253.J08 Design Studio "Race Against the Machine"
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2022W, UE, 4.0h, 5.0EC


  • Semester hours: 4.0
  • Credits: 5.0
  • Type: UE Exercise
  • Format: Presence

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to assess the potentila of AI-technologies for architectural design and to apply these technologies interactively using different systems and approaches.

- Video: https://tube1.it.tuwien.ac.at/w/mD4Fc74H4SNxuqRujpp4JP

- Text: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1HnJg4Q2lmqzM5NvKntEiSs7CPru6nABB/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=100916216563336493364&rtpof=true&sd=true

Subject of course

"Race against the machine": Does AI design better than we do, or will we perhaps become better together?

With the help of the AI programmes DALL.E or Midjourney, we compare an AI design with a conventionally developed design based on a given design task (school building with hybrid use options).

A_ For the AI design, we enter the terms (words) we consider important and the programme creates a design image on this basis. The design image is not an existing image that best matches the search criteria, but an image that is actually newly created based on the input. Through continuous expansion, variation and specification of the input terms, the output theoretically changes to a design that represents our parameters.

B_ For the conventional design, we work out in parallel, on the basis of the design task, the architectural and socio-cultural design parameters that are relevant from our point of view. Using the classical means of sketches, working models and CAD drawings, we develop a building that reflects our design parameters.

Two competing approaches that represent two different "schools of thought":

A_ Dataism: the universe is made of data streams and the value of each phenomenon or entity is measured by its contribution to data processing. From the existing data, AI develops new data via algorithms in a methodical sequence of steps that help us solve posed tasks and make decisions. Everything is based on the data of all of us, who are ourselves organic algorithms, and we all merge into a rapidly evolving swarm intelligence. This then exists separately from individual consciousness and we all make the best decisions together for all of us.

B_ Humanism: We humans derive from our inner experiences not only the meaning for our own lives, but also our individual idea of meaning for the whole of existence. The objectively meaningless becoming and passing away can be filled with meaning by ourselves, without external meaning. We find this in ourselves, in our individual consciousness.

Possible questions about the process and result of architectural designs that could be raised and perhaps answered by comparing the two results:

  • Can AI take socio-cultural parameters into account in the design, in addition to geometric and material parameters?
  • Are we at all in a position to describe these socio-cultural parameters in such a generally valid way that they result in a design that takes into account the actual needs of future users?
  • Can these needs of future users be better taken into account architecturally as a majority forecast based on large amounts of data or as an individually developed vision depending on the designer?
  • Are the images in the mind that emerge during the definition of individual design parameters decisively different from the images that AI develops on this basis?
  • Does a learning loop between man and machine perhaps even lead to completely new design concepts?

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Teaching methods

Interactive Design in groups 

Mode of examination


Additional information

Weekly meetings on thursday 14:00 bis 19:00

Midterm Crit: 24.11. 2023, 14:00 - 19:00

Final Crit: 15.12. 2023, 14:00 - 19:00



Course dates

Thu14:00 - 17:0013.10.2022Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Kick-Off Meeting
Thu14:00 - 19:0020.10.2022 - 15.12.2022Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Group Meetings
Thu14:00 - 19:0010.11.2022Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Korrektur und Vorbereitung Zwischenpräsentation
Thu15:00 - 21:0015.12.2022HS Atrium 2 Finals
Thu14:00 - 19:0012.01.2023Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Reservetermin
Design Studio "Race Against the Machine" - Single appointments
Thu13.10.202214:00 - 17:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Kick-Off Meeting
Thu20.10.202214:00 - 19:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Group Meetings
Thu27.10.202214:00 - 19:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Group Meetings
Thu03.11.202214:00 - 19:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Group Meetings
Thu10.11.202214:00 - 19:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Korrektur und Vorbereitung Zwischenpräsentation
Thu17.11.202214:00 - 19:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Group Meetings
Thu24.11.202214:00 - 19:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Group Meetings
Thu01.12.202214:00 - 19:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Group Meetings
Thu15.12.202214:00 - 19:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Group Meetings
Thu15.12.202215:00 - 21:00HS Atrium 2 Finals
Thu12.01.202314:00 - 19:00Seminarraum AE U1 - 2 Reservetermin

Examination modalities

Design result and documentation of the design process


TitleApplication beginApplication end
Entwerfen Master / Künstlerische Projekte (5 ECTS)12.09.2022 09:0026.09.2022 23:59


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
066 443 Architecture Mandatory elective


No lecture notes are available.


if required in English