Can you think of an object where you can rest your body without being conditioned by the knowledge and experience of the chairs you know, even without the concept of a chair marking boundaries? This is the kind of challenge that designers often propose to stimulate creativity, and it is not an easy task.
Who could carry out such a task? Where can we find that kind of intelligence that is alien to our cultural archetypes? Maybe an extraterrestrial intelligence? Although we are bordering on science fiction, it is not necessary to cross the border of fantasy.
Philippe Starck has dared to imagine another way of designing. He claims to have no computer because his creativity would be constrained to the environment and the processes that other human beings have imagined he might need. However, he has been interested in working with a new collaborator: artificial intelligence. Here it is not a tight environment that obeys and executes the orders of the human being but responds by generating its own proposals. The A.I. chair is the fruit of this collaboration.
The designer has not designed the object but has outlined the briefing and production needs for Kartell’s injection modeling. It has been artificial intelligence that has contributed the solutions through generative design algorithms. Basically, it has answered the simple question: do you know how we can rest our bodies using the least amount of material, without influences, without memories, only with its own mathematical intelligence. And it has been able to simulate possibilities in a record time to propose the most optimal.
It sparks my imagination. What will this new collaborator be able to create that human intelligence cannot imagine? What will happen when this intelligence not only reaches the rational competences but also the emotional ones, when it is capable of feeling, having personality or preferences? Starck has once said that his work is useless, and this statement now seems prophetic to me ... will he be playing with fire by opening the door to the designer that could surpass human creativity and natural intelligence? What will then be the role of the designer? Are we heading towards a utopian or dystopian future of design?
The French designer Philippe Starck (Paris, 1949) could fill a single Chairipedia with all the seats he has designed since he began his career in the 1980s. He has always gone ahead of others, with the use of technology and also with sustainability and democratic design as a discourse, while continuing to make projects as exclusive as futuristic. He has worked for NASA, Axiom Space, Virgin Galactic and Steve Jobs, for whom he designed a yacht no less galactic. In 2019 he presented A.I. as "the first chair that has not been designed by a human". Autodesk software was used for its "materialization".