Learning portfolio 1- Question 1: Summary

Q1) in your own words, write a summary of the article and provide critical analysis/discussion on the topic of the article.

Many companies use aesthetic as one of their main selling points. For some people, if a particular item doesn’t work even though it looks pretty, it can be forgiven, literally just based on the aesthetic fact. The article, Aesthetic- Usability Effect, asserts that aesthetic designs give off an illusion of convenience, and that the consumers would unconsciously pick an item with aesthetic value over one that doesn’t seem to have any at all. The more aesthetic value an item has, the more it influences a positive behaviour.

Companies use aesthetic as a way to distract consumers from the fact that the item probably does have its own faults. As stated in Aesthetic Experience ( Shusterman & Tomlin, 2008), there exists aesthetic pleasure; an illusion of aesthetic value, aesthetic property; where the item itself has aesthetic value, and aesthetic attitude; where the item has some kind of imagine-based aesthetic value.

Furthermore, as written in The Aesthetic Unconscious, “it designates a mode of thought that develops with respect to things of art…” ( Ranciere & Keates, 2009). Aesthetics may hold an artistic value, which could also influence our perception of preferable design. Aesthetics can not only influence what item you think works better based on a design point of view, it can also simply change our mood from stressed to calm, or unmotivated to inspired.

For example, as established by Garr Reynolds, Zen aesthetic, based in Japan, has numerous different kinds of aesthetic specifically for calming down and de-stressing, all in the form of art and gardening—mostly representing elements like elimination of clutter, naturalness, and tranquillity—all of these as an aesthetic from a Japanese garden (Reynolds, 2009). In fact, aesthetic can even influence and motivate students to learn just by the aesthetic of building design, as Ulla Kjærvang states, “The conception of aesthetic is not only about looking in a specific way but it is also about how the building appeals to senses of the body and our emotional life.”( Kjærvang, 2006). Even adding that if you improve the buildings appeal, problematic things within a school ground such as bullying decrease.

The power of aesthetic is strong, and is constantly influencing our own conscience.


References:

Kjærvang, U. (2006, November 21). Power of Aesthetics to Improve Student Learning [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.designshare.com/index.php/articles/aesthetics-and-learning/

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Aesthetic‐Usability Effect. In Universal Principles of Design (pp. 18‐19). Massachusetts: Rockport. Nikki. (2012).

Ranciere, J. & Swenson, J. (2009). The Aesthetic Unconscious. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Reynolds, G. (2009, September 7). 7 Japanese aesthetic principles to change your thinking [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2009/09/exposing-ourselves-to-traditional-japanese-aesthetic-ideas-notions-that-may-seem-quite-foreign-to-most-of-us-is-a-goo.html

Shusterman, R. & Tomlin, A. (2008). Aesthetic Experience. New York, NY: Routledge. Typo. (2015).

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