Ragab Explores AI's Role in Art and Architecture at Xposure

March 04, 2024 / 12:08 PM
Sharjah24: In today’s rapidly evolving world, AI is at the forefront of global discussions for its transformative potential across various industries. Generative AI was also the subject of discussion at the ongoing Xposure International Photography Festival (Xposure 2024), when Egyptian designer and conceptual artist, Hassan Ragab gave a talk on Generative AI: An Alternative Approach to Art, Architecture Through Humanity.
He presented his deep insights into the transformative impact of generative AI on creative disciplines, particularly in the realms of art and architecture.

With over 13 years of diverse experience spanning architecture, museography, computational design, furniture design and generative arts, Ragab gave the audience a profound look into how AI functions at the intersection of technology, identity and creativity. He highlighted the pivotal role of AI tools in reshaping his approach to architecture, enabling him to transcend traditional boundaries and create innovative designs, with each step guiding him towards the exploration of new frontiers in creativity.

Speaking about the evolution of architecture in the age of generative AI, Ragab highlighted the questions it poses: “Beyond our fears of AI taking over creative jobs, what can generative AI offer beyond amplifying our current capacities? How can we employ AI not just for individual benefit, but for the betterment of humanity?”

The multidisciplinary artist’s discourse extended beyond technicalities, delving into philosophical inquiries about creativity and identity. “For me, AI isn't about technical prowess but about leveraging its capabilities to unearth new perspectives on beauty and identity,” the artist said.

The talk also addressed societal issues, with a focus on the middle class as a barometer of city planning centred on social well-being. Ragab advocated for leveraging AI to understand and address the needs of diverse communities, emphasising the importance of human-centric design.

Ragab also explored the intricate relationship between identity and architecture, drawing inspiration from the wealth of ancient Egyptian architecture and heritage, plus urban landscapes. He emphasised the need to preserve cultural heritage in the face of rapid urbanisation and globalisation. “As an Egyptian architect, I've found inspiration in the rich historical tapestry of my homeland, exploring how it intersects with modernity.”

Throughout the session, Ragab showcased his innovative projects made using the Midjourney AI tool: ‘Architectural Beings’ – featuring skyscrapers in the form of dancing figures– and ‘City Will Haunt You’ – with almost hallucinatory visualisations of modern Egyptian cities – demonstrating how AI-driven design can encapsulate the essence of human experience.

“I strive to blend ancient Egyptian symbols with modern aesthetics, creating a new visual language. By incorporating elements like hieroglyphics and urban landscapes, I aim to bridge the gap between the tangible and the intangible, the past and the present, using AI as a tool for exploration and expression.”

In his closing remarks, Ragab urged creatives to embrace AI as a tool for meaningful expression and introspection. “Before we explore the capabilities of AI, we must first understand ourselves and our values," he asserted, advocating for a human-centred approach to technological innovation.

“Generative AI allows me to explore beauty beyond the visual realm, translating it into tangible forms. It’s essential to understand ourselves before harnessing technology's power responsibly,” Ragab concluded.

Xposure also offered another deep-dive into how AI is transforming short-form content creation and the creative landscape for editors and artists. The workshop ‘The Era of Short Form Content and AI | Becoming Creatively Driven’ conducted by techno music DJ and digital professional Nick Moreno offered an in-depth look at how AI-powered tools such as text-based editing, Generative Fill, and eluna.ai are helping streamline workflows, eliminating repetitive tasks and creating room for innovation while harnessing your full creative potential.
March 04, 2024 / 12:08 PM

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