What Santorini would have been like if Gaudí had built it – Artificial intelligence is changing architecture forever

By | April 30, 2023

Artificial intelligence is taking over Instagram, blending art, design and technology to create dreamlike buildings, landscapes and even entire cities that wow social media users and generate buzz.

What would Imerovigli and Oia on Santorini look like if the Caldera’s white cave houses and luxurious resorts had been built by Gaudí? Sculptures sculpted with feminine curves, circular windows, impressive arches, and round bell towers.

Santorini with Gaudí’s architecture in artificial intelligence photo created by photographer Kostas Spathis / Photo Ai: spathumpa/Instagram

Sets that seem to have been made by a sculptor, with moats instead of patios and hills, along with the typical stairs of the Santorini villages, which are built on top of the cliff. This is how Oia and Imerovigli imagined the popular Greek photographer and architect Kostas Spathis, known on Instagram by the account @spathumpa.

The caves and spas of Oia acquire, through artificial intelligence, curves like Gaudí’s sculptural buildings / Photo Ai: spathumpa/Instagram

Santorini as Gaudí’s city-sculpture

Born in 1984, Kostas Spathis belongs to a new generation of creators who have seized the opportunity provided by social media to present their talent and work to a wider audience. Having studied architecture at the University of Thessaly, he devoted himself to photography, but maintaining the influences of architecture and design that give his works their identity.

The Gaudí-style houses look like hand-carved sculptures / Photo Ai: spathumpa/Instagram

Costas Spathi’s photos go viral every time because they have a balance, an architectural approach, be it landscapes or people interacting with the space as if they are a harmonious part of an organic whole that seems to have been designed by a genius designer. Symmetry, poetry, linearity, a surreal approach, humor, geometry and mathematical sequences, repetitive patterns, architectural perspective, visual games with shadows and volumes, movement, dance, fashion, travel, and design coexist in his photographs that derive from the creative marriage of analog and digital worlds.

A creative game by photographer Kostas Spathi with artificial intelligence software / Ai Photo: spathumpa/Instagram

Kostas Spathis takes full advantage of new technologies, drones, digital image processing programs and now artificial intelligence software to create snapshots that look like they didn’t come out of Hollywood studios shooting sci-fi movies with harsh effects, but images. poetic. of a dream world reminiscent of the works of art of the avant-garde of the 20th century.

Aegean minimalism meets Gaudí modernism in AI’s Santorini / Ai Photo: spathumpa/Instagram

In this project with Santorini, Kostas Spathis, playing with a combined #AI (artificial intelligence) software “the geomorphology of the island with the art of Gaudí to create interesting forms”. The result is a dreamlike volcanic landscape in the Caldera that impresses.

How artificial intelligence is changing architecture forever

In recent years, artificial intelligence, through computer programs, has allowed designers, photographers and even architects to do things that the analog world had not even dreamed of. With shocking verisimilitude, we see everything from photographic snapshots, such as the viral fake photos of the Pope with a super trendy Balenciaga-style puffer jacket, to entire buildings and cities not as photorealistic models, but as photos that confuse social networks. media user and make them believe them to be true, creating confusion and an incredible virality that in some cases can be dangerous.

The viral fake photo of the Pope in a Balenciaga puffer jacket, which was created with artificial intelligence software Midjourney, went viral, sparking a major debate about the limits of AI.

Beyond the ethical part, especially when artificial intelligence (AI) fake photos show famous faces, international personalities and real people with a modified style or in places where they were not in reality, doing actions that they have not done, creating confusion social, the Artificial Without a doubt, intelligence software has brought about a true revolution of enormous proportions in architecture and design, forever changing the data in the design of buildings, cities, objects and landscapes.

Young architects and designers, using advanced artificial intelligence programs, create digital images of a futuristic world, which however is not devoid of emotion, colour, art and a surreal perspective on reality. On Instagram, where these photos are posted, they are scanned and discussed more than actual works of architecture, as they present an unreal aesthetic of the future drawn not from the cold effects of sci-fi motion pictures, but from a world filled with artistic imagination. that arouses desires and feelings.

Creation of the famous designer Hassan Ragab with Midjourney / Photo Ai: hsnrgb/Instagram

Investing in innovation and technology, combining them with traditional architecture, the young creators investigate Diffusion Models based on Linguistics and genetic design techniques to create a new digital world in the Metaverse. The most well-known text-to-image AI software they use are Midjourney, Dall-E2, DreamStudioAI, Stable Diffusion, etc.

Created with Midjourney by designer and design researcher Ai Ebrar Eke / Ai Photo: ai.arch.itecture/Instagram

A good example is Turkala Ebrar Eke, a young architect, designer and design researcher based in Vienna. With a distinguished master’s degree in architecture from the Greg Lynn Studio, Vienna University of Applied Arts, Eke is focused on exploring the ways in which artificial intelligence tools can be integrated into architectural design.

How artificial intelligence software works

When it comes to architecture, AI software solves the hands of designers by offering endless possibilities for highly creative and realistic design, even visualizing designs based on textual descriptions at the earliest stage of the design process.

Created with Midjourney by designer and design researcher Ai Ebrar Eke / Ai Photo: ai.arch.itecture/Instagram

Basically, by communicating the architect with the “machine”, as Ebrar Eke explains in the architecture magazine Perametric Architecture, he gives the software the information that it will use through artificial intelligence to create a realistic but at the same time dreamlike environment that combines both the data of reality as well as products of Art and fantasy. Just a few sentences are enough, according to Ebrar Eke, to “Can artificial intelligence change materiality, spatial properties, compositions or light conditions with just words? These tools give designers a lot of flexibility and open up endless possibilities.”.

Created with Midjourney by designer and design researcher Ai Ebrar Eke / Ai Photo: ai.arch.itecture/Instagram

Through neural networks, the AI ​​software transforms users’ text input into digitally generated images with artificial intelligence. Essentially, these advanced robots take advantage of the commands given by their operator, in this case the designer or architect, and through a large amount of data and information create images of incredible detail and impressive verisimilitude.

Created by Hassan Ragab with Midjourney / Photo Ai: hsnrgb/Instagram

Similar, but more dreamlike, are the creations of Hassan Ragab, a renowned Egyptian interdisciplinary designer with a background in architecture who lives in Southern California. A furniture and textile designer, Ragab, leveraging AI tools like Midjourney (which creates images from natural language descriptions, helps users design spaces, or creates digital artwork using Discord bot commands) , he stood out so much that he created a “school” in the field of AI design and architecture.

Created by Hassan Ragab with Midjourney / Photo Ai: hsnrgb/Instagram

As Bill Cusick, creative director of the high-tech company Stability AI, which created the Ai Stable Diffusion and DreamStudio software, said in a related report in the international design and architecture ezine Dezeen, artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the way people people see architecture, thinking that this software will be a true revolution, “the foundation for the future of creativity”.

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The debate, however, is very long and has just been opened. Critical ethical and aesthetic questions remain to be answered, but the truth is that we are on the threshold of a great transformation in modern architecture and design.

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