Nodes that influence aesthetics or ‘form’

Aesthetics or Form = Function + Human Factors + Emotion

While the form of a product gives it its characteristics, what exactly defines the form of a product?

Under a lecture by my professor, Peer, I learnt that there are three traits affecting the definition of the form of a product.

Fig. 1.1

In terms of industrial design,

What does function mean?

Function is to work or operate in a proper or particular way.

What does human factors mean and what is the relation between human factors and ergonomics?

Human factors focuses on system usability and designing system interfaces to optimize the users’ ability to accomplish their tasks error-free in a reasonable time and, therefore, to accept the system as a useful tool. The discipline is rooted in understanding how people use tools, products, and systems to accomplish desired tasks, and it seeks to eliminate or, at least, manage the human errors that sometimes do occur.

Ergonomics is the study of human performance and its application to the design of technological systems. The goal of this activity is to enhance productivity, safety, convenience and quality of life. Example topics include models and theories of human performance, design and analytical methodology, human-computer interface issues, environmental and work design, and physical and mental workload assessment. Human factors engineering requires input from disciplines ranging from psychology and environmental medicine to statistics.

What does emotion mean?

Design is not necessarily functional and does not necessarily include considerations on human factors. Design is based merely on the senses that the designer intend to stimulate in the user to evoke certain emotion(s). According to Don Norman’s book on Emotional design, it involves the concept on how aesthetically pleasing objects appear to the user to be more effective, by virtue of their sensual appeal. This can be due to the affinity the user feels for an object that appeals to them; due to the formation of an emotional connection with the object.

Now as we have a better understanding of the terms, I would like to share a few products to elaborate on the traits defining their individual forms.

Human Factors as a predominant trait

Human Factors

  • Even when it’s full, it appears slim and feels comfortable because of its elegant, form-fitting design brought about by the polygonal pattern that enables good grip of the bag to the torso and an adjustable (and comfortable) padded shoulder strap that provides customization depending on a man’s proportions.
  • Its compact and convenient size makes it wearable for all occasion – while driving, riding a bike, attending a meeting or dining out.
  • Designers have tested various body positions for the bag to function in a way that gadgets in it are easily accessible and that the bag doesn’t move around the body in uncontrolled directions.
  • Objects tested have been carefully arranged according to weight, so that one part of the bag would not outweigh another.
  • The bag is additionally fixed by using a buckle that attaches to the pants, belt or back pocket for more active movements such as cycling.
  • Baggizmo is made of quality and innovative materials that provide special protection against mechanical or heat damage. It is an abrasion resistant, breathable and waterproof textile. The material is made of hard wearing fabric with good protective properties and a high level of stability. It is pleasant to the touch and can cope with heavy demands and has an attractive appearance. Special mesh structures ensure ventilation combined with good protection.
  • All the compartments have internal cushioning and are also lined with this innovative material that provide special protection against mechanical or heat damage.
  • Comfort and carrying convenience have been determined by the choice of the material that clings to the body, but still allows the circulation of air between the bag and the body.
  • Special attention has been given to the thickness of the straps in order to achieve greater comfort. The width of the straps was defined with respect to the width of the average man’s shoulders.
  • The space in Baggizmo is rationally organized – the direction and the size of the compartments depend on the size of its corresponding device – which are: a tablet, two smartphones, keys, wallet, power stick, pencil and a pad of paper, etc.
  • The bag was designed to allow easy access to the gadgets following the natural angle of entry of a hand reaching inside for objects.
  • In between the compartments there are specially tailored (hidden) passages which allow the charging of a tablet with a power stick or connecting a phone with headphones. A pocket for headphones is placed on the padded shoulder strap. It helps avoid tangled cables while you have your headphones as close as you need – as you sit, walk or drive.


  • main pocket with compartments for a tablet and two smartphones
  • nylon webbing and buckle
  • pocket for power stick or glasses or pocket camera
  • reverse of the bag with strap for the bike hook shackle
  • large hidden compartment for a pen, a pad of paper and more
  • pocket for headphones on the padded shoulder strap


  • looks good in combination with a range of styles – business, sporty, casual or formal.

Limitations on emotions

  • I am not being feminist here, but the bag was intended to appeal to men more than woman. It would be better if there is a bag like that that appeals to women because I need serious help with the handling of my gadgets too.

For more information on Baggizmo, go here or there.

Function as a predominant trait


The function of this manual juicer can be observed in the video below. The manual juicer possess the function of juicing various high-fibre fruit and vegetables that may contain seeds or roots.

