Symbolic meaning attribution as a means to design for happiness

Mafalda Marques Ribeiro Da SilvaCasais, Ruth Mugge, Pieter Desmet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Material possessions with happiness-related symbolic meanings can provide a contribution to subjective well-being (happiness), because they remind owners of memories, achievements, or aspirations. Such possessions provide an anchor for personally meaningful narratives, help in the construction and communication of self-identity, represent personal values and achievements, etc. Capturing this richness in a design process is challenging, because meaning is person and context-dependent, and the effects on happiness are subjective. In order to provide inspiration for designers to create products predisposed to symbolic meaning attribution, six happiness-related symbolic meanings were identified. Based on those, 16 design directions were developed. To communicate the six symbolic meanings and the 16 design directions, a toolkit for designers was created, composed of a deck of cards and a website. This paper serves as an introduction to a workshop where the toolkit is applied, and it explains the process and the rationale behind the card set and website that make up the toolkit.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Design and Emotion - Celebration & Contemplation
EditorsP.M.A. Desmet, S.F. Fokkinga, G.D.S. Ludden, N. Cila, H. Van Zuthem
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherThe Design & Emotion Society
Pages581-587
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)978-94-6186-725-4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe 10th International Conference on Design and Emotion - Celebration & Contemplation: D&E 2016 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 27 Sep 201630 Sep 2016

Conference

ConferenceThe 10th International Conference on Design and Emotion - Celebration & Contemplation
CountryNetherlands
CityAmsterdam
Period27/09/1630/09/16

Keywords

  • Symbolic meaning
  • Positive design
  • Happiness
  • Design tool
  • Design workshop

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