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Artificial intelligence (AI) has made remarkable strides in recent years, especially in the last few months, and its capabilities in generating fantastic images and concepts that look like a professional designer made them are truly impressive. However, as a product designer, it is important to remember that these images are only visual interpretations of AI based on collecting visual data, not on information that can be used for advanced design and product development as files. As a designer, I still need to translate AI interpretations into 3D form and parts and apply all necessary rules and requirements to make it real and ready for manufacturing.

While AI can be a great tool for styling, it is important to understand that styling is not the same as design. We all know that a good design is not just how it looks, it is about how it works and it is about understanding and fulfilling the needs of the user. A well-designed product takes into account the user's physical and psychological needs, as well as their cultural background and daily habits. It should also be easy to use, comfortable, and safe. A well-designed product can improve the user's quality of life and bring them joy and emotional and physical satisfaction. Styling is only a small part of the entire design process based on understanding many factors such as user behavior, cultural context, functional requirements, ergonomics, materials, manufacturing methods, psychiatry, anthropology, business targets, and marketing.

AI is a powerful tool that can assist in creating mood boards, concepts, and styles as a reference for further development by professional designers.It’s providing us with a sort of decorating process, but it should not be relied upon as a replacement for the expertise and knowledge of a professional designer. While AI algorithms can analyze data and make design decisions, they lack human intuition, creativity, and knowledge in many life and product aspects necessary for successful product design.

It is important to note that AI is still in its early stages of development and has limitations. It can only generate designs based on the data it has been trained on and cannot understand context and user needs.

As a designer, I always keep in mind that AI is a tool that can assist and speed up the process, but it should not replace the expertise and knowledge of a professional designer.

To stay relevant in the industry and create truly successful products, it is crucial for designers to continue to develop their skills and knowledge. Here is a list of knowledge that you as designer should have and develop to stay relevant in a rapidly changing environment:

  • The ability to communicate with clients and team members by using quick but informative sketches. Pen, pencil, and paper are still the best tools for creative communication.

  • Knowledge of materials and manufacturing methods, both existing mass production and emerging technologies.

  • The ability to think out of the box (AI box) be creative and passionate. Observe and absorb information from live situations around me.

  • Be empathetic and curious.

  • Ask more questions.

  • Be involved in different types of projects, and expand my capabilities and knowledge.

  • Studying different fields (such as philosophy, business, psychology, anatomy, technology, etc.) can help me to deliver more advanced solutions.

  • Use formula 50% logic 50% intuition, and emotion to create new products.

As a designer, it is essential to stay current with the latest technology and trends and remember that design fundamentals are still crucial to creating successful products. AI is a powerful tool, but it should not replace the expertise and knowledge of a professional designer. A good design combines all the factors mentioned, and AI can be a helpful tool in supporting and speeding up the process.

toaster | all image © Marcus Byrne


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