Design tools for interdisciplinary translation of material experiences

Wilkes, Sarah; Wongsriruksa, Supinya; Howes, Philip; Gamester, Richard; Witchel, Harry; Conreen, Martin; Laughlin, Zoe and Miodownik, Mark. 2016. Design tools for interdisciplinary translation of material experiences. Materials & Design, 90, pp. 1228-1237. ISSN 0261-3069 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Designers increasingly have the opportunity to influence the development of materials as they emerge from the laboratory. In order for this to be successful, designers need to be able to communicate effectively with materials scientists so that materials can be developed with desired functionalities and properties. This paper reviews evidence in favour of using isomorphic sets of material stimuli as tools to bridge the disciplinary gap between designers and materials scientists. We show how these isomorphic sets and their accompanying experiments can be used to translate between the two communities, and to systematically explore the relationship between the technical attributes of materials and subjective experiences of their sound, taste and feel. This paper also explores the limitations of psychophysical approaches and other quantitative techniques for elucidating material experience, and suggests new possibilities for interdisciplinary collaborations that draw on ethnographic approaches.

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Design tools; Design-driven materials innovation; Materials selection; Interdisciplinary dialogue; Technical properties; Sensory perception; Aesthetics; Material experiences; Psychophysics; Ethnography; Haptic encounter

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15 January 2016Published
29 June 2015Published Online
8 April 2015Accepted

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Date Deposited:

22 Mar 2016 16:10

Last Modified:

10 Jun 2021 02:24

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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