The 10th edition of the Advanced Architecture Contest, organized by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), invites architects, designers, and innovators to explore the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the built environment. This competition aims to inspire participants to envision novel applications of AI mixed with non-AI tools that can shape the future of architecture, urban planning, and design.

The design disciplines have undergone a remarkable evolution, shifting from using materials to data as the fundamental building blocks of architecture and cities. This evolution can be traced through the digital revolution experienced in the last three decades. The 90s marked the creation of the internet, connecting people and information globally. The 00s witnessed the development of major platforms, facilitating online interactions and services, while the 10s experienced the proliferation of apps and programs revolutionizing user experiences and access to information. As we enter this new decade, content creation takes center stage, with AI playing a significant role in generating, analyzing, and optimizing content across various domains.

This evolution is closely correlated with the development of digital design paradigms. In the 90s, technical experts drove most digital developments, primarily relying on text-based interactions. The 00s brought basic graphics, enabling more visual representations, and the 10s saw the rise of User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design, enhancing usability and aesthetics through bidimensional interfaces. Looking ahead, this decade will witness the emergence of 3D UX and UI development, leveraging AI’s capabilities to create immersive and interactive environments that blur the boundaries between physical and digital realms.

Competition Objective

Participants are challenged to envision innovative design solutions that harness the potential of AI in the built environment using both AI and non-AI tools. Proposals should investigate how advanced technology tools can offer fresh perspectives on the built environment. These imaginaries can range from critical speculation to forward-thinking projections. The designs should directly engage with one of the topics proposed and respond providing design interventions across a wide range of scales.

Participants are encouraged to develop solutions that address the urgent need for decarbonization. Proposals should showcase innovative approaches to renewable energy integration, carbon sequestration, bio-based materials, and regenerative design principles.

This category challenges participants to explore symbiotic interspecies cohabitation. Designs should emphasize the enhancement of biodiversity, ecologically sensitive design interventions, and the integration of AI to improve the well-being of both humans and other species.

Participants in this category are tasked with envisioning design strategies that address the challenges of war or climate induced migrations. Proposals should focus on the creation of flexible and adaptive built environments that can accommodate and support communities affected by extreme events and socio-ecological disruptions.

This category calls for design solutions that enable radical self-sufficiency at various scales, from individual buildings to entire communities. Participants should explore how to optimize resource management, food production, waste reduction, and community empowerment to create new forms of local reindustrialization and self-sustaining environments.

Participants are encouraged to explore the role of AI in automating and optimizing architectural, urban and planetary systems and infrastructure. Designs should showcase how AI can enhance transportation networks, energy grids, waste management, and other critical urban systems to create efficient, resilient, and ecological cities.

This category challenges participants to envision design solutions for emergent territories of urbanization, such as rapidly growing cities, informal settlements, remote territories and areas affected by population displacement. Proposals should address the unique challenges and opportunities presented by these contexts and leverage AI to create inclusive, resilient, and innovative urban environments.

Scales of Intervention

All proposals submitted for the competition should address multiple scales of intervention, demonstrating an understanding of the impact of the proposed design across various scales. Participants should consider the following scales: body, interior, building, city, territory, and planet with an understanding of their interconnectedness and the potential for AI mixed to non-AI tools to shape each scale. The contest encourages participants to propose transcalar designs anywhere in the world that reflect its diverse cultural, environmental, economic, or social conditions.

Evaluation Criteria

The competition evaluates design proposals based on four key criteria:

Narrative Capacity: Ability to convey advanced design projections effectively, blending AI tools with traditional design tools to tell a compelling story.

Relevance to Topics: Alignment with one topic proposed and relevance of the solution offered.

Design Quality and Innovation: Quality of the design and spatial innovation of novel and creative solutions.

Integration of AI and Non-AI Tools: Capacity to combine the strengths of AI and non-AI tools, with AI offering automation and generative capabilities and non-AI tools providing precision and human creativity.