Is it a bag or a bottle; the appreciation of different levels of translation in student's design work


Nijkamp, M. and Eggink, W. (2012) Is it a bag or a bottle; the appreciation of different levels of translation in student's design work. In: 14th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E&PDE 2012, 6-7 September 2012, Antwerp, Belgium (pp. 349 - 354).

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Abstract:Within the design course Methods of Form, situated in the first year of the Bachelor Industrial Design Engineering, we developed a design tool to help students to design more meaningful products. The core element of this tool is a set of translation levels, which helps designers with the translation of meaningful associations into design features. These levels are structured from easy to more difficult. Students who use a higher level of the tool are receiving a higher grade, because they are able to integrate meaning and forms in a more abstract way. To measure if this grading approach is fair, we wanted to know more about the effect of using different levels in the design on the perception by consumers. Therefore we set up a test, where the results of one of the assignments of the course are proposed to a group of random consumers. It shows that the levels according to the design tool, are also perceived by consumers. It seems that consumers are able to rate the concepts in the same order, but they focus more on the categorization process of a product. When a concept is recognisable as the stereotype of the designed product, the design is perceived as more interesting. We can conclude however, that according to the test, our grading method is still fair.
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