Maximilian Goßler completed his Industrial Design degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. Since 2015, his work has been focused on the possible applications of artificial intelligence (AI). Because of his forward-looking approach, he was selected as one of 5 finalists for the endowed prize “German Design Awards Newcomer 2020”.
We asked Maximilian Goßler 3 questions about his project Creativity of the Machine, which looks at a machine’s ability to design using AI.
Mr Goßler, your project Creativity of the Machine combines the disciplines of design and artificial intelligence. Could you tell us a little bit about the project?
I started this project because I was curious to know whether a machine could generate something that a person would think came from a creative source. I explored the thought-provoking question of whether a machine could match the ability of a person in an area dominated by emotions and personal interpretation, such as creativity. To investigate this from the perspective of an industrial designer, I used an artificial neural network to create a machine that could produce unique, stand-alone draft designs for one of the most drawn objects in product design: a chair.
What drew you to this issue? Why, in your opinion, is it relevant?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is progressing rapidly, and no one can predict what it will be capable of in a few years. A major challenge of the future will be to use AI in a well thought-through and transparent manner. But in order for AI to improve our future, we need to manage the way that it develops, and clarify what we want it to be able to.
I would like my work to exemplify the abilities as well as the limitations of AI, so that people can discuss and formulate how they picture a future in which machines are taken for granted.
In order for AI to improve our future, we need to manage the way that it develops.
What is special about your project? How innovative and useful would you say it is?
Although this machine does not have any knowledge of its physical and material surroundings, it still creates objects that are clearly recognisable as chairs. Even if some of the designs only have one leg, holes in the seat or no backrest, they can always be unquestionably labelled as chairs. But it is precisely the imperfections and crudity of the designs that makes them so exciting. A machine’s naive interpretation of what a chair looks like is very inspiring in itself.
Machines are completely unsuitable as designers in their own right since they cannot assess – or only with difficultly – whether a chair is comfortable or appealing. But if they work together with a human designer, it could lead to completely new, innovative designs that are not limited by the human imagination, unveiling solutions that until now we were only able to dream of.
Maximilian Goßler completed his industrial design studies at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart with a diploma in 2019. Since 2015, his projects have focused more intensively on machines and artificial intelligence systems (AI).
He has a special interest in the abilities and limits of artificial intelligence, and his work explores how our future could and should be transformed by the omnipresence of AI. Maximilian Goßler has been working as a freelance industrial designer since 2019. His projects have already been presented at exhibitions in Milan and Berlin.
Article picture: © Martin Diepold/Grand Visions