Architecture installation at the MAK

New Design Methods in Architecture Installation at the MAK

Matias del Campo, Associate Professor, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning

Collaborators: Professor Chad Jenkins (CS, Robotics), Assistant Professor Justin Johnson (CS), Jiangyue Mao (Student, MIDAS), Brendan Tsai (Student, Taubman College), Chandana Rao (Student, Taubman College)

Following an invitation by the MAK, the Museum of Applied Arts, in Vienna, Austria, we are planning a large-scale installation depicting the interdisciplinary work between Architecture, Robotics, CS, and Data Science.

The invitation to the exhibition “New Design Methods in Architecture” allows us to display the progress made in the AR2IL, the laboratory for Architecture and Artificial Intelligence. The planned piece consists of two parts: On the wall of the gallery, we are planning a large-scale backlit box (10’ x 10’) containing all the images generated in the AR2IL lab in the last two years. Wither it is datasets or images created by generative AI models such as Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, or Disco Diffusion. MIDAS will aid us in an interdisciplinary project to analyze, sort, and organize the images using their expertise in data analysis. They all will be displayed in a rectangular grid of images, each about 2”x2”. From a distance, it will look like a gradient of color from black to white. Coming closer, people can see that each ‘pixel’ of the large image is in itself an image.

The second part of the installation consists of a large-scale model (5’ x 5’ x 5’) called “The Doghouse.” The basis for the model is a set of sections that were generated using Diffusion models. This model is a premiere as it uses Diffusion models as the basis for a 3D model. Something that has not been demonstrated successfully so far. We were able to create a 3D model that we can fabricate and display. In addition, the doghouse is populated by 3 AIBO Dog robots. Using their sensors, we are planning to display smaller models, texts, and images in the Doghouse that the AIBO can stream to an online platform. A small exhibition in a large exhibition being broadcasted to the world.

In addition, we plan to make stickers containing QR codes that guide visitors to websites that go into more detail about the research done in the AR2IL lab, but also to follow up literature such as the book ‘Neural Architecture’ and the AD ‘Machine Hallucinations,’ both authored by the applicant. The sticker idea can be extended to become, for example, a small memento visitors can take along. (This is also a tip of the hat to Hans Hollein, who used the sticker idea back in the 70ies for an exhibition he curated at the Cooper Hewitt museum. Hans Hollein’s daughter is the current director of the MAK.)

The exhibition is fundamental in displaying the results of projects that ArtsEngine has funded generously in the past, such as the Common-House dataset. (Which will be part of the displayed artwork.)