Our perception of our environment is filtered through the senses. Being conscious of the effect of the senses allows for a deeper understanding of the world around us and ourselves. With this knowledge I hope to create ideas that communicate with others through the sharing of senses.
I admire Kenya Hara's work, his ability to tap into the unconscious world of the senses and to make them visible, tangible, and in a way "real". His work has allowed me to view design not just as a vehicle for beauty, but to bring awareness to the subtle recognition of touch, taste, smell and sound. He creates ideas that produce a visceral reaction, which need no explanation, I believe that to be great design. The ability to bring awareness to the senses allows the designer to create on a whole new level, designing for the senses, the ultimate vehicle for communication.
Our sensory perceptions are then colored by our emotional response. The cradling touch of your pillow formed to your head, the familiar smell of the sheets that evokes comfort, all these sensory intakes create an emotional experience. Profound connection requires a common experience, which requires the similar understanding of a sensory input. I believe in order to generate effective solutions we must stand in the shoes of the user. Getting a first hand experience with the users perspective allows for us to experience with our own senses, what the user is emotionally experiencing, I believe this is one of the most valuable tools for uncovering the users unconscious or unspoken intentions. Emotional preferences dictate decisions. Real understanding of the client's needs, explicit and implicit, requires understanding their motivations and the reasoning behind their decisions.
I'm very curious about the psychological understandings of our surroundings. How we decode information from text, signs, instructions, symbols in to meaning. What is the best way for the targeted user to recognize and decipher the information, does their emotional preferences obstruct their cognitive decision making ability? What are the patterns we can identify as designers and provide the most intuitive solution for the user experience.
I hope to understand and utilize more of our psyche to create design solutions that are intuitive, but also lends itself to becoming a research topic in order to constantly improve and learn more about ourselves.