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  • AI and Architecture with Indian Context by Monish Siripurapu | Ant Studio, Coolant

    In this episode of IIDA Summit the focus is on AI and architecture with Indian context, featuring the esteemed architect Manish Siripurapu from Ant Studio. His initiative, CoolAnt was recently featured on Shark Tank India.

    About Ar. Manish Siripurapu

    Architect Manish Siripurapu is the founder of Ant Studio, a multidisciplinary design practice at the intersection of art, nature, and technology. He is an alumnus of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) Delhi and the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) Spain. Manish has a keen interest in computational technology, robotic fabrication, and biomimicry. He is also the founder of Coolant, an innovation think tank exploring sustainable cooling solutions for all. Coolant has won numerous awards, including UNEP’s Asia Pacific Low Carbon Footprint Challenge and WDCD’s Clean Energy Challenge. Recently, Manish was invited as a panelist at the G20 Summit in Bali.

    The Philosophy of Ant Studio

    At Ant Studio, the work is deeply connected to nature. Whether it’s artistic endeavors, architectural projects, or research, the aim is to draw inspiration from nature. Whether you call it biophilic, biomimetic, or nature-inspired design, our goal is to integrate the principles of nature into our work.

    Ant Studio
    Image Credits: Ant Studio

    Three Perspectives on Nature-Inspired Design

    1. Mimicking Nature’s Form: This involves copying the shapes and forms found in nature, primarily focusing on the artistic side of things.
    2. Mimicking Nature’s Processes: A more complex approach, this involves replicating the processes found in nature rather than just its forms.
    3. Building Ecosystems: The most challenging of all, this involves creating ecosystems inspired by nature’s interconnected systems.

    The Role of AI in Parametric Design

    Case Studies

    1. Residential Projects: We have implemented parametric design at the scale of residences, using tools like Rhino and Grasshopper. These designs took months to optimize, but now, with advancements in AI, we can achieve similar results in a fraction of the time.
    2. Commercial Projects: We proposed a commercial complex using parametric design principles, reducing the amount of glass to minimize direct radiation while maintaining a modern aesthetic with natural materials like brick.
    Ant Studio
    Image Credits: Ant Studio

    AI-Enhanced Design for Schools

    In one of our projects, we were tasked with designing a school. The feedback we received emphasized the importance of creating soft finishes to ensure the safety of children while playing. To address this, we leveraged AI to quickly generate design options based on the client’s comments.

    Instead of manually regenerating the renders in software, we provided an image as a prompt to the AI. The AI offered several design options that included soft, kid-friendly materials and finishes. For instance, the AI suggested using materials like rammed earth or lime plaster, which are softer and safer for children. This approach allowed us to instantly discuss the options with the client without the need for weeks of additional work.

    The AI-generated options included imaginative solutions, such as a roof garden and wooden facades. While some of these ideas might not be practically feasible, they inspired new directions for the design. This rapid iteration enabled us to have meaningful conversations with the client and make informed decisions quickly.

    Sustainability and Traditional Building Envelopes

    Adapting Traditional Cooling Methods

    India’s diverse climate and ethnicities provide a rich tapestry of traditional building techniques. At Ant Studio, we explore how traditional cooling methods can be adapted using modern parametric tools. For example, we investigate how building envelopes can mimic the cooling effect of tree foliage, providing natural cooling through processes like evapotranspiration.

    Ant Studio
    CoolAnt – Image Credits: Ant Studio

    Challenges and Future Directions

    Technological Adaptation

    While AI and parametric tools offer immense potential, there are challenges in adapting these technologies to the Indian context. Issues like job displacement and the readiness of the industry for such advancements need careful consideration.

    Ongoing Projects

    We continue to explore the possibilities of parametric design and AI in various projects, from futuristic residences inspired by fictional characters to commercial complexes with innovative facades.

    Ant Studio
    CoolAnt – Image Credits: Ant Studio

    The Potential of Collective Intelligence

    In the field of architecture, we often work in isolation, unlike industries like automotive or IT, which benefit from cross-collaboration and collective intelligence. The future of AI in architecture lies not just in creating visually appealing images but in harnessing data and skills from various disciplines to address larger societal issues such as climate change, resource depletion, and environmental sustainability.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, the integration of AI, parametric design, and biomimicry opens up new horizons in architecture. By drawing inspiration from nature and leveraging cutting-edge technology, we can create sustainable, innovative designs that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

    Thank you all for joining us today. We look forward to a fruitful discussion and exploring these exciting developments together.

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