Innovation That Matters

The hanging garden has been designed with input from AI and human architects | Photo source ETH Zurich

AI helps to build hanging garden

Architecture & Design

The structure is being built in a studio by a team of humans and robots

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Spotted: A collaboration between architecture professors at technical university ETH Zürich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich) and artificial intelligence (AI) has resulted in a 22.5 metre high hanging garden inspired by those of ancient Babylon. Called Semiramis after a Babylonian queen, the hanging garden will sit outside the new urban area of the Tech Cluster in Zug, Switzerland.

The final design was reached after many different options and requirements were fed into the computer system. As human members of the team tweaked aspects of the project, the AI responded with new variations on the look and shape. Similarly, with the build, the two parts of the team are working closely together. Four robotic arms are holding portions of the structure in place to allow the human team members to align and secure them. The use of digital fabrication supports helps reduce physical strain and increases safety in large-scale construction projects.

The professors and students taking part in the project have been working on the design since 2019. Currently being built piece-by-piece inside the studio, the team’s goal is to have the structure in place by Spring 2022. That will give the seeds time to take advantage of the warmth of the summer months.

As well as augmenting other building processes like brick-laying, another of the many ways in which AI is helping to improve processes and structures is by maintaining living walls that provide clean air for urban environments.

Written by: Keely Khoury



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