manas bhatia’s symbiotic architecture of the future
Utilizing the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) tool Midjourney, architect and computational designer Manas Bhatia imagines a surreal architectural future with his new project, Symbiotic Architecture. Inspired by the Hyperion tree, in this concept the Indian designer imagines a future occupied by symbiotic architectural apartment towers that breathe and grow, appearing as giant hollow redwood trees. The architect questions: ‘Can the envelope in which we live breathe as creatures do instead of us dwelling in air-conditioned concrete and glass boxes we call apartments?’ Exploring the relationship between living creatures, nature and architecture, Manas Bhatia presents his conceptual research imaginations as a series of AI-generated images, and drawings that depict the surreal ‘living’ apartments that are entirely integrated into and at one with nature.
all images by Manas Bhatia
hyperion trees transform into inhabitable apartments
With Symbiotic Architecture, Manas Bhatia expands his practice beyond the realm of physical architectural design. Now exploring artificial intelligence and surreal architectural concepts and designs, he questions how patterns occur in nature, how networks are formed in the dwellings of micro creatures, and how plants behave according to the natural stimuli and such theories. The Indian architect and designer also considers mankind’s deep relationship with nature, touching upon our experiences with it to devise a vision of a ‘utopian future’. In this envisioned alternate future, buildings are not machines made from concrete or steel. Instead, they are live and can grow to accommodate the ever-growing needs for housing.
Aiding his conceptual research imaginations, Manas Bhatia utilizes the AI program Midjourney to generate this architecture that is symbiotic in nature. The architect fed the program a series of text-based prompts, including a combination of words such as ‘giant’, ‘hollowed’, ‘tree’, ‘stairs’, ‘façade’ and ‘plants’, to generate an array of images in response. Then in an ongoing process multiple iterations were run and the prompts were altered to achieve the desired results. The result is a surreal series of apartment buildings that take on nature completely. Hollowed-out Hyperion trees are transformed into functional breathing architecture, with apartments facing inwards and natural lighting sweeping in to create an illuminated, enchanted natural space.
surreal archway entrance to the tower
ai-generated enchanted structures that breathe and grow
With his new Symbiotic Architecture series, Manas Bhatia proposes that designers can design more efficiently by learning from natural systems already in place. “I have always been fascinated by how small insects and creatures create their dwellings in nature. Ants for example create their dwellings with intricate networks in the soil. If humans could create buildings that grow and breathe like plants do, what an amazing world would that be to live in.”
This new approach that utilizes knowledge of natural systems, can be supplemented by technology to allow architecture to create more biologically integrated designs, with endless possibilities. With new age technology and tools available architects and designers will be able to create their visions with more convenience directly translating their thoughts into drawings, renderings, and 3D models making the industry faster and more efficient. As with AI tool Midjourney, the key aspect is the choice of words which generates the desired visual outcomes. Sometimes one may not achieve the expected result, however, the generated output can give way to an alternative vision that the user may have not even initially thought of.
exterior view of the organic network of houses
apartment tower that resembles a tree