufacturers can use AI as a surveying device by creating multiple images and gathering feedback from their community.

Overall, the focus should be on understanding customer preferences and engaging in a two-way conversation to effectively leverage AI architecture in marketing content.

Want Even More Insight?

From improving design processes to revolutionizing marketing and sales strategies, AI is transforming the architecture and building materials industry. Architects and manufacturers have a wealth of AI tools and resources at their disposal to explore, experiment and learn.

AI usage in architecture presents exciting opportunities for building materials manufacturers to enhance their marketing strategies, streamline production processes and stay competitive.

By staying informed, leveraging AI tools, collaborating with architects and investing in talent, manufacturers can position themselves as leaders in the industry and provide innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of architects, designers and builders.

If you want to connect with Paul, you can find him and his AI Cheat Sheets on LinkedIn.

If you are looking to get your building products in front of more architects, check out Architizer’s A+ Awards, set to launch in October.

If you have any questions about incorporating AI into your marketing strategy or want to learn more about the topics discussed in this episode, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].

Don't miss out on the opportunity to leverage AI to drive growth and outperform your competition in the building materials industry.

More About The Show

The Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps industry professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform the competition. It’s designed to give insights on how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for companies of any size.

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