Integrating AI Design Into Traditional Design
Written by Kay Sames and Lucy Marsh
With technology playing already a huge role in our work processes, we are excited to have discovered a new AI that’ll further advance our design capabilities.
Midjourney is an Artificial Intelligence that allows you to communicate an idea to others by creating an image using a combination of keywords.
Rigby and Rigby are embracing this tool to inspire in house creations such as furniture, art and accessories.
Our team still frequently use traditional methods of design and our intention is not to replace this. This is just one more tool in our toolbox. We have been experimenting with the new software since it came out in July and so far have found many benefits which we will go into detail on.
We have been using Midjourney in various situations such as finding inspiration, communicating ideas and evolving designs. To do so we type in relating words or phases to Midjourney and then within about a minute, the AI produces an array of 4 image suggestions.
A standard industry practise of using Pinterest to collate mood images sometimes causes unintentional overlap leading to brands sometimes losing their identity.
With this method, the likelihood of overlap will most likely be minimised whilst also keeping the brand’s authenticity recognisable through the styles developed through individual use of the tool.
Intergrating into our Design practises
See example – ‘modern on off dial knurling black gold’, these words created 4 interesting light switches. We then wanted to develop upon one of these for more inspiration so we clicked on the favoured result and it generated 4 more images with that as its starting point. The ability to generate these images whilst keeping within the boundaries of the Rigby & Rigby aesthetic is no accident. Keywords are carefully chosen to be in keeping with the characteristics that clients seek us out for. Once images are created and developed any which are used for design are carefully refined using traditional methods, adding a human element. Practicalities and nuances which an AI would not consider are taken into account, we used Midjourney to design a new furniture piece.
We created a variety of starting points in keeping with the aesthetic of Rigby & Rigby, We then considered the aspects of these starting points that we liked and added our own touches, taking into consideration real-life uses and our own design flair. We then created technical drawings and see finished by having our 3D team bring them to life. We feel this has been a very successful process and one we envisage many other design companies will follow us in using.
The Future of AI and Design?
Although there is question as to the authenticity with using AI, we believe that AI is just another referencing tool. Using references as a starting point for ideas and inspiration is a common technique amongst all professional artists and designers incorporating AI into this process is a natural progression to make sure that you are using a unique and self-catered starting point leading to more individualism as opposed to less.
Given the success we are having from using this tool, we see AI aided design continue to be utilized in our practices. It is already popular amongst artists, the gaming industry and marketing. we think we will be amongst one of the first design companies to utilise it in the manner of real life interior and architectural application. This software is still in early development which leads us to believe that it’ll be quickly improved upon so we look forward to seeing what else it has to offer us in the future.
We, as a company, will always strive to be on the cutting edge of design and will continue to use technology and innovation to bring only the best to our clients.