Join us on Wednesday, 5th March, 14:00-15:00 for our fourth talk in our Public Understanding of AI series

Liminal Landscapes: An architectural design perspective on AI

Dr Sarah Stevens, University of Brighton

Event Link:

We live suspended between the digital and the physical, in a liminal space. The pioneers of digital landscapes we navigate realms unfettered by physical constraints, where stories can construct and reconstruct themselves at will, where time is not just static but can be reversed, where truth can be rewritten and history revised. Orientation increasingly turns to an expanding mirror world, the echo of Borges fiction, a 1:1 remaking of the world, where huge ships hide within the folds of fake signals, infrastructure is analysed through its digital twin and non-existent islands rise into being leading very real exhibitions to search for them. It can begin to paint a picture of an increasing retreat from reality into our imaginaries, with all the dystopian and problematic environmental consequences this could bring. Yet it also holds within it the potential to enhance and deepen our embodiment within the physical realm. AI offers the opportunity for us to sculpt this liminal realm to enhance our spatial embodiment, extending our understanding and engagement with the physical world and ourselves. Design of our architecture and cities must now engage critically with these landscapes, beginning to define our mode of engagement through the spaces we dare to imagine.

Sarah Stevens is an architect, design and architectural humanities tutor. Sarah’s research interests focus on architectural engagement with temporality, ambiguity and uncertainty explored through agendas of sustainability and architectural experience. This work directly informs her teaching and design studio agendas and was informed by her PhD in responsive architecture, focusing on kinetic facades sponsored by Arup. She is a Principal Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Brighton and founder of the Experimental Design Practices Research and Enterprise group (ExDP REG). She has previously run design units at the Bartlett UCL, Oxford Brookes and collaborated on the Moving Through MA course at the Bergen School of Architecture.

Find out more about Sarah’s work at


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