Asia University (AU), Taiwan, is committed to creating a friendly, quality accommodation environment for its students and has taken the initiative to renovate the first school dormitory, “Gratitude Hall.” The opening ceremony for the renovation took place on July 29th, just before the official beginning of the new academic year. Prof. Jeffrey J.P. Tsai, President of AU, expressed his thanks to Ms. Jung-Hsuan Chan, Lecturer of the Interior Design Department, for leading her students to take part in the renovation design. In the renovation design, her team made use of the cutting-edge generative AI to display the spirit of the university's motto: “Health, Caring, Excellence, and Innovation.” Sustainable building materials were used to highlight the concept of a sustainable campus, ensuring that the redesigned space would “tell a good story” in this regard. The university plans to continue renovating other school dormitories to provide students with a quality living environment.
Prof. Jeffrey J.P. Tsai observed that in this renovation process, artificial intelligence in combination with ChatGPT was used for interactive assistance. The design incorporates concepts of the humanities, technology, and sustainability in line with current global trends to create a comfortable and appealing atmosphere.
Ms. Jung-Hsuan Chan pointed out that during the design conceptualization, careful consideration was given to the university's motto. The ideas of “Health” and “Caring” was promoted for the students, while the notions of “Excellence” and “Innovation” highlighted the use of artificial intelligence to create a smart and sustainable campus. We started the design by using ChatGPT to understand the real needs of our students in order to create the desired ambiance of the space. We then progressed to image generation, continually incorporating spatial requirements such as the reception desk and the ceiling based on the users’ input. Elements such as the atmosphere and materials to be used were also added with the assistance of AI. For the space layout, user-generated scenarios were incorporated into the design, and the final plans were drawn through a collaborative effort involving engineering practices and professional interventions in the design process, combining human and machine capabilities.
Ms. Jung-Hsuan Chan stated that the creative aspect of the design cannot be fully conveyed to AI and needs instead to rely on the human brain. She wanted the design to symbolize Asia U's continuous growth and advancement in academic excellence, represented by an “ascending curve.” This concept was incorporated into the design through spatial and three-dimensional effects, symbolizing a place where people gather, connecting individuals with each other, with space, and with time. These ideas were integrated into the design and refined through various iterations.
During the construction, sustainable materials were used and efforts were made to minimize waste in the design. Any waste generated was repurposed, either within the project or for the graduation projects of design students at the university, thus promoting efficient recycling practices.
The Chair of Student Association Ms.Elaine Zheng remarked that after the renovation, the entire space appears bright and gleaming, stimulating the desire to move in and stay. She said that she used to live in Gratitude Hall, and now the whole dormitory looks vastly different. Clever design choices have been implemented, such as changing the mailboxes behind the counter to floor-based units and expanding the cabinets for package storage. Initially, she was concerned about using generative AI for design and wondered whether it would render unnecessary the expertise of both faculty and students in the Department of Interior Design. However, after hearing Ms. Jung-Hsuan Chan's explanation, she came to understand the importance of human-machine collaboration. She hopes that the university will continue in this direction to renovate the other dormitories to provide high-quality living space for the students.