The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by Architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions.
A variety of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or casual explorations of everyday life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.
This week David and Marina of FAME Architecture & Design are joined by designer and educator Andrew Kudless, Founder of Matsys, to discuss the fundamentals of generative Artificial Intelligence (A.I.); how he teaches Midjourney; its potential role in the architecture profession; the evolving role of an architect; how students can make the most of the tools; and more.
Highlights & Timestamps
The students are paying for an education… Anyone can learn anything… You could learn almost anything on Youtube but it’s maybe not the best way to learn and it’s not a very focused way to learn. (04:14)
(05:06) Introduction to Midjourney and AI
It’s going to take a lot of resistance… because A.I. is doing some heavy lifting, we then just fill the space that is created with more work for ourselves. I hope [instead[ we take the space and go to the movies or go outside and go on a walk or whatever it is. (40:17)
It’s a huge problem that we’re going to have to deal with… [in Midjourney] there’s a model called an ‘aesthetic predictor’ it’s essentially a model that has been trained on a bunch of images that humans have judged from 0-10 [based on what is visually pleasing]. Midjourney doesn’t give you just any image when you enter a prompt, it’s restricting the types of images that come back to you that are probably between a 7.5-10. So it’s not letting you look at any ugly images. So it’s incredibly biased toward ‘beautiful’ often in a western sense of what beauty is as well. (44:27)
(47:55) Cost to use A.I. tools
(54:13) Generating Options
This technology is so important that we shouldn’t leave it in the hands of Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook because they’re putting their hand on the scale in a variety of ways like the programmers are determining the weights on these models of what you can and can’t do. And I don’t know if you should trust all these companies to make those decisions. (01:01:20)
(01:13:47) Teaching Midjourney
The reason I think that the architects will still be valuable is that just because you can make a beautiful image doesn’t mean that that’s architecture. (01:19:27)