By now, you’ve likely heard of ChatGPT – the chatbot revolutionizing the way humans interact with artificial intelligence (AI). Introduced by software company OpenAI in late 2022, ChatGPT possesses cutting-edge natural language processing capabilities, which means it can understand and generate human-like responses to a wide range of topics with remarkable accuracy. 

But what does this new tool mean for designers? What are the benefits? The risks? 

To better explore how AI is impacting the future of design, we decided to jump on the ChatGPT bandwagon to ask the friendly chatbot some of our burning questions. *Some answers have been edited for brevity. 


We started off with some easy prompts…

WDO: What is World Design Organization?

ChatGPT: The World Design Organization (WDO), formerly known as the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), is a non-profit organization that promotes the profession of industrial design and its role in creating a better world through design. The organization was founded in 1957 and is headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

WDO works to advance industrial design as a profession, promote the value of design thinking, and advocate for the positive impact of design on society, the economy, and the environment. WDO also supports the development of design education and research, and collaborates with other organizations and stakeholders to address global design challenges.

WDO has members from over 50 countries, including design associations, educational institutions, corporations, and individual designers. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors, which is elected by the membership, and a Secretariat, which manages the day-to-day operations of the organization.

WDO: What is industrial design?

ChatGPT: Industrial design is a field of design that focuses on creating products and systems that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Industrial designers are responsible for the design and development of a wide range of consumer products, such as electronic devices, furniture, appliances, toys, and transportation vehicles.

Industrial designers use a variety of tools and techniques, such as sketches, computer-aided design (CAD) software, and physical prototypes, to create and refine their designs. They work closely with engineers, marketers, and manufacturers to ensure that their designs are feasible, cost-effective, and meet the needs of the target market.

The industrial design process typically involves several stages, including research, ideation, prototyping, and testing. Designers conduct user research to understand the needs and preferences of the target market, generate ideas through brainstorming and sketching, and create prototypes to test and refine their designs.

Overall, we were impressed that each response proved more or less factual and well-synthesized. The platform functions as a sort of upgraded Google search in this regard, and can be useful to designers for quick and easy access to information, resources and existing insights. 

Next, we moved on to more reflective questions…

WDO: What does it mean to design for a better world?

ChatGPT: Designing for a better world means designing products, services, and experiences that have a positive impact on people and the planet. This involves taking a holistic approach to design that considers the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the design.

Designing for a better world involves designing products and services that are sustainable, accessible, and socially responsible. It involves designing products that are not only functional and aesthetically pleasing but also have a positive impact on the environment and the communities they serve.

WDO: Who are the best industrial designers?

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I can’t have personal preferences or opinions, but I can tell you about some industrial designers who are widely recognized as being highly influential and talented in their field. Here are a few examples: 

  • Dieter Rams 
  • Jonathan Ive 
  • Philippe Starck 
  • Karim Rashid 
  • Yves Behar

Of course, these are all recognized industrial designers, but represent only one gender. And while this is telling of the industry as a whole, in this instance, it would seem that the platform hasn’t yet been trained to recognize gender bias, or other forms of discrimination. So we followed up with…

WDO: Who are the best female industrial designers?

ChatGPT: There have been many highly talented and influential female industrial designers throughout history. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Ray Eames 
  • Greta Magnusson-Grossman 
  • Eva Zeisel 
  • Patricia Urquiola 
  • Yves Béhar

Perhaps a bit of a dated list, and not altogether accurate given the inclusion of Mr. Yves Béhar. Clearly mistakes are possible, so designers must be wary of the information it generates. 

Indeed, as an increasing number of designers begin to leverage AI in their work, we wanted to know how this technology thinks it can benefit designers, as well as what it understands as the potential risks.

WDO: How can AI benefit designers?

ChatGPT: AI can benefit designers in a number of ways, including:

  • Automation: AI can automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as data entry, research, and analysis, freeing up designers to focus on more creative and strategic aspects of their work.
  • Design Assistance: AI can help designers generate design options, suggest color schemes, and provide feedback on design decisions, streamlining the design process and improving design outcomes.
  • Personalization: AI can help designers create personalized designs based on user data and preferences, allowing designers to create designs that are tailored to individual users and their needs.
  • Prediction and Forecasting: AI can analyze data and predict trends, helping designers stay ahead of the curve and design products and services that meet future needs.
  • Optimization: AI can optimize designs based on user data, improving usability, accessibility, and user experience.

Understanding both the benefits and risks, we concluded our conversation by asking the question that seems to be on all designers’ minds these days…

WDO: Will AI ever replace designers?

ChatGPT: AI has the potential to automate certain aspects of design, such as repetitive or time-consuming tasks. However, AI is not capable of replacing designers entirely, at least not in the foreseeable future. Here are some reasons why:

  • Creativity: Design is a highly creative process that requires imagination, intuition, and empathy. While AI can generate design options based on parameters and data analysis, it lacks the creativity and intuition that humans possess.
  • Contextual understanding: Design involves understanding the context and needs of users, clients, and society as a whole. While AI can analyze data and user behavior, it cannot understand the emotional and cultural nuances that human designers can pick up on.
  • Collaboration: Design often involves collaboration between designers, clients, and other stakeholders. While AI can automate certain tasks, it cannot replace the human interaction and collaboration that is necessary for effective design.
  • Ethics: Design involves making ethical decisions about the impact of products and services on people and the environment. While AI can optimize performance and efficiency, it cannot make ethical decisions based on human values and principles.
  • Aesthetics: Design involves creating aesthetic and emotional experiences that resonate with users. While AI can generate design options, it cannot replicate the emotional and aesthetic depth that human designers can create.

For now, at least we can take comfort in the fact that even AI technology sees itself as a complement to designers, as opposed to a competitor. 

So what did we learn from our brief foray into ChatGPT’s world? For one, we can’t deny that AI is a powerful tool. The knowledge it displayed and shared within seconds was nothing short of impressive. And while it has the power to help designers become more efficient, it will likely never understand the complexity of what it means to be human. The ability to empathize and connect with others is what makes great design.

In the end, human creativity is really the most powerful tool in any designer’s toolbox.  

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