Abstract

While industrial designers have traditionally advocated aesthetics in their work, with evocative forms and materials, recent advances in design philosophy about “user experience” suggest a deeper analysis. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explore beauty as an experiential aesthetic value, dependent upon user-product interactions. The goal is to offer designers a valuable tool: a systematic, extensible model for describing beauty for design, with powerful insights drawn from other disciplines, including psychology, philosophy, computer science, and architecture. This paper strives to understand the concept of beauty as a value of human-product grounded in daily experience. Beauty is typically associated with aesthetics and nature, but can the experience of an industrial product, like a computer mouse or a CD player or a faucet, be characterized as beautiful? What does beauty mean for the high tech component? Beauty becomes a vital issue as electronic, multifunctional products rapidly shape our environment of human experience. They subsequently influence how people live, work, and play—in short, personal lifestyles. To understand how to connect analog aesthetics with consumer design products, we first consider the nature of experience, which may depend upon the dynamic relation of three elements: attention, attraction, and beauty. We then examine philosophical interpretations of aesthetic experience, using Ferdinand de Saussure’s Semiotics, Gelernter’s Machine Beauty, Dewey’s Lifestyle Design and Gropius’ Spiritual/Cultural Harmony. Using familiar objects like the Hadid’s Future Faucet Design, and Starck’s optical mouse, we bridge theory with application and identify four kinds of beauty in action: Semiotics, Machine Beauty, Lifestyle Design and Spiritual/Cultural Harmony. Thus, we learn that beauty, as it pertains to industrial design, transcends mere surface ornament to become an emergent value of human-product that operates in experience through human attention and emotional attraction.

Keywords

cultural studies, design aesthetics and beauty

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

The Aesthetics in Design and Cultural Studies

While industrial designers have traditionally advocated aesthetics in their work, with evocative forms and materials, recent advances in design philosophy about “user experience” suggest a deeper analysis. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explore beauty as an experiential aesthetic value, dependent upon user-product interactions. The goal is to offer designers a valuable tool: a systematic, extensible model for describing beauty for design, with powerful insights drawn from other disciplines, including psychology, philosophy, computer science, and architecture. This paper strives to understand the concept of beauty as a value of human-product grounded in daily experience. Beauty is typically associated with aesthetics and nature, but can the experience of an industrial product, like a computer mouse or a CD player or a faucet, be characterized as beautiful? What does beauty mean for the high tech component? Beauty becomes a vital issue as electronic, multifunctional products rapidly shape our environment of human experience. They subsequently influence how people live, work, and play—in short, personal lifestyles. To understand how to connect analog aesthetics with consumer design products, we first consider the nature of experience, which may depend upon the dynamic relation of three elements: attention, attraction, and beauty. We then examine philosophical interpretations of aesthetic experience, using Ferdinand de Saussure’s Semiotics, Gelernter’s Machine Beauty, Dewey’s Lifestyle Design and Gropius’ Spiritual/Cultural Harmony. Using familiar objects like the Hadid’s Future Faucet Design, and Starck’s optical mouse, we bridge theory with application and identify four kinds of beauty in action: Semiotics, Machine Beauty, Lifestyle Design and Spiritual/Cultural Harmony. Thus, we learn that beauty, as it pertains to industrial design, transcends mere surface ornament to become an emergent value of human-product that operates in experience through human attention and emotional attraction.

 

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