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The Effect of Form on Attributing Meanings to Materials

[+] Author Affiliations
Elvin Karana, Wikke van Weelderen, Ernst-Jan van Woerden

Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Paper No. DETC2007-34646, pp. 471-487; 17 pages
  • ASME 2007 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 27th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 4–7, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4803-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-3806-4
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


Materials in product design used to be selected based especially on manufacturability concerns and technical aspects such as strength, conductivity, elasticity, etc. Nowadays, the increasing recognition for more intangible issues like meaning attribution or creating emotions in product design made designers shift their focus towards the intangible aspects in their materials selection activity as well. In this research, we aim to concentrate particularly on attributing meanings to materials. It is crucial to realize that several aspects (function, use, context, user, etc.) can be effective in attributing meanings to materials and they should be taken into consideration during the selection process. In this paper, we focus intensively on one of these aspects: the effect of form on attributing meanings to materials. The paper consists of four related studies exploring how people associate some forms with some particular materials and weather form can be effective in changing these ascribed meanings, or not.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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