red brick mies van der rohe family home generated by AI software Dall E 2

"Nothing is replacing human designers in our lifetimes" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are discussing an opinion piece that claims "AI is putting our jobs as architects unquestionably at risk".

In the opinion piece, AI author and Florida International University professor Neil Leach writes "architects urgently need to get to grips with the existential threat posed by AI" or risk "sleepwalking into oblivion".

red brick mies van der rohe house by dall e 2
An AI generated image by software system DALL·E 2 that can create images from a description in natural language

Leach starts his article with a paragraph generated by ChatGPT, a recently-launched AI text generator, which Leach argues "is already putting some jobs at risk". Commenters had a strong reaction.

Archi said "nothing is replacing human designers in our lifetimes".

Meanwhile, JZ remained "confident that the human brain's irrational capabilities will never be reproduced authentically".

"We're approaching the peak of inflated expectations of AI generation, (which will be a tool in the future, no doubt)," commented Marc Sicard.

"Wait till ChatGPT finds out how much architects make. It'll be switching to TikTok dances in no time," quipped LoveYourHairHopeYouWin.

Some were more optimistic about the potential for AI. John79LK thought it was "pretty exciting that AI could replace large swathes of design, maybe it will help to raise the bar across all sectors."

TinSoldier doesn't think it's something to be afraid of, but rather adapt to: "The role of designer across many domains may need to evolve to AI designer/curator."

Do you think AI poses an "existential threat"? Join the discussion ›

Damage in Hatay after the Turkey-Syria earthquake
"Earthquakes don't kill people, bad buildings do"

"Take example from Japan"

An opinion piece on the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria ignited the comments section this week, with many holding up Japan as worth learning from when it comes to building in earthquake zones.

In the opinion Worldchanging Institute founder Cameron Sinclair wrote "earthquakes don't kill people, bad buildings do".

In the comment section, Manny suggested taking "example from Japan. They have strict building code laws."

Marius responded "there is yet another thing to be learned from the Japanese. Their smart earthquake-resistant designs are not the result of the strict building codes but learning from the past. Codes just express lessons learned."

"The international design and engineering communities need to step it up and help the indigenous architects make a difference here," commented Sheila Jeffrey.

Peter Wilson was upvoted for his analysis "The progressive structural collapse of so many buildings surely indicates their structural design and construction was never fit for purpose from the moment they were completed."

What do you think architects' role is following natural disasters? Join the discussion ›

Human composting vessel inside Recompose facility in Seattle designed by Olson Kundig
Recompose human composting facility "transforms your loved one's body into soil"

"I've always wanted to be composted!"

American startup Recompose has opened a funeral home in Seattle designed by architecture firm Olson Kundig, where human remains are composted and turned into a nutrient-rich soil. Commenters have mixed feelings.

"This is amazing," commented Amanda Grimes. "As a garden designer and gardener, I've always said I wanted to be composted. The nearest I could find was a wool coffin and a natural burial plot. I hope this idea takes off this side of the pond!"

ATX wasn't sure, saying it "sounds ghoulish". And Miles Teg was underwhelmed, asking "I thought worms did that for free, for decades?"

Tiffany Ng thought it was a good alternative: "This adds an appealing funeral alternative, although the shiny white surfaces are a bit trendy for me.

Małgorzata Bogusław had different concerns, commenting "I am vegetarian. I wouldn't like to eat veggies grown on dead people."

Would you like to be composted when your time comes? Join the discussion ›

Nissan Kicks 327 and New Balance trainer
Nissan's Kicks 327 looks like a giant drivable trainer

"Did they make it smell like a trainer too?"

Automotive brand Nissan has collaborated with sportswear company New Balance to create the Kicks 327 – a car that resembles a trainer.

Created to promote Nissan's electric Kicks SUV, the collaboration is a play on the car's name, which is slang for trainers. Commenters were feeling funny below the line.

Gus T Butt joked "Did they make it smell like a trainer too?"

"Now we need shoes to have headlights and taillights!" added Zee.

ArtyVisual, with a pinch of sarcasm, commented "yes, this is what the world needs from designers... :("

Earnest or otherwise, Franc Lea exclaimed "I have always wanted to drive around in a giant sneaker!"

Would you take this car out for a jog? Join the discussion ›

Comments update

Dezeen is the world's most commented architecture and design magazine, receiving thousands of comments each month from readers. Keep up to date on the latest discussions on our comments page and subscribe to our weekly Debate newsletter, where we feature the best reader comments from stories in the last seven days.

The lead image is generated by DALL·E 2 software from the terms "red brick Mies van der Rohe family home".