Firefly AI generated sketch of a modern house

How to write AI prompts for architecture.

With the right text prompt and a little bit of know-how, architects can use generative AI to explore, ideate, and elevate their vision.

Top 3 tips for writing architecture prompts.

  1. Know where generative AI fits into your process before you start so you can tailor your prompt to your specific needs.
  2. Be as specific and detailed as possible with your prompt, but also keep an open mind if you receive unexpected results.
  3. Craft a prompt-writing formula that works for you to help explore ideas more quickly and pin down the details.

Bonus tip: Practice your prompt-writing by describing existing images in everyday language.

Design your prompt, design your environment.

If you’ve ever used an AI art generator, you already know that you can create detailed, stylish images with just a handful of words. But taking your generative AI prompts from fun explorations (think unicorns on the rings of Saturn or Renaissance-style paintings of pets) to environmental design takes a certain level of experience.


For architects, a working knowledge of generative AI is becoming just as important as other digital skills, like 2D design and 3D modeling. Unlike visual design skills, however, generative AI relies on verbal expression to produce desirable results.


With a little bit of know-how and practice, architects can design prompts with the same care and detail they put into visual design — and push the results to promising new heights.

Firefly AI generated modern loft apartment

Generated with Adobe Firefly, Text to Image module

Prompt: the interior of a sleek urban loft in the heart of a metropolitan city

Generative AI architecture prompt basics.

The essential generative AI skill for architects is very simple: describe the image you want to create in words. As you’re getting started, follow best practices like:

1 Use three or more words.

Text-based AI image generators rely on your input — that is, the words you use in your prompt — to create a new image for you. The more information you can provide, the closer the result will likely be to whatever it is you’re imagining.

2 Be specific.

TAs amazing as generative AI technology is, it can’t read your mind. Include every detail you can think of, like size, colors, styles, architectural movements, geographic location, building materials, mood, and more.

3 Use everyday language

One way to practice prompt-writing is by describing images you’re already familiar with using simple, easy-to-follow words. For example, Pink two-story Victorian home with turrets, gables, and dormer windows with green and white trim. You don’t need to use full sentences or textbook-perfect grammar. If a friend or colleague can understand your prompt, chances are your AI generator will, too.

4 Consider your audience.

If you’re planning on sharing your AI-generated images with clients, classmates, or colleagues, think about how they might react and factor that into your prompt. Perhaps adding people into your image will make it seem friendlier, or specifying a certain type of landscape will help your audience resonate more deeply with your concept.

5 Add your own style.

Think of generative AI as your collaborator — something that can help you express your vision in new and exciting ways. What can you add to your prompt to put your unique mark on it? How can your own values and aesthetics inform the prompts you use?

As you experiment and play with basic prompts for environmental design, don’t forget to take a step back and consider why and how you’re using generative AI in your practice. There’s a big difference between generating any image and generating the right image, and part of that has to do with where this technology fits into your process.

Firefly AI generated sketch of a modern house

Generated with Adobe Firefly, Text to Image module

Prompt: architectural sketch of a modern minimal style home made out of concrete and glass; hand rendering with ink

Know when to rely on generative AI and when not to.

Whether you’re a working architect, an architecture student, or somebody in a related profession, chances are there’s a standard process you use for your projects. When you’re ready to start integrating generative AI into your workflow, make sure you have a realistic set of expectations.


A few ways you can start bringing generative AI into your architecture practice include:


Try writing prompts for your wildest ideas to get a sense of how they might work in real life before committing a lot of time to one design direction.

Schematic design.

See how far you can push your floor plans, site plans, building elevations, and more using prompts — you might just find your next great idea in the process.

Image editing.

Instead of starting from scratch, use generative AI prompts to change parts of existing images, like replacing the sky, adding landscaping elements, and more.

Remember, every AI art generator is unique and will respond differently, even to the same prompts. To get the most out of the one you’re using, take the time to understand how it was built and how it works. Adobe Firefly, for example, is designed to be safe for commercial use, having been trained on a dataset of licensed content, such as Adobe Stock, and public domain content where copyright has expired.

