Aesthetics of tactual experience: About the body language of objects

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

211 Downloads (Pure)


From the moment we are born, we are surrounded, touched, supported, protected, attacked and equipped by man-made objects. We are continuously in physical interaction with this man-made world. Yet tactual experience in human-product interaction is a neglected domain in product design education and research. This thesis contributes to a design research field addressing this blind spot in human- product interaction: Tactual Aesthetics in Product Design. Goal of this thesis is to contribute to designers' awareness for the tactual experience and to make this phenomenon accessible by creating a conceptual framework to describe it. In addition, the thesis describes how design students can be educated to develop aesthetic sensitivity for tactual experience, and to incorporate awareness for the tactual senses in their design projects. The approach to aesthetic experience in this thesis is phenomenological. The tactual experience itself is considered as the awareness of what is happening in human-product interaction: how one is moving and what one is sensing, thinking and feeling. An experience is an event, a process grounded in previous experiences and giving input to future experiences. The aesthetic aspects of tactual experience are defined as the experience of the (un)pleasantness of the human-product interaction...
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Vink, P., Supervisor
  • Overbeeke, C.J., Supervisor
  • Schifferstein, H.N.J., Supervisor
Award date10 Apr 2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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