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An Exploration of the Relations between Functionality, Aesthetics and Creativity in Design

  • Ji Han (a1), Hannah Forbes (a1) and Dirk Schaefer (a1)

Abstract

Creativity is often said to play a vital role in the product design process, while functionality and aesthetics are considered key factors of actual products. Functionality refers to the performance of a product, and aesthetics represents the visual and ergonomic appeals of the product. However, there appears to be an elusive relation between creativity, functionality and aesthetics. This study explores how functionality, aesthetics and creativity are related to one another in design. Through exploring the definitions and assessments of creativity in design, this study reveals that novelty, usefulness and surprise are the three core elements of design creativity. A case study involving experts evaluating design samples in terms of novelty, usefulness, surprise, functionality, aesthetics and overall creativity is conducted. The results imply that there are no statistically significant relations between creativity, functionality, and aesthetics. Considering the three core elements of design creativity, the results indicate that creativity is only statistically significantly related to novelty. Moreover, our results suggest that creativity and novelty are measuring the same construct.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Contact: Han, Ji, University of Liverpool, Industrial Design, United Kingdom, ji.han@liverpool.ac.uk

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An Exploration of the Relations between Functionality, Aesthetics and Creativity in Design

  • Ji Han (a1), Hannah Forbes (a1) and Dirk Schaefer (a1)

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