How is digitalization changing how housing is designed and built? Could it reduce the cost of producing housing, or improve design? Read papers from the first panel of our Bringing Digitalization Home symposium.
This paper reflects upon the panel “How Is Digitalization Changing the Ways Housing Is Designed and Built?” held at the March 2022 symposium “Bringing Digitalization Home.” This panel was the first and only conversation of the symposium focused specifically on the architectural scale. The discussion revealed that the social, cultural, and disciplinary challenges surrounding digital transformation in housing are hurdles no less significant than the technological ones.
For much of the twentieth century, architects, builders, developers, economists, and policymakers have pursued the “dream of the factory-made house”. The hope was that the progressive industrialization of housing would result in a similar combination of quality, speed, and economy that historically revolutionized many other industries, including agriculture and manufacturing.
Computational tools have been crucial in the advance of architectural design and production. Since the early 1960s, developments in Computer-Aided Design, Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) have had a fundamental impact in how the profession evolved. Recent groundbreaking developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are bearing the promise of a new revolution in computing, led by novel algorithms capable of learning from experience, rather than rules. What will the role of the architect be within highly automated design environments? Can AI make architectural design more accessible to the end user?