“AI x Symbiotic Architecture,” a self-growing residential tower by Manas Bhatia using Midjourney

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Manas Bhatia, an Indian architect and computational designer, has been using the potential of the artificial intelligence (AI) tool Midjourney to create surreal architectural concepts. In this “AI x Symbiotic Architecture” project, he imagines a surreal future that has ‘symbiotic’ architectural apartment towers that look like giant hollow redwood trees.

It is fascinating how small insects and creatures create their dwellings in nature. Ants, for example, make their dwellings with intricate networks in the soil. If humans could create buildings that grow and breathe like plants do, what an amazing world would that be to live in!” Exploring more the ideas of how patterns occur in nature, how networks are formed in the dwellings of micro creatures, and how plants behave according to the natural stimuli and such theories and going beyond the realm of physical architectural design. Inspiration from the Hyperion tree, to present a series of AI-generated images, and drawings of the apartments

The “AI x Symbiotic Architecture” project is an AI-based investigation into human interactions with nature, “such as appreciating a tree’s shade on a hot day, reading a newspaper in a courtyard under a tree, or simply hanging out in a park to take in the changing hues of the leaves.” Building on these observations, the architect has envisioned a “utopian future” in which buildings are not machines made of steel or concrete is presented. Instead, the structure is alive and has the ability to grow and breathe. Imagine the Hyperion tree (a coast redwood in California considered the world’s tallest known living tree) that has been hollowed out, with apartments facing inward and natural light flooding in to create an enchanting bio-atrium. Using AI tools like #midjourney helped conceptualize some answers to questions like “Can structures grow?” “Can the envelope in which we live breathe as creatures do?”

Aiding the conceptual research, the AI program Midjourney used a series of words/phrases termed “prompt” to generate an array of images based on the prompt. For this project, a combination of words like Giant, Hollowed, Tree, Stairs, Facade, and Plants were used as the prompt. Then multiple iterations were run, and the prompt was altered with the iterations to achieve the desired results. The key aspect of such AI tools is the choice of words. Sometimes one may not achieve the expected result. However, the generated output gives way to an alternative vision that even the user may not have thought of, and that is the beauty of it!

With new age technology and tools available, architects and designers can create their visions more conveniently, directly translating their thoughts into drawings, renderings, and 3D models, making the industry faster and more efficient. Using technology combined with the knowledge of natural systems, architects can create more biologically integrated designs. The possibilities are endless!

Project info:

Architect: Manas Bhatia
California, USA
Residential Tower
Manas Bhatia
Software Used:
Midjourney AI, Adobe Photoshop

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