Since the Renaissance and the birth of modern architecture, from the definitive writing of Alberti to contemporary Starchitect production, the architect has been the individual, authorial agent of the built form that hosts our lives together.
As we move into an era of machine intelligence, authorship is unstable, driven by immediate digital access to the cultural history of humanity and the capacity for a new mode of machine-augmented creative production. This project opens up creative architectural production to imagine a new era of design of the built environment in which any individual may have an authorial stake in the imagination and production of their built context. In this project, anybody may be cast as building; collectively, the production of this work will make up a new type of urbanism, a neighbourhood and place that is imagined as a direct translation of the accumulative identity of its inhabitants. The identity, role, and agency of the designer are scrambled into a new set of horizontal relationships, having slipped out of its historical top-down orientation. In this new form of design production, the architect produces a (machine learning) model rather than a maquette, radically transforming the identity and role of “the designer” in relation to society and enabling many open-ended outcomes rather than a single predetermined work. Authorship of any individual work is hybrid–a collaboration between architect, machine, and the stakeholder body. The home is an extension of the body and the work of architecture is a gestalt grouping of bodies, a scalable system of augmented creativity, identity, and physicality. The project, Body as Building, reveals itself as a changing set of body-home “neighbourhoods”. A fixed centre will receive and transfer visitor visages into unique body-homes, which will continuously accumulate into a growing and flexible collective identity processed by artificial intelligence.