1st Edition

A History of Artificially Intelligent Architecture Case Studies from the USA, UK, Europe and Japan, 1949–1987

By Danyal Ahmed Copyright 2024
    236 Pages 80 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A History of Artificially Intelligent Architecture: Case Studies from the USA, UK, Europe and Japan, 1949-1987 provides a comprehensive survey of architectural projects exhibiting intelligence since the Late First Century right up to the present day.

    Tracing the social, scientific and technological developments, this book analyses case studies from both conceived and executed architectural projects by Architects and Cyberneticians from the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Japan from 1949-87. From the Late First Century through to the Seventeenth Century, the scientific endeavors of the Hero of Alexandria, Ramon Llull, Paracelsus, René Descartes, Jacques de Vaucanson, Pierre Jacquet-Droz, and Charles Babbage have been presented in which they attempted to review, analyse and conclude the notion of artificial intelligence. Coming to the Twenty-First Century and witnessing a period, particularly from 1949-87, where nothing had been constant, Architects and Cyberneticians whose architectural projects attempted to simulate intelligence include Cedric Price, Richard Saul Wurman, Nicholas Negroponte, Kenzo Tange, Arata Isozaki, Charles Eames, Ezra D. Ehrenkrantz, Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano, and Gordon Pask respectively. This book asks: How have Polymaths, Architects and Cyberneticians simulated artificial intelligence in their scientific/architectural projects? Is it possible to define intelligence purely based on the history of architecture? Or, on a more extensive level, is it possible to view artificial intelligence originating from the history of architecture instead of computational paradigm?

    The transdisciplinarity of the book makes it of interest to researchers and students of technologically advanced architecture’s history, theory, and criticism, artificial intelligence, cybernetics, information and communications, urban and sustainable design, ergonomics, computer applications, and digital design and fabrication.

    1. The Hero of Alexandria to Charles Babbage: Tinkering with artificial intelligence

    2. Cedric Price, Richard Saul Wurman and Nicholas Negroponte: Information-dissemination machines

    3. Kenzo Tange and Arata Isozaki: Cybernetic environments

    4. Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano: Change as the only constant

    5. Gordon Pask: Information, communication and feedback

    6. Artificially Intelligent Architecture: Futuristic prospects


    Danyal Ahmed is a Licensed Architect holding a PhD in Architecture and Building Science from Tohoku University, Japan, and ETH Zürich, Switzerland. He specialises in the history, theory and criticism of technologically advanced architecture with a focus on the role the emerging technologies, particularly, artificial intelligence, internet of things and big data had, is and will play with reference to architecture. He has presented his research at the platforms of the Architectural Institute of Japan, Architectural Society of China, Architectural Institute of Korea, Association of Pacific Rim Universities, European Association for Japanese Studies, University of Manchester (UK) and University of New South Wales (Australia). Being an AI researcher within the continents of Asia, Australia and Europe, he has been a recipient of grants and scholarships from prestigious governmental and higher education institutions such as the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) – Government of Japan, Tohoku University (Japan) and University of Manchester (UK) – and holds internationally appreciated architectural designs, research papers and conference proceedings to his credits. Among his invited talks, Architecture in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (TEDx Tohoku University) and CIBSE IBG: What is Artificial Intelligence when it comes to Architecture? (Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers, London) can be accessed online.

    “The promise of AI as an active agent in modern society has been with us for more than half a century, and has had its boosters and its skeptics. Recent developments, especially in GAN technology, have made it clear that the bud is flowering, with implications in every field of human endeavor. Architects, planners, designers, and all citizens seriously contemplating “smart cities”, “autonomous vehicles”, and "intelligent bots" — among many other cyber-artifacts appearing on the world stage — need good information and critical thinking to guide them. This book fills a real need in that regard.”

    Stephen M Ervin, MLA, PhD, Assistant Dean for Information Technology, Harvard University Graduate School of Design


    A History of Artificially Intelligent Architecture is a much-needed book that provides both practitioners and academics with a comprehensive account of the origins, development and possible future(s) of AI and design practice. A must-have text to everyone interested in AI and its inevitable impact on the AEC industry.

    Silvio Carta, Associate Professor, University of Hertfordshire, UK