We used advanced text-to-image generation techniques to create designs for "Dolphatch," which are concept model yachts inspired by the appearance of the dolphin. The goal of this project was to assess the capabilities of generative AI models in producing novel and appealing visual designs for Dolphatches that are bioinspired by dolphins and are both visually and functionally appealing.
Our prompts yielded a vast array of designs, which effectively demonstrated the potential of utilizing text-to-image models during the initial stages of developing new products, particularly for consumer products where a distinct visual aesthetic is a crucial aspect of its appeal. In this post, we propose that the generated product design can be utilized for various purposes, depending on its level of novelty. These include gathering customer preferences, conducting market research, detailing concepts, and fostering radical innovation.
Our text-to-image models for dolphin-inspired yachts have generated a diverse set of ideas, which we have divided into three categories. The first category, the "incremental" set, comprises designs that are more similar to conventional yachts, and could be used in early-stage market research or customer discovery processes to better understand consumer preferences.
The second category, the "inspiration" set, includes designs that appear more conventional, but which contain novel feature that could be used to spark innovations or changes in existing yacht designs. These designs can also serve as a stepping stone for more complex and innovative concepts.
The collage below showcases a few more of the selection of the various inspiration Dolphatch concepts that we generated through this method.
The third category, the "radical" set, comprises designs that are both unusual and visually appealing. These images may contain concepts that challenge common wisdom about yacht design, and their goal is to prod designers into a situation where they can think like a fish (or dolphin) out of water. An unusual or atypical form can encourage designers to consider the potential benefits of this novel design.
This approach of using novel images to spark ideation can be referred to as "function follows form," and can help overcome biases such as design fixation, functional fixedness, and the Einstellung effect, where previous experience can prevent new ideas from emerging. This can lead to creative solutions that may not have been discovered using a more traditional "form follows function" approach, where the functions are determined first, and the form is designed to accommodate them.
This post is part of a series of articles on the use of generative AI for bioinspired product ideation. The use of AI for product concept generation allows for the quick creation of many potentially novel designs, which could then be evaluated and refined to select the most promising concepts to move to the next stage of the product development process.
To learn how leading Fortune Global 500 companies such as ABB, Bosch, Google, Samsung, and NetApp have used Innomantra's Functional Innovation Methodology to turbocharge their idea management process, schedule a meeting today at calendly.com/innomantra.