Designing with Emotion

This past class I really found the concepts and TED talk very interesting. Kansei Engineering, or emotional engineering, is something that I have never heard of before this class. Although the reading this week was somewhat confusing to me, I understood it much more after the lecture and watching the TED talk given by Ashish Joshi. I think the emotion wheel is something that could really aid in renovation projects because it is something that can gauge what needs to be changed and spur a more in-depth analysis of what a user would feel when in the original space. I also believe that it could be a great tool to use when using a design probe. I feel like if I had had one of these charts when I did my design probe, it would have helped me do a more in-depth analysis of the things that I did throughout the day and how they made me feel. I thought it was very interesting that in the reading the author pointed out that “generally in the Western tradition rational, intellectual and logical aspects are prioritized and considered to be most important while emotional aspects are either ignored or considered to be something that should be restrained.” I actually agree with this statement, especially for women. Many women worry and stress about showing any type vulnerability or any type of motherly emotions in the workplace in fear of being see as less than and getting looked over for advancement or even fired. Another example I can think of that we see in everyday life is men are expected to hold everything in and not show their feelings and not ask for help. This is one of the reasons that the suicide rate for men is very high. Another point made in the reading that stuck out to me was “people today care more and more about whether products and services match and appeal to their feelings, emotions, personal lifestyles, identities and even moral/ethical preferences.” I think this stuck out to me because I agree with this statement as well. Slowly as a society we are beginning to care about what companies do, not just about the product they produce. Both of there quotes from the reading relate to Kansei Engineering because they are things that we as designers have to keep in mind and design for. Everything we design has to appeal to consumers whether is a necessity, like water, or something that the consumer just likes to buy. I really like the concept of Kansei Engineering because I feel it is very applicable in the field of architecture. Many people, including architecture students like myself, believe architecture is all about the visual. We forget that its about so much more than that. It’s about designing the quality of light, the quality of sound and what kinds of sounds happen there. It’s about what kind of emotion do you want a user to feel when they experience a space, touch different materials, or even smell different things. Taking all these different things into account during designing is what makes a work of architecture truly amazing and successful.

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