Humans and AI designing the future in dialogue

The nature of design problems has become more and more complex over the years. DI (Designing Intelligence) Lab is convinced that AI can really make a difference by providing new insights for designers and novel datasets for researchers.

The main goal of DI_Lab is to use AI in the development of new design methods. The first element is to intensively study how designers work together right now. They don’t just speak, they sketch, they use objects, and communicate with gestures and gaze, for instance. So there are lots of different modalities in which they interact with each other and exchange ideas. Combining and visualizing these modalities will give a richer understanding of what is going on.

If one can analyse and codify the interaction between designers, one can try to make the next step: to make a social robot that can be part of the design process and can enhance the design process. The modelling and development of such an artificial agent that can creatively interact with human designers, is the second goal.

At first the Lab will examine individual aspects of collaboration such as gaze, reflection, and conversational memory, and how they relate to the design process and outcome. The findings of these studies will inform specific verbal and non-verbal interactions in the social robot, with potential application to supporting most kinds of design processes.

TU Delft is already one of the few universities with an entire faculty focused on design, as opposed to design placed under engineering or architecture faculties. The combination of this with research into the possible role of AI in the design process, is unique. The Lab will also launch new education initiatives, like a minor in AI and Design.