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Designing with Artificial Intelligence


I remember sixteen years ago, in 2006, working late into the night to set up my computer so I could let it run on its own for 16 hours to produce an architectural rendering of something I had designed. I built a digital model, created and assigned materials, set up lighting and environments, and ran a few low-quality test renderings to make sure I caught any apparent mistakes as I would have to wait patiently for 16 hours to see the final image. Equal levels of stress and excitement were always present as I waited (often overnight) to see if everything I had set up would turn out as I had envisioned. More often than not, it would take several iterations to get things right. 

My first experience working with an AI system was eerily familiar. There was a similar excitement about creating a vision in my head, giving the software some direction, and waiting for it to reproduce my vision. It was a familiar iterative process, but this time the inputs were a natural language that left more room for interpretation, serendipity, and chance.

The creative potential of this relationship between designers and AI systems is profound. I know from experience that it is only a matter of time before we gain more precision with these tools. Having said that, maybe a tool like this is not about precision or control. Maybe it is a creative launching point. I'm not entirely sure what the use case is, and that is part of the fun. I will curate part of my exploration below to try and capture the evolution that I anticipate from this process.


Makoto Shibuya + AI

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