Looking back at our event “Designing emotion”
The speakers at our event “perspectives by design — designing emotion” were peppered with questions. Can emotions really be designed? And is it even possible to capture them so methodically? How are emotions and design related? What does this mean for the use of form, color and material? And what are emotions in general?
Disgust, surprise, fear, sadness, joy, anger — the spectrum of emotions is broad, the transitions are fluid and there are mixed forms. Psychologist Prof. Dr. Jennifer Schmidt gave an introduction with an overview of established scientific theories. And it quickly became clear: Even if humans like to see themselves as rational beings, our actions are usually unconsciously guided by emotions and often against better knowledge and rational arguments. Above all positive emotions (e.g. gratitude, love, pride) and/or positive affect were neglected however in their effect for a long time, so Schmidt. However, positive emotions can be aroused in a targeted manner by means of product design tailored to the target group.
So how can emotions be designed — and how not? This is what the designers Mareike Roth and Oliver Saiz have been investigating for many years. On this evening, they shared some of their experiences and insights and presented strategies and methods for systematically analyzing emotions and controlling them through the precise use of form, color and material. While thinking about emotional design is significantly easier than designing itself, at the same time, all design is emotional design: “Non-emotional design simply doesn’t exist.” But in the best case, emotional design remains invisible. Mareike Roth and Oliver Saiz used a specially developed set of methods to demonstrate how systematically they work with customers.
Thomas Krasser, Senior Vice President Business Development, and Corinna Zeidler, Director Brand Management, from Schwan Cosmetics in Heroldsberg, Germany, reported on the resulting design and business challenges for product design, brand communication and corporate identity, and how they can be overcome.
While networking after the talks, a crowd quickly formed around photographer Thomas Michalczyk’s hands-on activity, where visitors could try out for themselves how sensory perceptions can trigger certain emotions. — and how this is reflected in our facial expressions.
Many thanks to all our guests and especially to our speakers Prof. Dr. Jennifer Schmidt, Mareike Roth and Oliver Saiz from bayern design member hoch E Design and Thomas Krasser and Corinna Zeidler from Schwan Cosmetics. Thanks also go to bayern design member Design Offices Nürnberg for the great location and Thomas Michalczyk for the photographic support as well as to our presenter Lilien Wege.