AI is the Future of Design
This story begins with Play-Doh. Yes, the soft and squishy substance that makes kids feel like God while creating miniature cars, people, and animals. Substances like clay and polymer (close cousins of Play-Doh) are also common in art class for building things. It’s a great way to exercise creativity and understand the process of design and 3D modeling.
3D Modeling Software
Fast-forward to adulthood and you can use software programs to bring your designs to life. Programs like AutoCAD, Blender, and SketchUp can help you build 3D objects with accurate texture, color, and depth perception.
But how does the brain perceive 3D information?
While Play-Doh and 3D programs are secondary design tools, our brain is the original design engine. In fact, our eyes see but it is our brain that designs and perceives things as objects. Information enters through the eyes in the form of light; it is projected onto the retinas and is filtered, interpreted and compared to existing patterns in the visual cortex.
The visual cortex is the part of the brain that reassembles the complete picture, fills in what’s missing and eventually allows us to perceive an object as a whole. Other senses such as emotions and touch can add supplementary information to give us a rich, holistic experience.
Psychology of Design
In fact, Gestalt theory attempts to explain the very laws the brain uses to make sense of and maintain meaningful perceptions in an apparently chaotic world. The theory explains that the brain organizes information such that we perceive objects as a whole rather than individual elements. Principles such as how close things are to each other, how similar they are, how complete they look, whether the eye can follow a continuous pattern from one object to another and finally, whether an object looks different from its background, all help the brain make sense of the world.
Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Design
Today, we’re using artificial intelligence (AI) to help with the design process. Researchers at MIT trained their AI on a series of photographs to generate 3D objects. The results are far from real-life perfect but very impressive for a computer.
And just like the brain uses various principles to make sense of the world, AI also uses various techniques or models to generate 3D objects. (More on this in the next article!)
Everything around us, from the cellular micro level to the cosmic macro level, is a product of design. And no other industry is as primed for disruption. From pen and pencil to design software to today… AI is the future of design.