Creativity Of The Machine

Artificial Designer | 2017

Can a so called artificial intelligence generate things that a person would attest to have a creative origin? Can a machine be just as good as a human being in this most human and emotional field, in creativity?

In order to explore this question as an industrial designer, a generative machine was created based on a neural network from MIT-researchers. This two-stage machine is able to create independent and unique designs of one of the most designed objects since industrialization: a chair.

Phase 1: Training
The machine is able to do this since it has learned how a chair has to look like in three-dimensional space by studying 6778 CAD-files of chairs. After that it has formed its own formal understanding of a chair.

Phase 2: Testing
With this knowledge of what it thinks a chair should look like, it is able to create its own new chair designs, each of which is absolutely unique.

Although the machine has no idea of material science or physics, it is creating objects that are clearly recognizable as chairs.

Even if some of the designs have only one leg or no leg at all, holes in the seat or no backrest, they can (almost) always be identified as chairs without a doubt.

What makes the designed objects so exciting, however, is exactly their imperfection and roughness.

Furthermore the machine shows all its designs on its self-managed Instagram account, to be seriously noticed in the world of design and to demonstrate that it can compete against all the human designers of the world.

The outcome of the project is a small, somewhat limited and simple-minded spam bot that designs chairs that may not always work, but always inspire and stimulate our human creativity, differently than human artifacts or nature can do.

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