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Towards a Conquest of Emotionality

Harun Kaygan

As emotions and emotional experiences have become the focus of recent design arguments, a number of approaches have been introduced by scholars from various disciplines. However, neither the quantity nor the scope of those propositions seem sufficient regarding the variety of potential modes of relating design to emotions.

This article aims to review and criticize these existent approaches on the grounds of, firstly, their resemblance to the way in which advertising handles the product and emotion relationship. Secondly, a critique is directed at the false scientism underlying a number of attempts to relate design and emotion. And eventually, through the first two critiques, the article points at the role of 'design and emotion' movement as an agent of design activity to add another layer of rationalization to the subject-object relationship.

Ultimately the article attempts to offer an alternative locating of design and emotion by shifting the emphasis from such rationalization of user-product / subject-object relation towards the effective communication of the 'intended effect' of the design activity and its political character.


Design criticism, design research, advertising and product design