On the first day of the Furniture Fair in Milan, in 2019, it is the excitement on the Kartell stand. The Italian publisher presents a chair designed by an unprecedented duo made up of Philippe Starck… and artificial intelligence (AI)! The designer relied on software developed by Autodesk, a 3D specialist. “Sitting in front of the computer, I typed in the following question: how can I help my body rest using the minimum of matter and energy?, explains Starck the visionary. Not a word more not to influence him. After several years of research, a chair (photo above) appeared on the screen. The sentimental, the cultural, the memorial prevent us from opening up our creativity. Despite our efforts to be revolutionary, we all do the same thing, good or bad. The solution to getting rid of me was to ask for help from a much more powerfully intelligent “friend” than me. »
Three years later, the “IA” chair is no longer a UFO. Better still, it is a pioneer because artificial intelligence is on the way to becoming essential tools for designers, architects and decorators. Everything changed this summer with the appearance of new AIs generating quality images from a simple text query. They are called Midjourney or Stable Diffusion and allow everyone to materialize an original idea by typing keywords as one would do on Google. How it works ? For years, websites have asked us to spot trucks or cats on batches of images to connect to their services. This has made it possible to develop artificial intelligence capable in turn of generating images of trucks or cats…
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Artificial intelligences: an endless library of images
“I started using AI to play with materiality, atmospheres, resulting from improbable requests”, says the interior designer Charlotte Taylor. I asked him to imagine what artists’ apartments of the 20th century would look like, or to play with the concepts of brutalism, modernism… Previously, to create a concept, I made sketches that synthesized different influences. Now, all I have to do is make a query and the AI does a task in a minute that could take me hours. Like her, I’m a compulsive collector of images, she just does things faster than me. By analyzing the visual content of the Web, Midjourney has digested all the possible influences and can operate any crossbreeding. The same echo from designer Christiane Lemieux, who uses it to bring original architectural concepts to life, which she then develops in her studio. “It’s like having extra brains,” she says. If you know very precisely what you want, you can achieve very interesting results. »
A designer may find it difficult to describe their creative vision in words or existing images to clients who do not have the same cultural references. “I dream a lot and I have furtive inspirations: a poetic atmosphere that remains when I wake up and which is difficult to explain,” adds Lionel Jadot from Brussels. AIs make it possible to materialize this fleeting feeling, this bubble of creativity that is popping up in my brain. We take a snapshot of it with my collaborator Juliette Moyersoen, who specializes in formulating requests. Then, we unravel and materialize it. »
Artificial intelligence, its limits and its advantages
When we discover the relevance and precision of the images generated by these AIs, we can legitimately wonder if they will not eventually replace the designers. A concern brushed aside.
When we discover the relevance and precision of the images generated by these AIs, we can legitimately wonder if they will not eventually replace the designers. A concern dismissed out of hand by Etienne Mineur, designer and teacher at the Camondo school and at the Head (High School of Art and Design) in Geneva: “By definition, an AI is a bit stupid, she doesn’t understand the context, doesn’t have common sense. she thinks differently, outside of our cultural model. The designer must be more intelligent, create meaning, with cultural references, not just style…” recently, an ai specialized in decoration. just upload a photo of the room to be renovated on the interiorAI website and it formulates images in the style you like (Art Deco, minimalist, zen, etc.). nevertheless, his reconstruction of three-dimensional space is clumsy. The walls turn into floors, the stairs lead nowhere…
Another pitfall, the AIs work from images found on the net. For create the future, they are therefore based on the past. It can also kill creativity if we take their results too literally. Hence the need to formulate personal requests so as not to obtain an overly stereotyped result. “This redefines the work of the designer who must now focus on concept and execution, the phases in between being assumed by the AI”, advances Charlotte Taylor. Interior designer Lionel Jadot goes even further: “I am a fan of science fiction and I very well imagine an AI which, from a dream, could generate vector plans, request a building permit, create specifications, quote requests…” For Philippe Starck, these new technologies are helping to redefine his profession in a world that urgently needs to reinvent itself. “The designer does not have much of a future because he is a producer of matter. I would like AI to help us overcome the explosion of vital stakes for the planet. We are smart enough but not smart enough to solve them. »
To read : “IA, mirrors of our lives” (ed. Delcourt).
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Artificial intelligence: will they reinvent decoration? – She Decoration
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