Exploring constituents for kansei design, towards a framework

Exploring constituents for kansei design, towards a framework

Lévy, P. (2013). Exploring constituents for kansei design, towards a framework. the Proceedings of 5th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR 2013 (pp 148–159). Tokyo, Japan: Shibaura University of Technology.

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Next to the well-developed and recognized kansei engineering and kansei science, the discipline of kansei design still appears as emerging and explorative. In this paper, after presenting succinctly the theoretical basis of the first two disciplines, I compare them with and focus more in detail on the bases of kansei design, along with an inspiration in Japanese philosophy and culture. In order to structure further the discipline, necessary for the creation of a robust and specific design framework, I describe the constituents of the discipline, i.e., the notions the designers should take into consideration to either describe and explore kansei through designing, or to reflect upon and validate kansei designs (especially interactivity aspects). Finally, these constituents are illustrated by two kansei design projects showing their value and the current explorations done on the topic of interactive materiality in kansei design.


Matter of transformation, designing an alternative tomorrow inspired by phenomenology

Matter of transformation, designing an alternative tomorrow inspired by phenomenology

Hummels, C., & Lévy, P. (2013). Matter of Transformation: Designing an Alternative Tomorrow Inspired by Phenomenology. Interactions, 20(6), 42–49. https://doi.org/10.1145/2533713

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In this month’s cover story, Caroline Hummels and Pierre Lévy propose an alternative, value-based vision for design: Can we create alternative ways to engage with the world based on trusting our senses? Where intuition is as valuable as logic? Where commitment and engagement are valuable assets for growth? Where people can take a first-person perspective and be in the moment, instead of forever worrying about efficiency? Growing out of a long history of work in the Designing Quality in Interaction group at TU Eindhoven, Hummels and Lévy’s vision is rooted in phenomenology and the ideas of 20th-century philosophers such as Dewey, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. Over the course of the article they build their case for this new approach, highlighting projects that illustrate aspects of the vision they outline. As the cover image hints, even typically mundane objects such as vending machines can produce rich, aesthetically rewarding experiences when their design is inspired by phenomenology and its associated values such as embodiment.


Beyond kansei engineering: the emancipation of kansei design

Beyond kansei engineering: the emancipation of kansei design

Lévy, P. (2013). Beyond kansei engineering: the emancipation of kansei design. International Journal of Design. 7(2), 83–94.

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For over three decades, kansei engineering has expanded greatly and has become a significant discipline both in the industrial and the academic worlds. In this paper, I present the current situation of kansei engineering, and plead for the emancipation of other disciplines, as part of kansei research as well. By reconstructing the historical path of kansei research and exploring the variety of disciplines within kansei research, I point out the opportunities for kansei design to emerge. Whereas kansei engineering and kansei science have found their roots in scientifically established approaches (respectively engineering and brain science), kansei design intends to return to earlier Japanese philosophical or cultural works to rediscover the essence of kansei, and to use them as inspirational means for design. This new discipline certainly needs to be elaborated further. Therefore, this paper aims to contribute to the elaboration of a more expansive point-of-view in design research regarding the relationship between human beings and their immediate environment.


Sensual dynamics

Sensual dynamics

Exploring sensorial qualities in interaction

Prior to interaction, there is perception. Perception is intrinsically rising from one’s actions and from what one senses. These are the way one is connected to the world: acting is the way one impacts the world, sensing is the way one captures it. At this level, in direct contact with the world, there is no information, but energies (or forces). It is these energies and these forces that designers deal with (consciously or unconsciously) when putting a new artefact in the world. This primacy of perception towards interaction is the main focus of this module, proposing an approach to effectively taking it into consideration in the design process.
For design practical reasons, design should focus on qualities of senses. For example, touching is local, reciprocal, and private. It is where I touch, I am touched by what I am touching, and nobody else can touch what I touch. On the other hand, smell is at a distance, possibly unidirectional, and public. These are qualities of senses that can be useful for design. To be so, these qualities need to determined and mapped. Moreover, we may seek differences between static and dynamics qualities of senses.
Finally, designers should comprehend these qualities and engage them in order to find opportunities for design – how can I make something private at a distance? How can techno challenge these qualities (e.g. headphones make sound private)? What implications for design?