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Title:Aesthetic typicality and sustainable design
Author(s):Heaton, Rachel Flood
Advisor(s):McDonagh, Deana
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art and Design
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.F.A.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):Design, Psychology, Sustainability, Aesthetics, Typicality, Categorization, Prototypes, Abstraction, Simplicity, Naoto Fukasawa, Dieter Rams, Jonathan Ive
Abstract:Aesthetic longevity in product design has been linked to environmental sustainability through an increased product lifetime-of-use. One approach to creating enduring product aesthetics is visual simplicity—yet ‘simple’ can be a challenge to define, let alone to create. Designers such as Naoto Fukasawa, Dieter Rams, and Jonathan Ive have achieved visual simplicity by designing to a level of abstraction that maintains the essential, typical character of the product. An analysis of the contexts in which these designers work reveals cultural priorities on typicality. Research from the field of cognitive psychology also suggests that across cultures, typicality is likely to improve cognitive economy during recognition of designed objects. Psychological science can shed light on the way our minds process everyday objects visually, providing a platform for designers to create an enduring aesthetic experience in products, thereby extending product lifetime. An exercise to simulate a design process that prioritizes aesthetic typicality is described. Products and contexts that are suitable for this approach are discussed, as well as limitations and drawbacks to this approach to design sustainability.
Issue Date:2017-07-18
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/98299
Rights Information:© 2017 Rachel Flood Heaton
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08


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