denkwerk recently hosted the Service Design Drinks – a series of events around the topic of service design which takes place under the direction of KISD (Köln International School of Design) in Cologne. We were very happy to inaugurate our new event location and to give an insight into our work as designers.
Our presentation "AI Thinking – The role of designers in AI Innovation" was followed by a lively discussion and Q&A session with the audience. It became clear what difference it makes to design for or with AI and that we as (service) designers have a special role in mediating between technology and humans.
When we talk about design and AI, we distinguish between design with AI, which is the integration of AI-driven tools in the design process, and design for AI, which is the use of AI as a technical solution.
Integrating artificial intelligence into the design process is already a common practice. Tools such as ChatGPT, Midjourney and Uizard are used in various phases of the design process to increase creativity and optimize workflows, e.g. in research, idea generation or visualization.
A deep understanding of context and design is crucial here to provide meaningful instructions for AI tasks. The quality of the results depends heavily on the designers and their ability to clearly articulate requirements. AI can provide valuable support in the design process, but human judgment remains essential.
When developing AI-based innovations, it is particularly important to ensure that AI solutions take a human-centered approach and address real needs. The problem to be solved must first be clearly defined in order to make informed decisions about the use of AI. AI just for the sake of AI must not be an option.
In addition to the task of making ideas tangible so that they can be tested and evaluated at an early stage, designers are the interface between different disciplines in the development process in interdisciplinary teams. As a driving force, they need to develop a better understanding of the limitations and functionalities of AI on the one hand and bridge the gap between technology and human-centric perspectives on the other.
How exactly we are already implementing these insights internally at denkwerk in our "AI Thinking Framework" and which AI projects we are currently working on, you will soon find out here. This much we can already reveal team collaboration and accessibility play a major role.