Presented by Sean Adams
Great design is hard to qualify. In some ways, it is like the United States’ Supreme Court position on pornography: I’ll know it when I see it. But the best solutions always illicit a response that can be visceral or intellectual. I understand the aesthetic cues that tell the viewer the message is happy, angry, honest, efficient, and so on. But I wanted to know why we make these associations, and more importantly how does design overtly, or covertly, convince us to think a certain way. Digging deeper, how and why, as human beings, do we experience these responses. Why did the poster make me angry and want to vote? Why is shopping stressful except at one particular retail environment? Why do I assign high value to the small amounts of expensive perfume?
Recognizing precisely what reaction we want to create and how to reach that requires more than an intuitive sense of something feeling “happy” or “sad.” Let’s delve into the sociological, psychological, and historical reasons for our responses. What visual and conceptual cues resonate, and why? This was my constant question. In the end, how does design make us think?
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