Negative emotions for Social change

Collaboration design project
Collaboration company: TU Delft, Central Saint Martins, Design & Emotion society
Project manager: Steven Fokkinga

How can designers use negative emotions in product experiences that have a positive impact? In this Design & Emotion pre-conference workshop, twenty students from TU Delft and Central Saint Martins collaborated two weeks in London, to explore an alternative strategy to design for ‘wicked’ social problems like overconsumption, organ donor shortage, media piracy, and obesity. The students researched the emotional and experiential dimension of these problems, and used a methodological approach to transform the existing negative emotions and to introduce interesting new emotions to the context. The students experimented with rich experience qualities like ‘the indulging’, ‘the sadistic and ‘the grotesque’ as a provocative way to deal with these problems.

The four groups came up with very interesting concepts: A sentimental Lack table for Ikea that makes its owners weary to throw it away (Overconsumption); a thrilling music app that rewards users with free music when they sing and dance in public to a promoted song (media piracy); a garter for obese women that gives its wearer naughty assignments so she can feel more sexy and feminine again (obesity); and a series of memorials for organ donating road victims that depicts them as heroes, making passers-by aware of the issue (Organ donation). All four projects will be presented at the 8th International conference on Design and Emotion at Central Saint Martins, London, between 12-14 September.