Marketable emotions or engaging experiences: Towards a conquest of emotionality in design

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This paper attempts an analysis of the body of texts offered within the boundaries of the design and emotion movement, in order to explicate the logic of marketing and advertising underlying its most prominent statements. In this manner, it is aimed to answer the question of novelty of the movement, as well as to evaluate whether the movement is capable of satisfying its declared aspirations; namely, providing the user with richer, more engaging and, therefore, prolonged experiences with products. This is realized by, firstly, facilitating a reading of the classification of emotions offered by the movement, more specifically the categories offered by Desmet and Hekkert (2007), and comparing the way they function to the semiological structure of advertising as formulated by Williamson (2004), and the system of consumption as elaborated by Baudrillard (1981, 1970). It is thus revealed how the concept of emotion is utilized to naturalize the intricacies of the consumer society. Then, attention is directed to the arguments within the movement which advocate the inclusion of the so-called emotional needs into usability studies. In this manner, the significance of the concept of need in the system of consumption as a mediator between subject and object is discussed and the novelty of the movement is sought within this novel way in which it attempts to connect the subject (of consumption) and the object (of consumption) through emotional needs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMETU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)177-190
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Advertising
  • Consumption
  • Emotion
  • Emotional experience
  • Pleasurability
  • Product design


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