We tried to compete with AI... [AI vs. ARCHITECT]

19 Mar 202314:20

TLDRIn a groundbreaking design competition, architects and AIs face off to determine who is superior in design skills. The challenge involves creating a floor plan for a 280 square meter house on a sloped terrain with specific features. HP's Z8 Fury G5 workstation, with its powerful specs, aids the architects. The AIs use strategies like developing multiple ideas and focusing on compelling renderings. D5 rendering software is employed for its high-quality models and real-time changes. The AIs ultimately win all challenges, highlighting their potential in specific tasks. However, the discussion emphasizes that while AI can excel in certain areas, it cannot replace the holistic and nuanced approach of architects, who must consider real-life constraints and human elements. The video encourages architects to embrace AI as a tool to enhance their practice.


  • 🏆 **Competition Setup**: A design competition between architects and AIs was conducted to determine who excels in design, rendering, and description skills.
  • 💻 **Sponsorship**: HP sponsored the event by providing a powerful workstation, the Z8 Fury G5, to enhance the architects' performance.
  • 🏡 **Design Challenge**: The task was to design a 280 square meter house on a sloped terrain with specific features like three bedrooms and a pool.
  • 🤖 **AI Strategy**: The AI team developed three different design concepts to leverage its computational advantage in rendering compelling forms.
  • 📈 **Rendering Process**: The team used D5 rendering software for its real-time changes and high-quality models to create compelling conceptual renderings.
  • 🎨 **Material Choices**: For the design, wood siding, dark metal for the soffit and balcony, and concrete for the mass wall were chosen to complement the site.
  • 📹 **Innovation in Presentation**: The team decided to create a video presentation, believing that AIs wouldn't be capable of such a task.
  • ❄️ **Creative Element**: An unexpected snow setting was added to the video, showcasing the team's creativity and the software's capabilities.
  • 📝 **Project Description**: A concise 150-word description of the project was required, highlighting the importance of clear and compelling communication.
  • 🏆 **AI Victory**: AI won all three challenges, indicating its potential to outperform humans in specific design tasks.
  • 😨 **Future of Jobs**: There's a concern that AI might replace jobs in design and architecture, but it's also seen as a tool that can be used to augment human capabilities.
  • 🧐 **Architectural Process**: The script emphasizes that architecture involves a complex, non-linear process that responds to real-life constraints, which AI doesn't fully replicate.

Q & A

  • What is the main purpose of the design competition mentioned in the transcript?

    -The main purpose of the design competition is to determine who is better at design skills, rendering skills, and the ability to describe their work: architects or AIs.

  • What type of workstation was provided to ensure human architects can perform at their best?

    -HP provided the Z8 Fury G5, a powerful workstation with 56 cores, 128 gigabytes of RAM, and 4 RTX A6000, designed to speed up any human-made process.

  • What are the key requirements for the house design in the competition?

    -The house must be a 280 square meter design on a sloped terrain with a 20-degree angle, include three bedrooms, a pool, and take advantage of the view overlooking the hill.

  • What are the three design options proposed by the team for the house?

    -The three design options are: Option one - The cantilevered, with bedrooms on the bottom volume and kitchen and living spaces on top; Option two - The fan, which maximizes the width of the site and creates wide open views; Option three - The Cascade, which follows the landscape and provides each volume with a unique view.

  • What software did the team decide to use for developing the floor plans into conceptual renderings?

    -The team decided to use D5, a rendering software with thousands of high-quality models that can be easily integrated into the model for a faster visualization process.

  • Why is the pool considered the 'money shot' in the rendering?

    -The pool is considered the 'money shot' because it is a focal point that can showcase the beauty and design of the house, especially with features like the refraction effect as one enters the house and the view from the top with an infinity pool overlooking the hill.

  • What was the final challenge in the competition?

    -The final challenge was to prepare a 150-word description of the project, wrapping up all the work and packaging it for review.

  • What advantages does the HP Z8 G5 workstation have that made it suitable for the competition?

    -The HP Z8 G5 workstation has multiple advantages including 128 gigabytes of RAM (expandable up to two terabytes), two redundant power supplies for hot-swappable M2 storage, a super quiet cooling system, and plenty of connectivity.

  • What was the outcome of the competition in terms of the challenges won?

    -The AIs won all three challenges: the plan challenge, the render challenge, and the text challenge.

  • What is the speaker's opinion on whether AI will replace architects?

    -The speaker believes that AI will replace many jobs, including those in the design and architecture field, in the near future. However, AI cannot replace the full scope of an architect's role, such as dealing with abstract constraints, coordinating work, taking liability, and ensuring client trust.

  • What is the main concern of the speaker regarding the influence of AI on the next generation of architects and designers?

    -The speaker's main concern is that AI tools, which generate what feels like the final image or answer, might skip essential steps in the design process. This could impact how the next generation of architects and designers learn and approach problem-solving, as they may not experience the full, non-linear process of design.

  • How does the speaker suggest architects and designers should approach AI?

    -The speaker suggests that architects and designers should not be afraid of AI but should try to use it to their advantage. They should constantly think about how they can combine their existing skills with AI to create a new category for themselves.



🏗️ Design Competition Introduction

The video script introduces a design competition between architects and AIs, focusing on their design, rendering, and descriptive abilities. The winner will be chosen by the Archibeans Discord server. HP sponsors the event by providing a high-performance workstation, the Z8 Fury G5, to enhance human architects' performance. The challenge involves designing a 280 square meter house on a sloped terrain with specific features like three bedrooms and a pool, while maximizing the view. The architects develop three design options: a cantilevered design, a fan-shaped design, and a cascading design, each with unique features and spatial arrangements.


