The second-ever YD x KeyShot Inspiration Hub Design of the Month goes to the Hìtëkw, a rather interesting-looking tennis racquet with an even more interesting back story. Designed using a combination of AI-based tools as well as generative design, the Hìtëkw boasts of a futuristic visual aesthetic that’s never been seen before… and that isn’t all. The redesigned racquet is lighter and stronger too, as a result of this AI-powered makeover!
Designer: All Design Lab
All Design Lab experimented with using OpenAI’s Dall·E2 to generate concept directions for the racquet’s design, only to realize that almost the AI could only work on a dataset of existing images; and nobody had ever made a racquet like the Hìtëkw before, which made it difficult for the AI to really think outside the box. This became the starting point for All Design Lab’s creative brief, which was to completely redesign the racquet’s silhouette itself.
To create new racquet archetypes, the All Design Lab team relied on new CAD tools. The designers created their rough form in Gravity Sketch, a VR-based 3D program that lets you sketch and sculpt in virtual reality, before taking the product to a generative algorithm to optimize the racquet’s unique frame for strength and reliability. The result was the Hìtëkw, a racquet that’s stronger and lighter than its competitors, with a distinct visual edge thanks to its organic, 3D-printed generative metal design.
“Rackets have become more lightweight and durable through new materials and advanced manufacturing techniques”, the All Design Lab team mentions. “Yet the potential is still there to envision an even lighter and stronger racket that takes advantage of new design techniques, specifically, advanced CAD processes such as generative design tools.”
If you don’t know what the YD x KeyShot Inspiration Hub is, it’s best to think of it as the ultimate destination to find the most inspirational design work, as well as to have your own work featured so that it can be seen by a global audience of thousands of designers and creatives… an ever-expanding encyclopedia of good design and great rendering, if you will.
The hub helps fulfill YD and KeyShot’s broad goal of recognizing exemplary work from a distance and helping amplify it without having to rely on an algorithm, unlike with portfolio sites and social media. It relies on YD’s two-decade-long year history of curating great ideas, concepts, and case studies and ties it to KeyShot’s powerful position as the design industry’s most powerful and preferred rendering software.
The Inspiration Hub’s jury panel will hand-pick and highlight an outstanding design each week, also awarding a ‘Design of the Week’ and ‘Design of the Year’, featuring them at the top of the hub’s page while giving winning designs a permanent badge and entering them into the Inspiration Hub’s ‘Hall of Fame’. Hall-of-Famers will also be featured on Yanko Design’s Instagram page and will win exciting prizes from KeyShot. If you think your design has a chance to get featured on the hub and win, submit your design with us here.
Learn more about how to participate by visiting the hub, and also get your hands on a free trial of KeyShot 11.