Human Factors

The manual juicer has been designed in a way that there are no steel blades or sharp edges that will require extra precaution for safety during usage and cleaning up.


There is not much attractiveness to the design other than it appearing like a hard plastic screw. Its green colour emphasizes on its eco-friendly property.

For more information on Konstar Manual Juicer, go here.

Emotion as a predominant trait


Pandora Rose can be used to represent a token of love in different occasions and different ways. Diamonds and shades of gold are precious materials used to construct many kinds of jewellery like Pandora. The rareness and numerous sourcing technique and refining technique of the material adds value to the material and makes them precious. The preciousness of the material is usually used to represent an exquisite gift for a wearer by a giver as a token of love that is treasured between them.


A necklace to be worn around the neck, a bracelet to be worn around the wrist, a ring to be worn around the fingers and a earring to be worn along the ears. Each accessory may carry symbolic meaning of wealth, identity and myths.

Each charm of a Pandora bracelet can be customise by choice, making each piece of jewellery unique to an individual.

Human Factors

Small and durable object that can be hung on a human body without obstructing human activities whilst retaining its inherent quality for a long period of time.

For more information on Pandora Rose, go here.

Function + Emotion as predominant traits

Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades Collection: The Chaise Longue designed by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders, 2016


  • Louis Vuitton’s innovative new line of foldable furniture called Objet Nomades began in 2012 as a way to pay homage to the company’s historic trunks.
  • The luxury travel brand collaborates with established and emerging designers to create home goods such as chairs, hammocks, lamps and tables out of Vuitton leather and materials.
  • In 2016, Louis Viutton presented Dutch designer, Marcel Wanders’ design of a foldable chaise lounge which is inspired by Ocean Drive in South Beach.


  • The special folds, divide into three parts that work separately as individual seats or combined as a chaise.
  • A simple cylindrical head rest for an ottoman can transform into an arm rest for a single arm chair.
  • It can be arrange into a traveling pack that can be carried like a backpack, making it handy for travel use.


  • offered in tan leather for a warm and sunny look or turquoise blue for a cool and oceanic look.
  • Its ultra-chic look represented in three repeated modules in diminishing scales conveys an ideal comfort lounge for pampering yourself, and friends, while traveling.
  • Covered in a soft leather Nomad outside and finished in suede inside, the pieces echoes the luxury brand name – Louis Vuitton.
  • The straps that connect the modules are also finished in a natural leather, giving it an irreplaceable authenticity and grandness.
  • Its cylindrical rest resembles the Papillon Monogram Canvas (an iconic cylindrical bag) that was launched in 1966 and is still popular today.
Papillon Monogram Canvas, 1966


“It can go anywhere…It’s a piece you would take to a nice warm climate, sit in the sun and drink martinis. It’s kind of different and iconic.” – Wanders

Human Factors

  • The chaise is made of carbon fiber high-tech material which is extremely light and ultra-strong making it possible to support the weight of a human being.
  • The round and gentle curves of the united pieces follows the contour of one’s body as one rest atop it.

“Realizing the piece in all the perfect detail, it took us maybe nine months or so, but to really get the right concept, it took a long time.” – Wanders

For more information on The Chaise Longue, go here.

Human Factors + Function as predominant traits

Human factors

  • Ergonomic right-handed design with textured rubber side grips
  • Revolutionary Adjustable Click Force Technology for personalized click feedback allows users to choose between different levels of actuation force to set up a personalized click feedback
  • the world’s most precise 16,000 DPI gaming mouse sensor that provides user unsurpassable accuracy
  • ability to track 1 DPI increments and a lift-off cut-off distance as precise as 0.1 mm to help user achieve instantaneous reaction and skilfully manoeuvre the mouse in games.
  • Up to 210 inches per second / 50 G acceleration
  • Approximate size: 128 mm / 5 in (Length) x 70 mm / 2.76 in (Width) x 42.5 mm / 1.67 in (Height) made to fit snuggly with most hands
  • Battery life: Approximately 20 hrs (continuous gaming)


  • Dual gaming grade wired/wireless technology (1,000 Hz Ultra polling / 1 ms response time)
  • Nine independently programmable buttons with tilt-click scroll wheel
  • Razer Synapse enabled
  • 2.1 m / 7 ft braided fiber USB charging cable


  • Chroma lighting with true 16.8 million customizable color options
  • Inter-device color synchronization
  • Razer logo

For more information on Razer Mamba, go here.

Marc Newson

Marc Newson

This man is handsome indeed but I was first attracted to the organic and fluid forms of his furniture designs.

