The director of visualization in HOK’s Washington, D.C., studio joined a NVIDIA webinar to discuss the transformative potential of generative AI in the architectural design process.
As the world embraces the power of artificial intelligence, thought leaders from several architectural firms convened during NVIDIA’s annual developer conference for a lively discussion about AI’s future in architecture.
The hour-long webinar was moderated by NVIDIA’s Jeff Mottle and featured HOK Visualization Regional Director Mateusz Gawad, alongside Shajay Bhooshan, associate director, Zaha Hadid Architects; Tonya Custis, director of AI research, Autodesk; Clinton Miller, associate principal, Shop Architects; Pablo Zamorano Mosnaim, head of geometry and computational design, Heatherwick Studio; Hassan Ragab, computational designer and digital artist, HsnRgb / Interdisciplinary Studio; and Martha Tsigkari, senior partner and head of applied R+D, Foster + Partners.
The panelists discussed the ethical considerations, opportunities and challenges surrounding the integration of AI into architectural design practices. They underscored AI’s potential to democratize good design, engage diverse talent and amplify architects’ influence on shaping the built environment. Nonetheless, significant challenges lie ahead. The panelists acknowledged the risk of biased datasets leading to culturally insensitive, environmentally unsound or unsafe structures.
Gawad emphasized that AI model training relies heavily on internet content, which means communities with limited internet access may be underrepresented in the data and prone to misleading or fake AI generations. The panelists stressed the importance of treating AI as a tool that demands rigor and accountability. They suggested the architect’s role should evolve into that of a “maestro,” overseeing specialized AI models to ensure human oversight and responsibility in the design process.
HOK, formerly Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum and legally HOK Group, Inc., is an American design, architecture, engineering, and urban planning firm, founded in 1955.
As of 2018, HOK is the largest U.S.-based architecture-engineering firm and the fourth-largest interior design firm. The firm maintains more than 1,600 professional staff across a network of 24 offices, and is active in all major architectural specialties.