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Designing with AI – Insights from Ex-REA Head of Design Benson Low

December 5, 2023

Joe Woodham recently spoke with Benson Low, former Head of Design at REA, about the impact of AI on the design process and industry.

Benson sees AI as a new “medium” for designers, like Photoshop and other tools before it. The key is using it as a creative partner, not letting it dictate the design. Maintaining quality control and a human-centric focus will be critical.

Some key takeaways from our discussion:

– Tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney are providing new generative abilities, but lack consistency and control compared to human designers. Adobe bringing AI into flagship programs like Photoshop aims to give more control.

– Designers should focus on fundamentals again – theory, principles, critiquing. This provides the basis to then effectively direct and work with AI.

– Organizations need guidance from the top-down on effectively using AI. Rules around ethics, privacy, bias, legality are crucial. Can’t just unleash it without strategy.

– New specialized roles may emerge, like “prompt engineers” or QA focused on AI. But more broadly, using AI prompts and creatively will become part of every designer’s role.

– AI will remove repetitive design tasks, allowing designers more time for strategy, user research and higher-order decisions.

Exciting times ahead! Let me know your thoughts on AI and the future of design.


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