How do you think Virtual Reality has changed the way designs are created today?
Virtual Reality allows designers and our clients to be placed within our models to understand better what is being designed and ultimately built. VR creates an environment that allows designers and architects to experience an individual space and the overall building prior to construction, improving our ability to generate 2D and 3D documentation. This new perspective is vital to improving our designs, both aesthetically and functionally.
Are you planning to leverage the data generated from connected IoT devices used for designing for further analysis?
We do foresee the ability to use IoT device derived data for future designs. We are researching and beginning to develop ways to adapt our designs to respond to learning gathered from this data. These devices will be critical to understanding how our designs perform in the future.
When you plan to use the IoT derived data, where do you see the scope of using it the most? Which areas of your industry have been significantly impacted by automation in the last few years?
Currently, we believe the optimum utility of these devices is in understanding how an existing facility is utilized by people and performs mechanically. This will allow us to identify opportunities for optimization and will inform future designs both within our portfolio and the industry as a whole as we better understand building performance.
Automation has had the most dramatic impact on the construction site. Construction processes now allow for offsite pre-construction of components. This will likely lead architects to utilize the understanding of this systematization in future designs to further optimize the construction process. We are a long ways away from buildings being printed, but much closer to buildings being assembled from premanufactured parts.
Are you looking at a future where AI can build designs entirely or partially? How do you foresee the role of AI in the industry’s future?
Personally, I cannot perceive a time when technology will replace the imagination and creativity of the human mind, especially in a profession such as architecture that also incorporates engineering and human interaction. There is a wide gap between artificial intelligence and artificial wisdom or even the more basic concept of understanding. Design requires more than intelligence and often incorporates decisions based on unstated but understood needs, which outmodes AI. This process requires collaboration amongst architects and other design professionals to gain a full understanding of the overall challenge and apply a process of productive imagination to meet the final design. AI will play a key role in allowing a quick resolution to a particular challenge or question to facilitate data-driven design, but the process must go beyond data. While AI may be capable of producing iterative designs and even selecting an optimal design based on a given set of parameters, AI will not be able to analyze the many ways in which design will be perceived. This is a uniquely human ability to understand the needs, emotions, and vision of others.
Right, that goes entirely for the process of designing. Do you think there are any other components of these processes that can be impacted by using more AI?
Yes, I think AI positively impacts many other areas. For example, AI can assist in completing in-depth studies of smaller components with distinct parameters. AI is a problem-solving tool that can be leveraged in many useful ways and likely in ways that we are not yet aware of.
Have you found any promising solutions by younger organizations and startups that having the ability to disrupt your industry?
Micro disruptions are happening every single day as a part of a constant change and continuous evolution. The things we perceive as disruptive are often an aggregation of many smaller-scale disruptions. In the midst of this constant change, a particular disruption is nearly impossible to predict. There are many promising developments that have the potential to disrupt our industry, but it is impossible to predict which will mature or merge with others to form the next major disruption. Personally, I am optimistic about improved collaboration technologies both during design and in construction that will disrupt many of the inefficient processes that exist in our industry.
How would you see an architect functioning ten years from now – based on his aids, focus, and vision to create a design-ready future?
In ten years, I think, architects will be creating buildings in the mode of a composer using problem-solving AI technologies. While focused on understanding client expectations and challenges, AI will provide more agility in their approach to design problems and will add depth to the design process. The process will be more fluent through better connectivity of people, systems, and data. With AI taking control of problem-solving and helping to simplify current processes, architects will have clearer vision enabling a stronger focus on design. Advances in software and connectivity are crucial to this future.
Which technology has impacted the most in the way designing works?
There are a number of technologies in many different areas, which have simplified and evolved the architecture industry. Our ability to focus on design is strengthened by the real-time rendering advancements. Scanning technology enables quick understanding of the existing facilities. Virtual reality has provided the ability to visualize and experience design. Cloud-based applications have improved collaboration. Together these advances have been great improvements, and there are many more things to be excited about in the future.
Bob Rayes joined Corgan as Principal and Chief Information Officer in 2015. Leading change since he entered the field over twenty years ago, Bob has been involved in all aspects of technology, including system design, software development, process improvement, and cloud-based implementations. Bob provides leadership for the continued development of innovative and secure information technology environment that supports Corgan’s design practice. He holds certifications from PMI (Project Management Institute) and ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) Foundation for IT service management and is a licensed architect in Texas and Michigan. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Lawrence Technical University and is currently a Juris Doctor candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas College of Law.