Aesthetics, experience and learning

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Book: Situated Design Methods


Research in aesthetics, experience and learning divided into product, proces and media aspects

It is possible to conduct research in many subject fields or themes under this headline. We propose an orientation toward the following three general aspects: product, process and media.

Product-based and physical location-based experiences
Experiences comprise events (for example design, experience-based learning, concert design, festival, learning space, temporary urban space) and other forms of spatial design (for example experience design, curating and museum communication). Product comprises intangible products: video, games, plays, 3D interactive installations, software architecture. Product as an aspect comprises perspectives on the work/design product, its aesthetic shape and expression (the artistic mode of expression, narrativity and style of the product).

Learning as a process employing different types of productions (for example students, museum visitors) uses various virtual and physical technology platforms for learning games, learning space, e-learning platforms, etc. It also comprises collaborative work processes, dialogical and iterative understandings of design and design methodology and conditions for design as a creative process – to perform intended work (in the design process) towards unintended concept development. Experience-based learning and productive processes are considered integral elements and support the learning and design process.

Cross-medial means of communication and use of modality where affordances such as spatial, auditory and visual communication are explored. In this context, we invite students/researchers to consider the product-related consequences of the choice of media in design processes, (cf. McLuhan, “The Media is the Message”), for example, the meaning inherent in the modality we choose. Thus, the media is considered a methodical tool used in the process of creation.

A common feature of the three aspects is that we can raise a number of ethical questions in connection with the use of aesthetics, experiences and learning design. Ethics also forms part of the researcher’s rationale and opinions on his/her academic field. Creating experiences and aesthetics is increasingly used in areas such as welfare services and processes in society, for example in marketing, user and citizen involvement, political campaigns, etc. Ethical questions arise, for example, in respect of the limits of designing sensory experiences and products.

From a critical perspective, it will be explored where the line is drawn for promoting aesthetics and the experience society. From a more affirmative perspective, it will be considered in which way aesthetic design can improve society, for example, by opening and being open to sensory and creative aspects of everyday life or by extensively humanising communication, processes and the welfare system.

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