Deconstructing Values of the Everyday Object

Date
2017-04-11
Authors
Olinger, Anna
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Altmetrics
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Industrial Design
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Industrial Design
Abstract

Things are a vital part of our everyday existence. As individuals, we are constantly shaping the world around us by our interaction with material objects. The significance of material objects in everyday life goes well beyond the basic utilitarian character and commercial value. As we interact with everyday products, we assign different set of values to products and in the process construct meaning in our lives. In the field of product design, there is an emerging interest in studying product semantics and the values assigned to everyday products.

The goal of this study is to map the different set of values assigned to everyday products. A review of current literature provides 11 different types of values associated with products: symbolic, emotional, economic, historical, cultural, aesthetic, social, political, environmental, utilitarian and brand value. The goal of the study is to understanding the different types of values associated with 20 iconic products (Dyson vacuum cleaner, Apple Iphone, Philip Stark Juicer and others) used in everyday life.

An online questionnaire will be developed using the iconic product images and participants will be asked to rank (to a scale of 1 to 5) the different values associated with the products. Students, faculty and administrators from the design school will be recruited for this study. The goal of the study is to find an aggregate score of different values for 20 everyday products and to understand the interrelationship between the different values. Mapping the different values will provide insights for design students and educators to understand the relationship between values and creation of a value aggregate for everyday products.

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