In 2011, Paul Hekkert received a major Dutch research grant to unravel the mystery of aesthetic enjoyment: Why do we gain pleasure from simply looking at things? Or touching them? Or thinking about them? These questions are central to Project UMA that seeks to define a Unified Model of Aesthetics. At its core, the model predicts that the aesthetic pleasure for designed artifacts arises out of a delicate balance between ranges of opposing forces. With key teams in Delft and Melbourne, an international and multidisciplinary team of researchers is devoting five years [2011-2016] to unraveling this mystery. In this lecture, Paul Hekkert will sketch the model and present some of the major project results to date.
About Paul Hekkert
Paul Hekkert is full professor of form theory, and head of the Industrial Design department, Delft University of Technology. Paul conducts research on the ways products impact human experience and behavior, and leads the international project UMA (Unified Model of Aesthetics). Paul has published articles dealing with product experience and aesthetics in major international journals and is co-editor of Product experience (2008). He also published Vision in Design: A guidebook for innovators (2011), a book that describes an approach to design and innovation. Paul is co-founder and chairman of the Design and Emotion Society and chairman of the executive board of CRISP, a national collaborative research initiative for and with the Dutch creative industries.