Generative AI: Prompt Battle in Hamburg

October 21st, 2023 748 Words

What do I like the most about Generative AI? The endless possibilities and different perspectives on the process. In my opinion, a reliable prompt design will be an important skill for using generative AI effectively. Sure, anybody can sign up for a service like or Leonardo.Ai, but how can you achieve reliable results? In Hamburg, the Design Zentrum Hamburg by the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft organized two Prompt Battle events to explore generative AI.

Event Format

Comparable to the established format of the Secret Wars in Hamburg (Yes, the name is a No-Go; fritz-kola, any plans to change it?), a Prompt Battle is an open format that invites people to craft creative submissions in a limited amount of time, within a given topic, and - most importantly - live in front of an engaged audience.

For me, this is all about learning and sharing!

Prompt Battle #1

Back in July 2023, Barbie was everywhere, so the first Prompt Battle was also themed in pink. After a quick welcome, the Design Zentrum Hamburg introduced the format to the audience and the participants:

  • Two rounds, each with 15 minutes
  • First round: generate a movie poster for a Barbie movie,
  • Second round: Place a Barbie mansion in the Speicherstadt of Hamburg.

After each round, all participants had to submit their generated image and the audience was asked to pick their favorite image. Afterwards, the highest rated images were explained by their authors.

My Barbie Movie Poster

My submission for the first round of the Prompt Battle, tasked with generating a Barbie Movie Poster, was created with on Discord and a complex - and in retrospect, way too complex - prompt. The generated image was this:

Barbie Movie Poster generated with
Barbie Movie Poster generated with

The prompt used was this:

Photo of xenomorph alien interstellar bold move; working class empathy; androgynous Barbie as a robot version in a blockbustermovie, pastel, plastic, pink, color bright, sunshine, into the light. Highly detailed textures, action scene with explosion, 8k resolution, Hasselblad 250 megapixel camera photo, hard focus and soft focus, bokeh, (movie poster with different movie characters in poster) natural palette; neutral colors; cinegraphic; wideangel lense; soft edges; curves; bokeh; anamorph lense

The generated result totally reminds me of the movie Interstellar. The prompt includes some established patterns for my use cases of Midjourney: Scene Design, Color Spectrum, Style References, and specific individual artistic buzzwords. For me, these are important components of an effective prompt design for generative AI.

Barbie Mansion in Hamburg

The first round was very open and allowed quite some different results; you can read more about the results on the website of the Design Zentrum Hamburg.

For the second round, the organizers showed a generated photography of a Barbie-inspired mansion in the Speicherstadt of Hamburg. The participants had been tasked with recreating the image; my submission was this:

Barbie Mansion in Hamburg generated with
Barbie Mansion in Hamburg generated with

The used prompt was - compared to the first round - way simpler:

realistic aerial photography. hamburg germany; fleet; speicherstadt; liverpool red bricks building; urban street. one single pink house on the shore of the city of copenhagen building highlighted; cotton candy store.

This is a perfect example of typical over-explaining in prompt design. The first submission looks nice, I totally dig the style, but compared to the second prompt, it includes way too much input information.

Anyway, a detailed post about patterns in prompt design will follow …

Prompt Battle #2

For the second Prompt Battle in the beginning of October, I was cheering for a friend participating the first time in an event like this! 🎉

Compared to the first event in July, the second Prompt Battle was way more open. In three rounds, the participants were tasked with generating their submission on a specific topic. The official blog post by the Design Zentrum Hamburg is not yet ready, so I will not spoil the details …

My personal highlights of the Prompt Battle events are the conversations with the participants and the provided insights. For example, to understand generative AI’s pitfalls when combining unusual subjects and adjectives: like a dinosaur with balloons, instead of a dinosaur made out of balloons.

T-Rex and Ballons; generated with
T-Rex and Ballons; generated with

The artistic result is nice, regardless of the initial idea or the imagined result. That’s the beauty of the Prompt Battle! Learning more about generative AI only works by sharing each others approache’s and insights.

Thanks to the Design Zentrum Hamburg for these events and see you next time!