Abstract

The physical environment greatly influences our well-being, learning and collaboration with other people. Through visual, tactile and form-related means a space communicates the identity, values, strategies, visions etc. of e.g. a company or educational institution and suggests various types of behaviour and interaction. Research within the field of architectural psychology recommends that users of knowledge and learning spaces be involved in the interior design process so that they can identify with the spatial aesthetic expressions. But how are decisions made on spatial communication in a given context? What should these spatial aesthetic expressions be based on? The study of this issue includes three processes based on Participatory Design workshops. The current paper describes the aesthetic theories applied in the workshops – Aesthetics as Aisthesis and Atmosphere – and demonstrates how the need for an alternative theory of aesthetics – Relational Aesthetics – developed in the course of the workshops. Finally, the processes have resulted in a proposal for a novel approach to involving users in decisions related to issues of spatial, aesthetic expression in a given context.

Keywords

aesthetics, relational aesthetics, participatory design, aesthetic decisionmaking

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Relational Aesthetics as a New Approach for Designing Spatial Aesthetic Expressions in Participatory Design

The physical environment greatly influences our well-being, learning and collaboration with other people. Through visual, tactile and form-related means a space communicates the identity, values, strategies, visions etc. of e.g. a company or educational institution and suggests various types of behaviour and interaction. Research within the field of architectural psychology recommends that users of knowledge and learning spaces be involved in the interior design process so that they can identify with the spatial aesthetic expressions. But how are decisions made on spatial communication in a given context? What should these spatial aesthetic expressions be based on? The study of this issue includes three processes based on Participatory Design workshops. The current paper describes the aesthetic theories applied in the workshops – Aesthetics as Aisthesis and Atmosphere – and demonstrates how the need for an alternative theory of aesthetics – Relational Aesthetics – developed in the course of the workshops. Finally, the processes have resulted in a proposal for a novel approach to involving users in decisions related to issues of spatial, aesthetic expression in a given context.

 

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