Open Access

Architectural alchemy: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for inspired design – a comprehensive study of creativity, control, and collaboration


The research paper contends that Artificial Intelligence (AI) serves as a collaborative partner in architectural design, rather than merely a utility tool. To substantiate this argument, a three-phase, nine-test investigation evaluating the strengths and limitations of two prominent AI platforms: Midjourney AI and Stable Diffusion was undertaken. These platforms synergize human creativity and AI capabilities through features like text prompts and image references, thereby fostering innovative avenues in architecture. Our analysis indicates that Midjourney AI is proficient in generating initial design concepts, largely thanks to its extensive data libraries, but is deficient in design refinement and user control. Conversely, Stable Diffusion empowers designers with greater control via features like ControlNet but sacrifices visual clarity due to its smaller generative models. Both platforms share a common flaw: an overemphasis on aesthetics and shape at the expense of functional understanding. Building upon these empirical observations, the paper outlines strategies for designers to reasonably leverage AI in optimising workflows. It confirms two key hypotheses concerning the interplay of creativity, control, and collaboration, emphasising that both human architects and AI systems benefit from iterative feedback and continuous adaptation. In summary, the study posits that AI is not just an adjunct technology but a transformative force with the capacity to fundamentally alter architectural design processes, paving the way for a new paradigm where human expertise and machine capabilities converge for enriched design outcomes.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Architecture and Design, Architecture, Architects, Buildings, Landscape Architecture, Landscape Architects, Design, Designers, other