Formulas for prompt-writing success.

Once you have the basics down and know how you’ll be using generative AI in your architecture projects, there’s so much more you can do to get great results from your prompts. A prompt-writing formula — that is, an adaptable structure you can use on repeat — is a useful tool for any architect or architecture student looking to make generative AI part of their process.

Architecture prompt formula examples.

Think of your formula as a fill-in-the-blanks exercise. Set up a solid structure in advance and simply add in the details. Here are a few examples to get you started:

1  Concepting formula

Content type + architectural style + type of structure + defining features + colors or materials + location


Example: High-resolution photograph of neo-futurist college dormitory with atrium, wood construction, rainforest

2  Schematic design formula

Content type + architectural output + architectural details + architectural style + image style


Example: Line drawing of building elevation for indoor pool in the Art Nouveau style, dramatic

3  Image editing formula

Background + landscape elements + lighting + environmental details + contextual elements


Example: Desert sky, cactus garden, sunset, stone pathway, water tower


(Note that with image editing, you may need to approach one or more elements of your formula separately to get the best results.)

Firefly AI generated image. Prompt: High-resolution photograph of neo-futurist college dormitory with atrium, wood construction, rainforest

Generated with Adobe Firefly, Text to Image module

Prompt: High-resolution photograph of neo-futurist college dormitory with atrium, wood construction, rainforest

Try taking some of the following ideas and creating your own formula for AI architecture prompts.


  • Content type: photograph, line drawing, oil painting, pencil sketch, watercolor 
  • Architectural style: contemporary, neoclassical, Beaux-Arts, Bauhaus, post-modern 
  • Type of structures: house, museum, skyscraper, office, apartment complex, mall 
  • Architectural details: chimney, turret, archway, exterior stairs, porch, marquee 
  • Image style: dramatic, serene, futuristic, retro, minimalist, rugged, bold, clean, geometric 
  • Landscape elements: ponds, hedges, trees, gardens, bushes, lawns, water features 
  • Lighting: moonlight, sunset, bright, golden hour, diffuse, natural light, backlighting 
  • Environmental details: pathways, benches, gates, pavilions, patios, firepits 
  • Contextual elements: cityscape, mountain range, farmland, powerlines, commercial setting 
  • Location: urban, rural, forest, suburb, seaside, desert, tundra, snow, playa, wetlands, canyon


Your formula can and should change over time as you get to know your AI generator and what works best for your needs. Don’t be afraid to experiment with concepts outside of your formula — you might just discover something that works better than you could have ever imagined.


Ready to dive even deeper? Explore more prompt-writing tips.

Firefly generated image of  a modern courtyard residence with curved walls, lush landscaping and a tranquil pool

Generated with Adobe Firefly, Text to Image module

Prompt: a modern courtyard residence with curved walls, lush landscaping and a tranquil pool

The key to writing the best AI prompts for architecture.

To create amazing AI prompts for architecture, you don’t need to be a writer, a generative AI whiz, or a digital art aficionado. The way to get the most out of generative AI technology is simply to tap into your own creativity — something that all architects are already familiar with. Generative AI is simply another tool you can use to communicate your unique ideas and way of seeing the world.


So experiment, practice, develop your prompt formulas, and keep refining them over time. Generative AI can help you unlock worlds of ideas — and with the right words, you can start to turn them into reality.

Questions? We have answers.

The right prompts can help improve your environmental designs by providing architecture-specific information to the AI generator that can help you get the results that you want. For example, instead of using a generic prompt, you could specify the architectural style, composition, and color palette of your desired image. This can help you generate more accurate and creative results.

Generative AI prompts are suitable for everybody, from beginner to expert level. The more you experiment with AI art generators, the better you’ll get at generating the kind of results you want. As a beginner, you can start by learning the basics of generative AI for architecture and how to write effective prompts.

Step into the future with Adobe Firefly.

Use generative AI and simple prompts to create the highest-quality output — images, text effects, color palettes, and more.

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