How algorithms are designing better buildings

When giant blobs began appearing on city skylines around the world in the late 1980s and 1990s, it marked not an alien invasion but the impact of computers on the practice of building design.

Thanks to computer-aided design (CAD), architects were able to experiment with new organic forms, free from the restraints of slide rules and protractors. The result was famous curvy buildings such as Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and Future Systems’ Selfridges Department Store in Birmingham.

Today, computers are poised to change buildings once again, this time with algorithms that can inform, refine and even create new designs. Even weirder shapes are just the start: algorithms can now work out the best ways to lay out rooms, construct the buildings and even change them over time to meet users’ needs. In this way, algorithms are giving architects a whole new toolbox with which to realise

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How Perceived Superiority and Power Derailed My Dream Home

One year ago, my husband fulfilled one of my wildest dreams in the worst possible way. He bought me a home in Baltimore City.

Bruce is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and an Eagle Scout. I am a two-time James Beard Award–winning journalist and author, known for my dedication to historic preservation. (I have rescued more than 400 Black cookbooks, many of them rare, dating to 1827.) So, when a new job called us to the Mid-Atlantic, we could not resist the allure of its lush green spaces, the Chesapeake Bay, and, of course, its affordable pockets of spectacular architecture.

For us, repurposing is a way of life, whether we are restoring an old Victorian home or accessorizing new construction with reclaimed wood, salvaged hardware, and primitive stone. We gave new life to a vacant center-hall colonial in Shaker Heights, Ohio, by updating its two-in-one kitchen—half the appliances were for

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