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Ziyuan (Zoey) Zhu

Software Designer, IDEO

Ziyuan (Zoey) Zhu

Ziyuan ‘Zoey’ Zhu, is a software designer and coder at IDEO. Working at the intersection of design, emerging technology, education, and sustainability, she creates physical and digital objects to reflect and communicate the relationship between humans and the built environment. Her approaches include generative AI, data visualization, XR, web-based platform, material science, and physical installation.

She received several awards, including IDA, Spark Design, and SOM China Prize. She was granted international interdisciplinary art and research fellowships, at Ars Electronica, Technion, University of Stuttgart, and MIT Council of Art. She was invited to give speeches and conduct workshops at NYC Climate Week, Design Nation, MIT Museum, Design Museum Week, IDC, Pratt, Bandung Biennale, etc.

She is also an affiliated researcher at MIT Environmental Solution Initiative (ESI), focusing on leveraging emerging technology to design sustainable experiences for the music industry. Zoey holds degrees in architecture and computer science from MIT.

Adapting to the Future: Unleashing the Power of Generative AI in Product Design



August 23, 2023

11:15 AM - 11:45 AM


In this presentation, we will embark on a journey into Generative AI and its potential to empower designers to push the boundaries of creativity, experiment with ideas, and craft products that break free from conventional norms. By leveraging multiple modalities and incorporating generative algorithms, designs will gain access to a plethora of design options, variations, and possibilities.

While the potential of Generative AI is immense, it is also crucial for designers to navigate the technology effectively and ethically. We will address the importance of developing a deeper understanding of AI capabilities, limitations, and ethical considerations. By delving into these aspects, designers can harness the power of AI while staying mindful and building resilience to potential challenges and risks that may emerge.

Join us in this sharing from the interdisciplinary collaboration at IDEO. Together, we will explore how cutting-edge technology unlocks a new dimension in design, fuels innovation, and propels us toward a new future where resilience and groundbreaking design are seamlessly intertwined.

The audience will learn. . .

Overall, attendees can expect to learn about the benefits and limitations of generative AI and emerging technologies in the design process, and how this technology can be applied to various stages of the industrial and product design process. They may also gain insight into how generative AI can improve design outcomes and lead to more efficient and effective design processes.

1) Introduction to Generative AI in the product design process: we will explain what generative AI is. We will provide examples of how generative AI has been used in the design industry, especially product design.

2) Applications of Generative AI in Design: the audience will learn how generative AI can be used to generate and optimize design alternatives, and how it can help them to explore new design possibilities.

3) Benefits of Using Generative AI: the audience will learn the potential benefits of using generative AI in the design process, such as increased efficiency, improved design quality, and reduced costs.

4) Challenges and Limitations: the audience will learn about the challenges and limitations of using generative AI, such as the need for high-quality data, the potential for ethical bias, and the difficulty of interpreting the output.

5) Case Studies: the audience will study and learn generative AI has been used in real-world design projects, and how it has impacted the design process and outcomes. (cases studies including IDEO internal case in product exploration, as well as designers’ individual projects in product design and speculation)

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