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DBA Members’ Forum | August Summary

In our August Members’ Forum we explored the topic of AI and its impact on design. Here’s a summary of the conversation.

  • We were joined by Immanuel Koh, Associate Professor from the Singapore University of Technology and Design who is running the world’s first Design and AI course that equips graduates with a wide range of skills in product, service, spacial and system design, with AI tools at its heart.
  • Given the rapidly changing landscape in AI, they keep the course up-to-date with industry collaborators such as Google and government departments, and faculty research.
  • They’re finding the government is valuing the skills of these graduates just as much as industry.
  • One impact of the advancement of AI on design is that we risk having a skills-gap – if students are being taught to work in this way, when they enter the workplace, how will that work in reality in our studios if we’re not already working like this?
  • One contributor’s opinion was that AI integration in design empowers designers to improve and streamline their processes and that using AI boosts efficiency, freeing time for creative exploration – in short it enables them to punch above their weight.
  • They’re seeing rapid benefits in the day-to-day work in their team through using Chat GPT-4 with plugins for complex design tasks and ideation. While there are lots of tools you could easily get distracted with, Midjourney for images and Wonder Studio for CGI are the main tools they’re using at the moment.
  • One member warned of the security risks of uploading client data to open AI sources, so one to watch out for, make sure you have policies in place to protect both your own and your client’s data.
  • Advice if you haven’t tried any of these tools before is to spend time exploring their capabilities, there’s a lot to learn and the addition of the skill of an experienced designer to sort the good ideas from the bad will leave you with a better outcome, and it might just save you some time. 
  • There may be big changes coming down the line for agencies, but using AI could help designers get to work on things they might not get to work on otherwise, like environmental or societal challenges, if we had more time, the opportunities are endless. 
  • It’s important to make time for exploration and discovery in your business, your team can lead the charge, but you can create the space for them to explore what they could do and how it could impact the work you do. 

There was much, much more covered in the hour – you really had to be there. Do make sure you join us in our next DBA Members’ Forum on Monday 4 September at 4pm BST, look out for an email from Deborah in a few weeks with more details. If you would like to attend, get in touch here


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