Are Robots Taking Over Interior Design?


It has been said that robots are going to take over many of the jobs that we are doing today. Artificial intelligence is already being used in numerous industries to create new efficiencies. Could these benefits be coming to the artistic and engineering world as well?

That might be the case if Layth Mahdi has the final world. This Iraqi-born designer recently debuted a series of marble tables and vases featuring contoured surfaces that were designed through the use of algorithms.

The first collection is called Ripple. Mahdi took the marble from Georgia and Vermont in the United States to create the exhibition. It shows how technology can help to make something different and outstanding without threatening the livelihood of the artists involved.

What Is Featured in the Collection?

Each piece in the collection features undulating surfaces and fluid forms thanks to the milling performed by 7-Axis robots. Mahdi created the final look through the use of overlapping with the digital modeling and scripting software used to create each unique design.

There are eight pieces in total with the first collection presented by Mahdi – seven are vases, with a coffee table to round out the presentation.

Mahdi said that the table took 24 hours to cut, while each vase represents about eight hours of work. Although it was challenging work, the goal is to prove that the future of creative endeavors is not 100% AI or 100% human – it will be collaborative.

That’s because humans can perform certain tasks perfectly. Robots make it possible to complete jobs in ways that are faster, better, and with greater accuracy. Each group features a set of strengths and weaknesses which eventually complement each other. That’s why there is a lot of power in the idea of collaboration. 

The designs were featured during Dubai Design Week in December 2018.

Who Is Layth Mahdi?

Mahdi is a skilled fabricator and architect who also works in the field of advanced robotics fabrication. His award-winning designs are part of the collaborations behind some of the most iconic projects undertaken in the United Arab Emirates.

Layth completed his master’s degree in Architecture and Digital Technologies at the University of Michigan. He won the AIA Middle East design award and the Young Artist Award, along with Harper’s Bazar Best Emerging Designer.

His current research projects include thermoplastic concrete, digital craft, and another series to follow up Ripple in the coming months and years. Look for his Thrai collection that features flower vases, a table mirror, and medkhan for additional examples of his work. 

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