University of Twente Student Theses


Relateren van vormen aan emoties

Roebers, Nora (2013) Relateren van vormen aan emoties.

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Abstract:The goal of this research is to propose an analytical method that models the relation between shape characteristics of products and affective meanings. The chosen representations for studying shapes are 2D bitmaps of product perspectives, and the research is founded upon two case studies, namely motors and home water heaters. For both types of products, six different models of three different brands have been chosen based on their date of launch. This research has been carried out in 5 main steps. First, it is examined how to filter aspects, other than shapes, influencing the affective meaning of a product (e.g. color). This is done by simplifying pictures of the products to both silhouettes and line drawings. The silhouettes describe the overall shape of the product and line drawings describe aspects such as position, orientation and relative size of components with reference to other components or the whole product. Second, a literature research is performed to identify the relation between the geometry of objects and their affective meanings. It is found that several studies have already investigated to some extend this relation. For example, some researchers compare products with art (like dance, music, visual arts) or with subjects from nature to find relationships between shape characteristics and affective meanings. Other researchers try to find a relationship by using motor expressions and dynamizing. Furthermore, there is research looking at the relation between Dutch proverbs and shape characteristics and affective meanings. This literature study allowed identifying the shape features that influence the affective meaning of products as follows: - Curvature: specifies the radius of corners. Corners are classified into three categories: pointy corners, slightly rounded corners and very rounded corners. - Line inclination: specifies the angle between two lines. Angles are classified into three categories: acute angles, right angles and obtuse angles. - Line direction: specifies the angle between a line and a horizontal line. Lines are classified into the following categories: horizontal lines, vertical lines, directed obliquely upwards and obliquely sideways. In case of asymmetrical products, there will be a distinction between right- and left-directed lines. - Dimensions ratio: specifies different ratios between product dimensions. The third step consisted in analysing all the case study products selected for this research. This analysis allowed concluding that the shape feature ’Line Inclination’ is not sensitive to product changes, and is therefore not further considered relevant to describe the affective meaning of motors and home water heaters. The other three shape features do show changes for the selected case study models, and are selected to continue this research. Using the investigated relationships between shape features and affective meanings, the products have been ordered according to their distinctive shape characteristics such that the relationship between shape features and affective meanings is displayed in a clear and outlined way. The relationships between shape features and affective meanings are further explored by a survey. The survey confirms the following relationships: - The more angular a motor is, and thus the smaller the radii of the curvatures are, the more aggressive the engine looks. - The more horizontal lines a motor contains, the more static, old-fashioned and less robust the engine looks. - The higher the protrusion on the top of the motor is, the more aggressive the engine looks. - A home water heater with an hourglass figure looks more modern, dynamic and less solid than a heater with an apple figure. - The more the home water heater is in balance, the more stable, reliable and oldfashioned the heater looks. - The larger the spout of the home water heater, and therefore the greater the CTW ratio, the tougher the heater looks. This research allows concluding that by analysing the curvature of lines, line direction and dimensional ratio of products, statements of its affective meanings can be formulated. The following step is to use the relations found in this research to assemble a formal analysis model to enable measuring the degree of affective meaning a product is able to arise, based on a simple study of its shape features.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
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