In February 2021 I participated in the DigitalFUTURES Young talk “AI & Creativity” to present the preliminary outcomes of my PhD research project. The presentation is about the implementation of AI models to support creativity in conceptual design and investigates two issues: (1) how AI can be integrated within existing CAD software and which models are suitable for AI-CAD integration, and (2) to what extent AI models can learn about design and interface with the designer to suggest new design possibilities.
In this post, I describe a prototype of Intelligent CAD System based on AI, which I’ve developed for the Future Prototyping Exhibition (Melbourne School of Design, March 2020). The prototype allows the designer to interact with AI through sketches, and to get feedback in the form of photorealistic images. Despite the toy-like features of the system, its development allowed to investigate the potential of AI in design and to set key objectives for further developments of the research in this field.
In this post, I present the results of a first test on the application of a class of AI techniques – named Generative Models – to construct design spaces from a dataset of design precedents. The aim is showing a new approach in computational design that moves beyond problem-solving. Here AI is proposed as a tool that can support design thinking and creativity.
In computational design, the exploration of new design possibilities is limited within the bounds of predefined variables. The definition of such variables forces the designer to focus too early on the final solution rather than keep developing an initial idea. A new computational design approach based on problem-learning could help designers escape mental sets and be more creative.
Computers have made our life easier. We give them instructions, and they can perform complex tasks in real-time, providing solutions to any sort of problem. The ability to solve problems is certainly an aspect of intelligence, yet it is only part of the story.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking a leading role in several sectors and is expected to significantly affect the architectural practice soon. While the past generation of CAD systems extended the designer’s hand, the next generation of CAD systems will ultimately expand the designer’s mind.