“None of the places you’re about to see exist.” Or so goes the premise of Spaces of Code, a project aiming to explore the potentials of artificially generated imagery in the realm of architectural photography.
It is truly hard to fathom that an input of coded commands can debunk our all-time favourite sentence of “an image is worth a thousand words”, but whoever came up with that household phrase was clearly never introduced to the wild potentials of artificial intelligence. Hopping on the hype train of enthusiastic creatives, Spaces of Code is a photographic project working exclusively with artificially generated imagery to create worlds of architectural photography.
The premise, albeit simple, is harder than it looks. Simply imputing a description of a space on A.I software such as Dall.e 2 more often than not results in images which are wrong in composition, colour or even content. The crafting of good photography requires specifically worded commands, a lot of trial and error and exceptional knowledge of the subject, once again proving that a modern-day artist needs to be a jack-of-all-trades (and master of them all, too).
From what has been released so far, Spaces of Code is going down a very minimalist deadpan imagery. The buildings, often looking like dreamscapes fathomed by the likes of Álvaro Siza or Niemeyer are often monolithic, set in vast deserts and with prominent uses of shadows. The result are visuals that feel understated and peaceful, which almost always successfully trick the eye into thinking that these spaces can be visited – and perhaps someday, somehow, they may.
Nothing similar has been done in the architectural front just yet, despite creatives starting to explore AI for conception of facades and spaces. Most of its explorations so far have focused on the creation of images (and consequently spaces) which are often mystical, organic and very parametric. Spaces of Code instead focuses on researching the potentials of creating more traditional spaces, architectures which are conceivable and photographed in styles which resemble something one could find on magazines such as Divisare, Apartamento or Openhouse.
Spaces of Code, which is currently at its exploratory phase, aims to culminate in an independently pursued publication, showcasing a curated narrative of architectural spaces which, as they like to point out, do not exist. Think of those coffee table books you perhaps already own and you’ll have a decently good idea on what’s to come. It has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to collect funds for its research, which you are welcome to contribute to here.