School of Design

Postgraduate research student profiles

Contact

Musdi Shanat

Phone: (+64 8) 6488 1554


Supervisors

Start date

Jun 2008

Submission date

Musdi Shanat

Musdi Shanat profile photo

Thesis

Public Furniture Design: Application of the semantic differential technique to measure and evaluate designers and users perceptions of form, utility and aesthetics.

Summary

This research will investigate the differences in furniture perceptions of form, utility and aesthetic among designers and users. Systematic design process and semantic differential approaches will be applied to examine perception of two subject groups in furniture design. The implications of differences in preference and the relationship between image-word and actual design elements for the subject group will support designers in the control of furniture style for the intended end users. The researcher will investigate the values of a systematic approach to furniture design with ongoing user feedback which should enhance the acceptability of the design object in the industry.

Why my research is important

A lot of research methods for furniture design deal with usage functions and are developed in functionality and engineering design to obtain successful design products. However there is a lack of such a methodology when addressing aesthetic and form function, particularly in personal aesthetic and the emotional design approach (Petiot & Bernard, 2003) . Many forms of design and styling activity frequently neglect to discuss on opinion and subjectivity with no theoretical basis. Some studies clearly show and agree that perception of the shape of the product is often nothing but style of design depending much more on the designer’s taste than on real customers’ trends (Hsu, Chuang & Chang, 2000) .

Original key ideas of the research

The researcher is optimistic that there is no similar research done to what he has planned. The purpose of the study is expected to fulfill the requirements for seeking new knowledge by:

i. This study will investigate the differences in the perception of furniture in term of form, utility and aesthetics of designers and of users. The innovative interpretation of the results will serve as a styling benchmark for designers in a new furniture design and development process.

ii. This study will deal with the way people perceive furniture and provide feedback of suitable practical elements in the furniture design process.

iii. The application and utilization of the semantic differential method to formulate systematic questionnaires and then develop systematic 3-dimensional visualization ideas for “proof of concept” of furniture form.

iv. The implications of differences in preference and the relationship between image-word and actual design elements for the two subject groups will support designers in the control of development costs and help them adopt a more relevant perspective on furniture style for the intended end users.

Petiot, J. F., & Bernard, Y. (2003). Measuring consumer perceptions for a better comprehension, specification and assessment of product semantics. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 33 (2004), 507-525.

Hsu, S. H., Chuang, M. C., & Chang, C. C. (2000). A semantic differential study of designers' and users' product form perception. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 25(4), 375-391.

Funding

  • Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia