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The Aesthetics in Design and Cultural Studies

Theresa de Lobo

Discussing aesthetics as an aspect of design touches upon one of the most vital matters of how design functions as a means of communication. Especially in non-professional contexts, when design artifacts are noticed and appreciated, it is more often for their aesthetic qualities than their practical or functional ability to solve more or less complex or well-defined problems. Furthermore, working with aesthetics is often regarded as a core competence in design, and the pervasive attention paid to aesthetics can be annoying to designers, as it implies that they work solely with artistic matters of surface, appearance, and styling as opposed to, for example, functionality. The theoretical framework proposed here can be used in analyses and discussions of aesthetics in design, but it can also inform designers who need to deal practically with the challenges of the aesthetic in design. The two aspects of aesthetics in design that are put forward in this paper? design as a structure of sensual appearance, and design as an act of communication that may contain an aesthetic coding that lets an idea or content of meaning be physically manifested and reflected in different ways?can lead to a more theoretically focused inclusion of aesthetic matters in the process of designing.

design, aesthetics, communication and experience.