A short task for one of my degree modules was to consider the visual perception of products and designs. This was realised through a brief to design two cubes, one that portrayed qualities that made it seem light and natural, and another that was dependable and reliable.
How can the visual perception of a cube be altered?
Light and Natural
Texture and colour of the material used can alter the perception of a design.
Leading idea: use of natural patterns and colours to perceive the object as an organic body.
The use of leaves would form a cube that is semi-translucent, embodying a design that is light, open, and airy. The veins within the leaf is a reminder of its natural origin.
A pattern such as weave attributes natural characteristics to a cube, brining the impression that although processed by man, organic material resides in its origin.
The use of lightly coloured material as shown on the left portion of the weave gives a lightweight look, whereas a darker shade of the material suggests density and heaviness.
Dependable and Reliable
Industrial, man-made aesthetics are what will be key to altering the perception of this kind of cube. Nature is often viewed as delicate, a dependable and reliable cube needs to be the opposite of that.
The first attempt at this cube was somewhat unsuccessful, since although the addition of hinges made the cube appear more durable and better built, there was no connection to the user as to what this cube tried to convey. The initial reaction was ‘why does this cube have hinges on it?’
why does this cube have hinges on it?
From this, I learnt that design values need to be conveyed in a way that is subtle, and not literal.
Leading idea: materials and colours that connote strength and exude qualities that the cube is -man-made.
Construction turned to become inspiration for the cube, specifically concrete’s prominence in the structure of buildings required to last for decades, suggesting that it as a material is reliable and durable.
In addition to this, concrete is often used in combination with steel as a supporting structure. A cube that carries the connotation of construction, the core of a building, should be successful in conveying dependable and reliable values.