🎨 Rendering and Visualization Process

The script details the process of transforming floor plans into compelling conceptual renderings, emphasizing the importance of the 'compelling' aspect. The team uses D5 rendering software for its intuitive interface and high-quality models, which allows for real-time changes and complex scene rendering. They discuss the selection of materials, such as wood siding and concrete, and the strategic placement of elements like the pool for maximum visual impact. The script also mentions the idea of creating a video animation as a unique approach, suggesting that AI might not be capable of such a task. Finally, there's a mention of the final challenge: preparing a concise description of the project.


🤖 AI's Impact on Architecture and Design

The video script addresses the potential of AI to replace jobs in the design and architecture fields, noting that while AI, specifically artificial narrow intelligence (ANI), is becoming increasingly adept at specific tasks, it cannot replicate the full scope of human creativity and responsibility. It highlights the non-linear and iterative process of architecture that involves responding to real-life constraints and the importance of human oversight and liability. The script differentiates between ANI and general AI (strong AI), acknowledging that while the latter could pose a greater threat to human jobs, we are not yet at that point. It concludes by encouraging architects and designers to embrace AI as a tool that can be used to their advantage, suggesting a future where AI and human skills are integrated to create new categories of design.



💡Design Competition

A design competition is an event where designers, in this case architects and AI, compete against each other to create the best design based on a set of criteria. In the video, the competition is focused on evaluating design, rendering skills, and the ability to describe their work, with the aim of determining who is better at designing a house—a team of architects or AI.


Architects are professionals who plan, design, and oversee the construction of buildings. They are knowledgeable in the art and science of designing buildings that are aesthetically pleasing, structurally sound, and functional. In the video, human architects are pitted against AI in a competition to design a house, highlighting the current intersection of human creativity and technological advancement in the field of architecture.


AIs, or Artificial Intelligences, are systems designed to perform tasks that would typically require human intelligence. In the context of the video, AIs are competing with human architects in a design challenge, showcasing their ability to generate creative and compelling designs, which raises questions about the future role of AI in the field of architecture.

💡Rendering Skills

Rendering skills refer to the ability to create two-dimensional or three-dimensional visual representations of designs. In architecture, renderings are crucial for conveying the intended appearance of a building or space. The video emphasizes the importance of rendering skills in the competition, as they are a key factor in evaluating the designs presented by both architects and AI.

💡Discord Server

A Discord server is a platform for community interaction, communication, and collaboration. In the video, the Discord server 'Archibeans' is mentioned as the entity that will decide the winner of the competition. This implies that the community's consensus will be critical in determining the superior design.


A workstation is a high-performance computer designed for technical or scientific applications. In the script, the HP Z8 Fury G5 workstation is highlighted for its powerful specifications, which are crucial for architects to perform at their best during the competition. The workstation's capabilities, such as its multiple cores and large RAM, enable faster processing of design tasks.

💡280 Square Meter House

This refers to the size and type of the building that the architects and AI are tasked to design. The house must be 280 square meters in size and be situated on a sloped terrain. This constraint is central to the competition as it sets the parameters for the design challenge.

💡Cantilevered Design

A cantilevered design is an architectural feature where a structure projects horizontally into space, supported on only one end. In the video, one of the design options presented involves a cantilevered approach, with bedrooms on the bottom volume and living spaces on top, both cantilevering over the sloped terrain to minimize impact on the landscape.

💡Rendering Software

Rendering software is a type of computer program that generates photorealistic views of architectural designs. The video mentions the use of D5, a rendering software with a vast library of high-quality models, which allows for quick and easy visualization of the designs. The software's real-time rendering capabilities are crucial for creating compelling conceptual renderings.

💡Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)

Artificial Narrow Intelligence refers to AI systems that are designed to perform specific tasks exceptionally well. In the context of the video, ANI is used to describe the type of AI being used in the competition, which is capable of generating visually appealing designs but may not fully understand the functional aspects of architecture.

💡General AI or Strong AI

General AI, or Strong AI, is a theoretical form of AI that possesses the ability to understand or learn any intellectual task that a human being can do. The video discusses this concept in the context of future advancements in AI and the potential impact on professions like architecture, suggesting that once achieved, it could significantly alter the role of human architects.


A design competition is held to determine who is better at design, architects or AIs.

Teams are tested on design, rendering skills, and the ability to describe their work.

The winner is decided by the Archibeans Discord server.

HP provides a powerful workstation to support human architects in the competition.

The design challenge involves creating a 280 square meter house on a sloped terrain with specific features.

AIs develop three different design concepts: The cantilevered, The fan, and The Cascade.

The AI's strategy includes creating compelling renderings to tell the story of the building.

D5 rendering software is used for its high-quality models and real-time changes.

The pool is considered the 'money shot' of the rendering.

AIs surprise the judges by also being able to create video animations.

The final challenge is to prepare a 150-word description of the project.

The HP Z8 G5 workstation allows for multiple apps to run simultaneously, aiding in the design process.

The AIs win all three challenges based on community voting.

Despite the win, the AI-generated plans lack functional sense.

AI is expected to replace jobs in design and architecture fields in the near future.

Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) is designed for specific tasks and will improve exponentially.

Architects cannot be fully replaced by AI as they handle abstract constraints and client relations.

General AI or strong AI, which replicates full human cognition, is not yet a reality.

AI's influence on the next generation of architects and designers is a concern as it may skip essential design steps.

Architects are encouraged to use AI to their advantage and integrate it with their skills.