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"Cheapness is Not a Sense, George!": An Economic Critique of Design and Emotion Discourse

Harun Kaygan , Osman Sisman

The body of works gathered under the title ‘design and emotion’, not surprisingly, constitutes a coherent set of definitions concerning their ‘subject’: This presupposed subject is capable of not only 'experiencing' the object (as opposed to 'using'), but also communicating his/her experience accurately. His/her reflections are then collected by positivistic means into a repertoire of sensualities, which forms the basis for further ‘designerly’ operations.

Considering designed-objects and experiencing-subjects having interactions in an economy-proof void, in a laboratory-like medium devoid of monetary relations, design and emotion movement seems to miss that constitutive part of such interaction, which is also the condition of its own existence: Economy. The paper proposes to perform a theoretical critique of design and emotion discourse, emphasizing this purposeful, but not necessarily self-conscious forgetfulness that amounts to a repression, which can be symptomatically read to deeply understand this design approach.


design and emotion discourse, economy, methodology