Designing meaningful objects

Publication Type:
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
This doctoral thesis investigates the ways in which designers can create both physical and technological objects that are meaningful for their users. Through four empirical studies, this research project generated insights into the relationship between meaningful objects and a person’s self-identity, the differences between attachments to physical and technological products and the ways in which objects are imbued with personal meaning. These insights informed the development and evaluation of a design strategy for promoting product attachment. The strategy involves a process of designing objects with material or interactive properties that are associated with concepts that have been identified as meaningful to the intended user. The process was implemented and evaluated with evidence indicating it brought meaning to the resulting designs in several instances. Insights highlighting the unique characteristics of attachment experiences between people and their technological possessions were used to adapt and subsequently re-evaluate the value of the design process in the development of technological products. Critical reflections on the process and resulting design reaffirmed the potential value of designing objects with meaningful associations as a strategy for promoting product attachment in the digital age and combating unsustainable material consumption.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: