From Artificial Intelligence to Augmented Imagination with Gabriele Moschin and Andrea Filippi


In November 2023, we had the pleasure of welcoming two design experts from Italy to the Smart and Sustainable Design Program. Gabriele Moschin is a creative director and guest lecturer focusing on the creative field. Andrea Filippi is an art director and AI artist focusing on fields of design and fashion. Gabriele and Andrea hosted an “AI and Creativity” workshop for second-year Smart and Sustainable Design students. The three-day workshop explained the context and philosophy of artificial intelligence in the creative field and gave students the opportunity to explore generative AI tools like Midjourney and Chat GPT in design work. The workshop also gave us the opportunity to interview our guest lecturers to get a better understanding of artificial intelligence technology and its capabilities.

How will AI change the design industry?

AI is to the design sector as the introduction of photography – in Nadar’s time – is to the abstract drift of art: a technological advancement has generated new expressive possibilities. In particular, it would be more interesting for this sector to talk not about Artificial Intelligence (which at this point was already present with mobile phones equipped with T9 which allowed guided dialing in the typing of alphanumeric strings), but rather about Augmented Imagination. A watershed will emerge: someone will be left behind, someone will ride the new technology, someone will be born taking it for granted.

Can AI be a beneficial tool for designers?

We can find an answer in Paracelsus, a Swiss alchemist, doctor and philosopher of the 16th century, when he writes that “Omnia venenum sunt, nec sine veneno quicquam existit. Dosis sola facit, ut venenum non fit.” Which translated means: “Everything is poison, and nothing exists without poison. Only the right dose differentiates a poison from a remedy.” Nuclear energy produces useful energy as well as city-destroying bombs. AI can be integrated in various ways and at various levels within a designer’s methodology: to inspiration, to the creation of design alternatives, to final realization, to client presentations, to production.

What is the goal of this AI workshop?

Explain to young designers the possibility of using AI as a design work tool, give them the ability to understand it within a historical, ethical, regulatory and, above all, functional context. Dominate it, don’t be dominated by it.

Do you believe that AI will one day replace designers?

There is no restricted artificial intelligence (including generative ones, for example those that were used in this workshop) that does not fall within the parameters of Gödelian incompleteness, therefore not capable of escaping from a status of “robot”, understood as a worker at the service of the humankind. Just as data is not information, in the same way there is no computer that can intuit what Einstein intuited. If one day or one night we see a form of General Artificial Intelligence appear, perhaps it will be time to allow ourselves to repeat the question.

Samuli Ranta

Marketing trainee and Smart and Sustainable Design Student at HAMK

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