The paradigm of drawing has undergone radical change due to demands of virtual design production and no longer provides a stable reference for the discipline of architecture. What we think are drawings are actually pictures of drawings on a digital interface. Sebastiano Serlio’s illustrated treatise serves as a conduit into the domain of artificial intelligence (AI) and discussions about the shifting roles of drawing and language fundamental to the production of knowledge within the building arts. The intension of this research is not simply to synthesize images that simulate Serlio’s illustrations but rather to modulate their qualities and problematize their 2D to 3D translation. Pedagogical methods are framed by the discordant pairing of analog and digital information processing inherent to machine learning and architectural intelligence. High degrees of accuracy in building simulation may not be adequate in addressing the hyper-mediated status of the drawing. Instead, poorly trained AI models and equivocal digital workflows produce outputs that exhibit distortions and fragmentations through recursive computational procedures, depositing layers of visual and semantic content in each successive operation. In returning Serlio’s drawings to object status, the operative models presented involve augmenting and interpreting layered generative adversarial networks that drive an integrated parametric process of three-dimensionalization. These tools and methods surrender established roles of authorship, complicate normative and predictable linear design processes, and resist conventional orthographic translations from drawing to building. Machine learning scrambles the orthographic codes that have defined architectural language since the Renaissance and have persisted though pedagogies established by the Bauhaus and the École des Beaux-Arts. Serlio’s illustrated volumes initiate these discussions about contemporary aesthetic communication and shared design agency that may allow architecture to gain disciplinary perspective on our technological circumstances and stimulate new modes of perception and creative digital production.
Jean Jaminet holds a Master of Architecture from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from The Ohio State University. He is currently an assistant professor at Kent State University where he conducts design and research that examine the perception of the built environment influenced by our fundamental reliance on technology.
Gabriel Esquivel was educated as an architect in Mexico City with a degree from the National University and received a master’s degree in architecture from The Ohio State University. Gabriel is the director of the T4T Lab at Texas A&M University where he examines the integration of digital technology to exchange architectural information and its connection to contemporary theory.
Shane Bugni is a junior at Texas A&M University where his is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in architecture. He studies the integration of artificial neural networks into contemporary architectural workflows. Shane has served as a technology assistant for courses in artificial intelligence and robotic fabrication at Texas A&M University.