Intrigued by the way that ants and other insects use nature to build their homes, Indian architectural designer Manas Bhatia used artificial intelligence (AI) to explore what would happen if humans created houses that could grow and breathe. The result is a series of architectural concepts called Symbiotic Architecture, where homes stretch into the sky and natural patterns drive the design.
Bhatia took some of the most pleasant human interactions with nature, like reading a newspaper under a tree or observing colorful leaves in the park, and used them to develop a utopian future. In Bhatia's vision, buildings aren't formed from manmade concrete and steel, but rather, are living forms that grow. He likens the work to a hollowed-out Hyperion tree filled with apartments and a central atrium that is flooded with light.
Using Midjourney to give a visual to his concept, he typed in prompts like “giant,” ”hollowed,” ”tree,” “stairs,” “facade,” and ”plants.” He even asked the program more conceptual questions like “Can structures grow?” and “Can the envelope in which we live breathe as creatures do?” From there, he went through several iterations and refined his prompts until arriving at imagery he was satisfied with. His ability to do all this in a relatively short time is part of what Bhatia finds useful about AI.
“Even before sketching something or putting anything to paper, a designer or artist comes up with an idea or thought,” Bhatia tells My Modern Met. “With AI we can directly convert that thought or idea into a tangible outcome. That certainly solves the problem of ‘thought-to-execution' delay experienced by many creatives.”
Bhatia's Symbiotic Architecture presents a sort of fairy tale that many people would be happy to live in. The buildings are, in some ways, adult treehouses where the natural world is at the forefront. In using AI technology as a tool, Bhatia was able to push the boundaries of his creativity and share the results with the world so that we join him in this fantasy world.