EPFL exhibits Design Brain in Seoul
The Artificial Swissness exhibit from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) is currently on display at the Seoul Biennale for Architecture and Urbanism. It designs a practically infinite number of Swiss alpine huts. This is supposed to represent the inner thoughts of an artificial intelligence machine.
The Media x Design Laboratory of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne ( EPFL ) is currently exhibiting a larger-than-life design brain in the South Korean capital. The exhibit called Artificial Swissness can be seen until October 31 at the Seoul Biennale for Architecture and Urbanism .
According to a communication from EPFL, Artificial Swissness aims to extend the epistemology of computer science to the cultural field. “Our design brain is an experiment on the question of whether machines can design structures,” laboratory director Professor Jeffrey Huang is quoted as saying. “That means whether they can not only recommend music or drive cars, but also create meaningful cultural artefacts, such as architecture with distinctive Swiss characteristics.”
As the message goes on to say, the exhibit should be a constantly changing spatial interface that represents the inner thoughts of an artificial intelligence machine that has been trained on 10,000 images of Swiss chalets and alpine architecture. “We make the visual interferences in these layers of the neural network visible,” say the two EPFL students Frederick Kim and Mikhael Johanes. “This gives us an insight into the inner workings of our generative artificial network that creates architectural images.” The two of them set up the installation in Seoul after a 14-day quarantine.
The digital screens of the installation show the machine-generated images of typical Swiss architecture. At the same time, an LED projection reveals the constantly evolving learning process that the machines go through while they sift through thousands of images of alpine architecture in order to distill the essence of “Swissness”.