StudioLabTalk: Aesthetic appraisal of product designs – Battle of two inherent needs
By Dr. Janneke Blijlevens – StudioLab member
When people encounter a (new) product design, they evaluate this product design given the previous experience we have with product designs. Hence, people’s previous exposure to product designs influence how they interpret and how they value product designs that they encounter. People have a knowledge base on how the world around them works, looks and how they behave in that world. This knowledge base is important to correctly respond to certain situations and stimuli that people encounter on a daily basis. In order to correctly respond to stimuli people need to have a stable knowledge system that helps them in correctly responding: people have a need to protect this knowledge system. However, the world around us is ever changing. Hence, people have to learn and explore to be able to behave correctly: people have a need to expand the knowledge system. These two inherent needs influence people’s aesthetic appraisal of product designs. For example, people like product designs to deviate from the prototype that people have in their mind of how a certain product within a product category looks (most washing machines are angular and white), because it adheres to the need to expand the knowledge system. On the other hand, people do not like a product design to deviate too much, because this forms a risk to the knowledge system that they already have. Hence, people like product designs that deviate, but are still recognizable. We believe that these needs also influence aesthetic appraisal of product designs that provide certain social opportunities to us. My current research focuses on how product designs that provide us with the opportunity to feel connected to people or to feel unique influences aesthetic appraisal of product designs.
This LabTalk will be held in StudioSay, March 7th, at 16:00.