As the scope of artificial intelligence continues to widen, renowned French designer Philippe Starck has teamed up with AI to create a chair which is not only aesthetically pleasing, but requires only a small amount of material and energy to produce.
The chair, which was unveiled at the Milan Furniture Fair on April 9, was the brainchild of 70-year-old Starck. “Why are chairs all alike? How can a structurally different chair be created? At one point, I needed to open a new door,” he said at the event.
He was, to put it bluntly, “getting bored” of the status quo and needed the help of AI to break free from the “creative ghetto” that fuels the non-stop production of chair designs which are extremely similar to one another.
“Even if I twist my brain in all directions—if everyone twists their brain in all directions—if we are all geniuses, all great designers, we will always come out with pretty much the same thing because our DNA, our ‘background,’ our structure does not allow us to do it differently,” Starck told Redshift, a publishing platform of the multinational software corporation Autodesk.
Starck teamed up with Autodesk and the Italian furniture company Kartell, in a collaboration which saw the perfect combination of human creative thinking and science-based AI.
“Kartell, Autodesk, and I asked artificial intelligence a question: Artificial intelligence, do you know how we can rest our bodies using the least amount of material?” Starck said, according to a Kartell press release.
Artificial intelligence knew the answer to that question, and the key was to use generative design—a process which allows designers to input their goals and constraints into AI software, which then explores all possible combinations leading to a solution. Designers can filter their options from there.
The final result was a chair which was named, quite simply, the AI chair. It was created using an algorithm that respected the original brief—a comfortable seat that has the structural strength and solidity requirements to ensure certification and respect aesthetic standards of simplicity and clean lines.
As for the future of the relationship between human designers and AI, Starck believes this is just the start. “The AI chair is the beginning of a great freedom—a great revolution—that human revolutions can no longer offer.”
The AI chair will be available in Kartell’s showrooms from summer 2019.