Aesthetic Judgment and Vision: Our Associated Emotional Response to Objects

By Julie Rhodes, Bryan Laffitte and Sharon Joines.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This investigation has evaluated the role that vision plays in a person’s aesthetic judgment of objects and their associated emotional response. As humans, we connect with objects. We make aesthetic judgments of these objects, and this becomes part of our relationship to the product. This research has been completed through a series of participant interviews using assessment tools designed for this project. The results of this investigation are intended for use when making considerations during product and experience design.
Participant interviews were conducted among persons with full sight, low vision, and total vision loss. During each interview session, participants evaluated four different objects. Participants were asked to bring to the interview session an object with which they had a strong emotional connection. The remaining three objects were provided by the investigator. Assessment tools designed for this investigation asked participants to evaluate their emotional connection and aesthetic judgment of these objects. The investigation found that there appears to be no meaningful significance in the role that vision plays in a person’s aesthetic judgment of objects across the product property groupings of size, shape, tangibility, and color. The investigation also found that there appears to be no meaningful significance in the role that vision plays in a person’s emotional response to objects across the experience dimensions of comfort, independence, and joy.

Keywords: Emotion, Design, Vision, Aesthetic Judgment, Attachment, Sight, Blind

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.607-622. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.100MB).

Julie Rhodes

Industrial Designer, North Carolina State University, Durham, NC, USA

Julie Rhodes is a graduate of the College of Design at North Carolina State University, focusing on human factors and universal design within the exhibit design community. Julie has worked with Design Dimension, Inc. of Raleigh, NC as a contributing designer to North Carolina state parks visitors centers and also with Morehead Planetarium and Science Center of Chapel Hill, NC as an exhibit evaluator. Her work has been presented at the American Institute of Architects National Convention. Julie is a two-time recipient of the L. Franklin Bost Industrial Design Fellowship. She was the recipient of the graduate student Industrial Design Faculty Book Award at North Carolina State University.

Bryan Laffitte

Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

Bryan Laffitte is an industrial designer, teaching courses involving drawing and modelmaking. He has published papers on the role of drawing in design, and the use of visualization in the team design process. In his professional practice, Laffitte is a conceptual designer for companies specializing in mechanical and robotic systems. Laffitte has taught industrial design at Arizona State University and Carnegie Mellon University before joining the faculty at NC State University. He has served as a regional education chair and treasurer for IDSA and has worked as a consultant for Bally Design and Agnew Moyer Smith in Pittsburgh, and Machina Design in San Francisco.

Dr. Sharon Joines

Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

Sharon Joines is a researcher and ergonomist, teaching courses in human centered design and ergonomics. Her interests reside in universal design, applied product and process research, and the effect of aging on fatigue development and work. Her research focuses on quantifying the interaction between individuals, products, and their environment. Before joining the faculty in Industrial Design and the Center for Universal Design at NC State University, Sharon was the director of research and education at the Ergonomics Center of North Carolina. She was a John T. Caldwell Scholar, Merit Scholar, University Scholar, and NC Fellow. She is a member of the Order of Thirty and Three, Alpha Pi Mu, and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

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