The Phantafly™ chair is a concept product that draws inspiration from both the elephant and the butterfly. At first glance, the combination of these two vastly different organisms may seem surprising. However, upon closer examination, there are opportunities for analogical sensemaking.
For example, given that elephants do not typically fly (except perhaps, on airplanes), the idea of an elephant that can fly is both confrontational and intriguing. Additionally, the elephant's ears bear a superficial resemblance to a butterfly's wings, providing opportunities to incorporate this similarity into the design.
Here are some of the Phantafly™ designs we generated using the text-to-image models.
Interestingly, the text-to-image model was able to discover the visual similarity between butterfly wings and elephant ears. This analogy was a prominent feature in many of the designs, including the ones that the team found to be the most appealing. The ability of the text-to-image model to make this analogy highlights the power of machine learning in the design process. It can find connections and patterns that may not have been immediately obvious to the human designers, providing new inspiration and ideas for the final product. Four of the top designs generated using this approach are shown below.
The ability of text-to-image models to create simple yet appealing designs is demonstrated in our top designs for Phantafly™ chairs that are shown below.
Function Follows Form in AI-Enabled Product Ideation
Atypical designs generated by generative AI models that challenge the status quo can be valuable inputs during the early stages of new product development. These designs can inspire designers to think beyond their preconceptions of what is possible or desirable in a product, both in terms of form and function. An unusual or atypical form can encourage designers to consider the potential benefits of this novel design. This approach, which can be referred to as "function follows form," 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.