How to Use MidJourney Architecture to Create Concept Renderings

By Jon Henning •  Updated: 01/04/23 •  7 min read

“AI”, or Artificial Intelligence technology isn’t a new concept. In fact, the terminology wasn’t formally coined until 1956 at a conference in Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. Even centuries before the 1950s, there is evidence that classical philosophers’ contemplated that human thinking was a systematic process that could be quantified.

Architecture and Design is closely intertwined with the evolution of technology. As a profession that requires us to “see the future”, it’s important for architects and designers to stay informed on emerging trends in technology and computer processing.

How to Use MidJourney AI to Create Architecture Concept Renderings

After all, computers help streamline our design process — from being able to rapidly produce architecture prototypes in the form of drawings and 3D models, to helping us document complex, large-scale projects to be constructed. Historically, architecture is a “slow” process, and it can take many years for a building to be constructed.

But technology is allowing us to expedite the design process. Now, with “MidJourney Architecture” we can see our imagination come to life faster than ever.

Art and architecture share a symbiotic relationship — a feedback loop, if you will.

Architecture informs art, while art informs architecture. One of my favorite examples of the “art and architecture feedback loop” is the Suprematism Art Movement, which began in the early 1900s by artist Kazimir Malevich. Zaha Hadid (one of the world’s most famous architects) was deeply inspired by Suprematism.

Many of her early paintings truly blended the world of contemporary art and architecture, which you can see here:

So what is the common thread that art and architecture share?

Humanity. Artists create art for people, as architects create buildings for people. But what happens if we remove the “human” factor? What if art and architectural design could be created solely by computers?

AI Art Generators

Although AI has been used for decades in other industries, such as business and healthcare, it’s still relatively fresh for creative industries. By using a neural network of millions of images, AI art generators can take a scripted prompt and generate an image for a user in a matter of minutes, or even seconds.

So how can architects and designers utilize this technology? Well, AI isn’t going to design a building for you… but it CAN help you expand your imagination.

Here’s the very first AI artwork I’ve ever generated:

Generated by MidJourney AI Art Bot

This is the prompt I used:

“3d building, architecture drawing, suprematism, muted color, distopian, sunset”

It’s really interesting to see how AI interpreted the somewhat conflicting concepts of “3D building” and “suprematism”, yet the rendered image appears to blend the two concepts together fairly well.

AI tools like Dall e 2 and Midjourney are helping architects and their clients design new buildings, and discussions around ai-generated architecture is more prevalent than ever.

Many people questions whether or not AI for architecture actually has a place in the industry, but I want to help you see for yourself through this Mid Journey architecture tutorial.

I’ll walk you through how you can get started with creating architecture renderings using an AI art generator like MidJourney.

How to Use MidJourney Architecture to Create Concept Renderings

First of all, what is MidJourney?

In a nutshell, MidJourney is a platform that generates art based on the text that you input into the software. You simply describe your idea in a series of keywords, and the program will interpret the keywords you input and render a unique piece of art using artificial intelligence.

How to Use MidJourney Architecture to Create Concept Renderings

  1. Install Discord and create an account. It’s free to sign up.
  2. Visit the MidJourney website at: https://www.midjourney.com/ and click on “Join the Beta”. This will take you to the Discord channel.

3. Find a “Newbies” section in the MidJourney discord channel.

4. Start the AI bot by typing “/imagine”, follow by hitting “spacebar”. This will activate the “prompt” box where you can start typing.

5. Type in any words that come to mind, then hit enter. Just wait for the program to render through a series of passes (it will show a percent complete) — and that’s it!

6. You can click on your image to open it in a new page, or if you want to re-render, simply click the “refresh” icon in the prompt. The AI will regenerate a unique image based on the same prompt you used.

7. Have fun letting your imagination wonder.

Note: I enjoy using the MidJourney bot through the Discord app on my phone, but it works the same for both desktop and mobile. I have just found the mobile experience to be a bit smoother with the user interface.

Examples of AI Generated Architecture Renderings

Here are some more AI renderings I made for fun in just a matter of minutes, as well as a list of Midjourney Architecture prompts:

MidJourney Architecture Prompt:

/imagine “zaha hadid building, london and houston, cubism clouds, foggy, glowing light”

MidJourney Architecture Prompt:

/imagine “round building with frosted glass facade, people inside wearing colorful clothing, blue sky with a few clouds and a rainbow”

MidJourney Architecture Prompt:

/imagine “Architecture skyscraper with garden on roof, built with brick, concrete, steel, and glass, Mies Van Der Rohe, Bjarke Ingels, Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry. Just after a rainstorm, with puddles on road reflecting sunlight into steamy summer day”

MidJourney Architecture Prompt:

/imagine “the first architecture to ever exist”

As you can see, the opportunity for imagination is endless. The fact that these images were generated by a robot is absolutely mind blowing in my opinion.

Food For Thought

While many people could argue that the human mind cannot simply be replaced by artificial intelligence — especially when it comes to designing architecture, it’s truly fascinating to contemplate the possibilities.

Is AI Generated architecture useful? Can machine-learning accelerate the design process?

Or cynically… are we running towards a future that will leave us completely reliant on machine learning? Will artificial intelligence sabotage the inherently humanist connection between art and architecture?

In my opinion, it’s just a matter of how we learn to embrace technology. “Midjourney Architecture” could very well be something that influences the way in which we think about the 3D world.

As I was filling out the prompts for the MidJourney bot, images were popping into my mind with each word I entered. In fact, I couldn’t help but to let my mind wander into other interests of mine

Yet, the resulting image rendered by the AI was completely different from what I had imagined.

So based on that observation alone, I think that AI will be used as a tool to help us expand our imagination — not make decisions for us. It will just be another tool that we can put in our toolbox to help us expand our creativity.

MidJourney architecture will certainly change the way we think about architectural design concepts, and in my opinion… it’s here to stay.

What other ways can AI Art Generators help architects and designers?

This is a conversation that I’m deeply curious about, so I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out to me directly, or better yet — start a conversation by leaving a comment below this post. Feel free to use any of the above Midjourney Prompts for architecture concept development of your own, and be sure to share your results!

Jon Henning

Hi, I'm Jon. I have over 10 years of combined experience in various design fields revolving around architecture, engineering, and technology research. I'm passionate about teaching and writing about cutting edge technology for designers.

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