Keeping up with the Capstones—Week 7

Instead of writing a couple of journal entries from the perspective of me 2, 3, or 4 weeks ago, I’ll respond to some prompts which will shed some light on my topic space as it stands now.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been ruthlessly surveying my roommates and family about what they think about my favorite topic spaces around artificial intelligence. The answer is practically unanimous: “that’s some real smart people shit.” It’s difficult to discuss the inner functioning of the topic while maintaining nearly anyone’s attention unless they have some familiarity with it prior. And not many people have that prior familiarity because it is so far out of the intellectual bubble of the average designer. Because I simply do not want my precious seeds of information to be completely and utterly lost on the hot asphalt of a closed mind, I’m deciding to keep my topic high level and make heavy use of analogies and metaphors to convey how a neural network might function and how it might transfer to the generalized workflow of a professional graphic designer.

First off, at my DAAPWorks booth, I think it will be beneficial to have a computer and a book illustrating some of the techniques that designers can use to implement artificial intelligence in their workflow. There are many mediums that would be relevant to cover, including motion design and original asset creation, such as logos or stock imagery.

The message certainly won’t be as foreboding as I show here, but I plan to include something accessible and absorbed quickly to keep the topic high level and easily engaged with. Since the topic IS about AI, a lot of people tend to pause when approaching it and think to themselves (or the people around them) very profoundly, “that’s smart people shit.” My goal is for people to accept and be open to the possibility that AI is a useful technology that is coming to the realm of the everyday design professional.

Someone who walks away from my project should think to themselves:
“Wow! Aaron really showed us what it’s like to collaborate with an artificially intelligent program! I don’t really understand the terminology that much better, but what he did with the imagery was so cool! I’m going to go out into the world and notice if I see any pictures that were made by a designer that was collaborating with an AI and tell my friends and family that AI isn’t going to steal our jobs—it’s going to speed up the processes we already have and make us more productive and creative!”

Or at least that’s how I hope it will go.

See, I’m trying to observe people’s immediate response to AI and try to shift it toward the understanding that algorithms like this don’t exist in a vacuum with their own selfish motives, or even have true autonomy. These are supervised programs that function on simple inputs and outputs… and if you don’t count the million and one steps in between those two points, it’s all pretty easy to understand. It’s important to note that sometimes the output is wildly unexpected, and that that aspect can be one of the most beneficial parts of any creative process—the unexpected.

The moral of the story is something along the line of: beginning any project is about embracing what is unknown. But the power of facing that unknown with logic and a healthy dose of joy can yield results that are unique, impactful, and timeless. Such is the boldness and power of embracing this unexplored future coworker: freshness and cool ideas.



The purpose of this first capstone course is to develop a solid foundation for finalized capstone deliverables including research and exploration through form making.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store