Fluid Forms integrating positive and negative spaces

Orgone Stretch Lounge
Orgone Stretch Lounge

There are so many things I like about Marc Newson’s works. Let’s cut to the chase, isn’t his furniture designs simply brilliant? Take for example the Orgone Stretch Lounge, a companion piece to the Event Horizon Table and the Orgone Chair.

At first glance, I wondered why was the interior of the furniture hollowed. I begin reading more about the set of works on the designer’s website to realise that it was a fluid form that he was trying to achieve through the integration of positive and negative spaces in the presentation of his work.

“Subconsciously, I think I started leaving holes and spaces because it seemed such a shame to cover up some very high-quality manufacturing and finishing. Both the interior and the exterior of the work merge together creating a fluid and utile object with a liminal space that draws the outer surface inside and vice versa: there is an interstice where the interior voids become the exterior legs. I do like the idea of creating negative space within forms.”

While Marc Newson explained that the voids were evidences of high-quality process work, some may say that it wasn’t even necessary to make an effort to show off the interior of the furniture.

Personally, I felt that Marc made a very decent and intellectual approach to exclude the close ends of the organic tubes and leave the pieces hollow. The apparent voids adds a graceful and effortless appearance to the end product.

The form was mentioned to be what Marc was aiming to achieve when he made the Lockheed Lounge in 1988, which was five years back before he had the knowledge and resources to make the Orgone Stretch Lounge, 1993.

Lockheed Lounge, 1988
Lockheed Lounge, 1988

He manage to fabricate the form with help from Aston Martin restoration firm near London, where the coachbuilders there were highly skilled at welding, wheeling, and forming, and worked almost exclusively in aluminium.

British coachbuilders specialising in the restoration of Aston Martins
British coachbuilders specialising in the restoration of Aston Martins



Read more about Orgone Stretch Lounge here.

Detachable and Replaceable

Another of Marc’s work that I really like is Bucky for its detachable and replaceable function.

Bucky triangular chair unit (red), 1995

Invited by Hervé Chandès to create an installation at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, Marc designed a self-supporting geodesic dome titled ‘Bucky’, measuring about 6.5 meters in diameter. The dome was constructed from individual triangular chair-like units, each one in a different colour (blue, yellow, red, green and pink).

Marc Newson Edition of 60 chairs (unnumbered)
Marc Newson Edition of 60 chairs (unnumbered), 1995

“I called it Bucky after the newly-discovered carbon molecule, the Buckminsterfullerene, which in turn got is name from the way the arrangements of atoms resembled the structures of  Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes.”

The hexagonal structure of the Buckminsterfullerene can also be found in many other innovations like our modern football and goal net which we are familiar with.

Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes

P.s. Did I mention that Marc Newson Edition of 60 chairs (unnumbered) started its exhibit the same year I was born?

Read more on Bucky installation here.

Fractal geometry

Lastly, I am completely absorbed into the world of fractals looking at Marc’s fractal inspired jewellery design, Julia Necklace.

Julia Necklace, 2009
Julia Necklace, 2009

“One thing that I’d always been fascinated by, like a lot of people, was fractal geometry, because it really underlined my fascination with scale. I like the way certain objects can transcend scale. It’s one thing to try and mimic fractals in two dimensions, but you risk losing the character, which is infinite and utterly irregular. There’s an underlying order but it’s all slightly unexpected, and that’s what gives it its character.”

Fractals found in a Romanesco Broccoli or Roman Cauliflower
Fractals found in a Romanesco Broccoli or Roman Cauliflower

The endless repetition of fractals are a part of nature that intrigue me as much as it did to Marc. Marc has made use of biomimicry in the representation of the Julia Necklace to exhibit the intricacies and complexities of the design. Although the Julia Necklace appears two dimensional upfront, Marc has deliberately designed the jewellery piece to be asymmetrical (heavier on the left than the right with reference to the image of Julia Necklace, 2009), giving the necklace a sense of unpredictability (appearing different from various perspectives), thus its three-dimensional quality.

Read more about Julia Necklace here.


To conclude, I really enjoyed reading up on Marc Newson, one of the most influential industrial designer in his time. This Sydney-born multi-disciplinary designer has indeed captivated me and make me want to learn more about what it takes to become an industrial designer.

Before I realise it, this post has become much much longer than my previous post on Naoto Fukasawa (whom I thought I best identified with). I am not going to deny they are both great industrial designers. It’s hard for me to choose, but it is quite clear whom I have grown more interest in. Lets continue to read up on similar industrial designers for our learning.


The worst prison would be a closed heart” Pope John Paul II