The fast growth of technology has altered all aspects of life and work during the last decade. Technology is rapidly becoming considerably more accessible and cost-efficient in the field of architecture and design than it has ever been.
Despite this tendency, familiarity remains a barrier to the adoption of particular technologies for many in the sector.
Previously, technology and artificial intelligence (AI) were mostly employed in the sectors of 3D printing and robotics to assist with activities like completing complicated design problems, scripting, and automating monotonous tasks.
AI is now helping architects and stakeholders to collaborate more effectively by generating a more integrated overall landscape.
Large Saudi Arabian companies like The Red Sea Development Company and AMAALA are now looking into how technology can be used from the beginning of a project’s planning and how it can be improved at each step along the way.
“We’re essentially talking about the management and proliferation of data and how it is fast becoming more prevalent. The challenge everywhere is how integrated individual assets are becoming into tech, smart solutions, AI, and so on,” said LWK+ Partners’ Managing Director MENA, Kerem Cengiz.
Several GCC administrations are viewed as being ahead of the curve in terms of how they manage and integrate the physical environment in the context of nation-building. Engaging with technology, AI, and robots is no longer a luxury for architects and developers who want to be a part of this process.
Many governments throughout the world have used smart technology to aid in the control and tracking of the COVID-19 outbreak during the last two years.
Contract tracking tools and building temperature monitors are great examples of how AI can help improve the health and safety of city residents.
“Designing with COVID at the forefront, we can find ways of mitigating the worst impacts of the peaks and troughs of infection [from COVID-19],” Cengiz said.
Remote-controlled curtains, smart meters, AI assistants, and other smart home technologies have been around for a while. However, today’s trend is for more integrated systems that can handle every aspect of the house from a single cellphone.
In the wake of the pandemic, people are looking for more advanced systems that can find infection rates in closed spaces, control air quality, and give health advice and tips.
Furthermore, with many governments across the world continuing to impose lockdowns and stay-at-home regulations, AI in design innovation has the potential to establish a more connected community network in which data flows between houses and buildings.
As Cengiz points out, “the chain of connectivity becomes much more dynamic and responsive, and, in that sense, it becomes easier to control outbreaks and disaster conditions,” by linking this to a government network.
Because of the present rate of technological improvement, we should anticipate seeing considerably smarter living environments in the next decade than we have now, particularly in terms of health and safety.
In the last five years, cities like Singapore and Dubai have made a lot of progress, and now they are starting to connect individual homes to larger community and government networks.
But what are the potential stumbling hurdles to this transformation?
“A lot of the challenges of innovation in this space come back down to cost… It’s very expensive to integrate new tech,” Cengiz explained.
To boost market adoption of new technologies, governments and private firms must take the time to weigh the costs and advantages of deploying new technologies and invest with a long-term rather than a short-term attitude.
“The reality is that the future [of smart homes] is always going to be relatively unpredictable as things are moving so quickly… On a human level, the focus should not just be on saving money but on improving people’s lives by, for example, consistently controlling air quality in the home to respond to changing climatic conditions,” Cengiz added, using the example of continually managing air quality in the house to adapt to changing climatic circumstances.