PLAN 211 Design Studio Showcase - DALL-E 2 AI Project

This most recent term (Winter '23), our PLAN211 - Design Studio Foundations course partnered with the Sustainability Office to produce urban design visualizations that explore the possibilities of what the future of the University of Waterloo campus could look like when meeting the University’s sustainability goals. Students’ first project was to create a general idea of a sustainable campus by submitting prompts into the new cutting-edge technology: DALL-E 2.

In this project, students were asked to start with an initial command for DALL-E 2 that captured components of a sustainable campus, which they continued to add commands and edits to until the displayed image aligned with their vision. Students created posters with their images and a brief discussion about the strengths and limitations of the platform. The students took a stance on the question: “Is AI the future of Urban Design?”; identifying the limits of an algorithm for replicating the contextual knowledge, critical perspective, attention to diversity, and nuanced iteration of a human designer; but recognizing the power of AI to quickly turn ideas into images. These technologies are becoming increasingly powerful and accessible and as one student, Myah Sachedina, concluded: it’s not a question of if AI will be the future of urban design, but rather: “What will the future of urban design look like with AI?” These works can also be viewed as PDFs at the following link.