Abstract

The Unified Model of Aesthetics provides a comprehensive theory on aesthetics of product design. It posits that aesthetic appreciation derives from the reconciliation of the needs for safety and accomplishment, which manifests itself through the principles of unity-in-variety, most-advanced-yet-acceptable and autonomous-yet-connected. The present study considers the empirical integration of these principles, using a survey that scrutinizes aesthetic preferences of 300 respondents for 20 products. The principles are scrutinized separately, after which we conduct an integrated test to examine their combined effect and relative importance for aesthetic appreciation. We find that the perceptual qualities of unity and variety strongly affect aesthetic appreciation, but the typicality of a design becomes of little importance when taking into account perceptual and social measures.

Keywords:

design aesthetics; Unified Model of Aesthetics; safety and accomplishment needs; aesthetic principles

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 17th, 12:00 AM

The beauty of balance – An empirical integration of the Unified Model of Aesthetics for product design

The Unified Model of Aesthetics provides a comprehensive theory on aesthetics of product design. It posits that aesthetic appreciation derives from the reconciliation of the needs for safety and accomplishment, which manifests itself through the principles of unity-in-variety, most-advanced-yet-acceptable and autonomous-yet-connected. The present study considers the empirical integration of these principles, using a survey that scrutinizes aesthetic preferences of 300 respondents for 20 products. The principles are scrutinized separately, after which we conduct an integrated test to examine their combined effect and relative importance for aesthetic appreciation. We find that the perceptual qualities of unity and variety strongly affect aesthetic appreciation, but the typicality of a design becomes of little importance when taking into account perceptual and social measures.

 

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