Nov 21st 2023

A ‘Cool’ Design: Misting Pavilion that Helps to Beat the Heat Wins Award

Giant fans, water bottles, and an oversized hat are often a concert-goer’s best options to beat the heat at music festivals. In a bid to save the roasting ravers, local architect and IIT College of Architecture Associate Teaching Professor Alphonso Peluso designed a water misting pavilion for Spectacular Design Chicago’s Weekend Competition this July that garnered the People’s Choice Award.

Architecture students and professionals were tasked to come up with a design in just 48 hours. The tight deadline forced entrants to iterate quickly, but it also served as a relief from the long timelines of more traditional competitions.

The Weekend Competition was offered by Spectacular Design, a spinoff of Black Spectacles, a well-known learning website that helps interning architects prepare for the Architecture Registration Exam.

Peluso joined this summer’s competition with Lollapalooza on his mind—specifically, stopping the heat from causing discomfort, dehydration, and other health risks. “The concept evolved from a basic misting station to a comprehensive pavilion design. Collaborative brainstorming and research with students led to the integration of advanced misting technology, strategically positioned fans, and shaded seating areas,” Peluso says.

The competition was also a chance for Peluso to test how artificial intelligence can fit into architecture. He used ChatGPT to iterate the project concept and description submitted to the competition. Text-to-image generators helped develop conceptual designs into new visuals as Peluso’s ideas grew. “I was able to guide and teach the AI to generate what I asked for until it produced what I wanted.”

The AI tests proved helpful and gave Peluso insight into how this newest technological leap can be incorporated into future studios in S. R. Crown Hall. “I will show students how AI can be used to participate in a design competition. Students will research and select a brief or write their own. They will use AI tools to create the design competition deliverables.”

Outside of the classroom, Peluso will continue entering competitions to learn and showcase how AI can push the envelope beyond conceptual misting pavilions.