Hi Harvey ~


The visit to Harvey Norman was pretty cool. The experience I had from the get-go is pretty special as the consumer goods are placed and displayed strategically right from the store front. The trend is pretty evident and clear right from  these strategic placement of the permutations of consumer goods for the customers’ experience  walkthrough.


The growing trend seems to be captured in the form of high-class contemporary lifestyle. This is evident in the placement of bulky coffee makers, almost flashy flasks, toasters and mixers right at the store front. All these points to the higher living of the high-tea ‘coffee or tea’ lifestyle that we all can associate with from our lifestyle (Even as the beverages we would associate with are mostly packet kopi-o kosongs and teh tariks). These goods are seemingly heavy duty and packed with eye-catching pastel colours; or precious bronze, gold and silver finishings, which in itself breaks away from the white-dominant consumer goods. Also the mechanism that lies within the products are almost seamless and perhaps even to a certain extent redundant, but does their job to ignite conversations.

Such trend extends inside the store, albeit more affordable permutations of the models clumped on single sides of shelves. Such can be seen in chosen models that customers are able to be given a test-run, with automated floor cleaners, flashy refrigerators that are apparently too small to store food within, and heavy duty shavers, hairdryers and electric toothbrushes. All these points to the trend of a higher-lifestyle. Such consumer goods comes with a hefty price tag, but adds into the faster-paced lifestyle.


2 consumer goods that I find particular interesting is the 2 types of toasters pictured below.

One the left is the toaster, whose brand is rather popular within the store,  and it boasts of four slots for the breads, breaking away from the conventional toaster with two slots.  Not only that, but its also has particularly more functions as seen with the knobs. This is probably catered to a larger household. The high-quality finish of a gloss black also boosts its appeal to perhaps a housewife.

On the right shows a rather peculiar looking toaster, with the conventional 2 slots for the breads. However, it adds onto its function with a mini pan on the side, perhaps used for a sunny side up, or even cooking tea/coffee. This brings forth the idea where the whole act of toasting is quickened. Also, the finishing is relatively of a lower-grade as compared to the toaster on the left, showing that its added function trumps the the appearance of the toaster. Such can point that the toaster is catered for perhaps a person living alone.

Overall thoughts

The experience I have walking through this Millenia Walk outlet of Harvey Norman shows a slightly different side from the other outlets located at the heartland malls. The strategic placement of the higher-end consumer goods seemingly cater to higher-class families, perhaps living around the vicinity. This is opposed to the outlets at heartland malls where the store front is flooded with computers, laptops and routers. Perhaps this shows the trending lifestyle of a first-world Singapore.



Aesthetics – Function . Human . Emotion .

Previously, the class touched upon 3 modes of aesthetics in design; function-dominant aesthetics, human-dominant aesthetics and emotion-dominant aesthetics.

Function – dominant Aesthetics

Products that follow function are designed to serve its’ purpose. Living in a modern age where vast permutations of any particular product can be found, function-dominant products retains its normality in which its form and material choices are derived from its function. Such products are usually less emotional. One example is the Stapler.

Permutation of Stapler designs

Human – Dominant Aesthetics

Products that are human-dominant, are designed with the intent to aid in a human issue. Such products, I feel can still bring forth the sense of emotion, but still mainly focus on the function. An example of a human-dominant product is an ‘One-hand’ Industrial staple the fundamental function of the stapler is retained, whilst adding tweaks such as a bigger body to contain the bigger stapler bullets, as well as a gauge to ensure the stapler maintains its straight path. Also, together with the function of the ‘One-Hand’ all ensue the Industrial stapler to be used for the specific purpose of efficiency.

A ‘One-hand’ Industrial Stapler

Emotion – Dominant Aesthetics

Emotion-dominant products add an extra touch for the specific user. Many at times, such products make the user conforms to the function. One such example is a MUJI Award 2003 bronze prize winner, the Precise Stapler by Joonhyun Kim from South Korea. Even though the main element for the design of the stapler is to provide accuracy for the user, the whole subtraction of the metal piece, providing the right-angled slot for the paper to be inserted within the staple actually conforms the user to use the stapler in that certain manner/ practise.


FINAL Thoughts

For this exercise, I made use of the Stapler designs for my examples. Honestly I was really confused when attempting to classify the stapler designs into the 3 categories. This actually made me realise how closely interlinked the 3 categories are. Also they are useful in their particular sense as they all serve a particular function for a particular group of target audience. However, each example will probably falter when switched upon the target audience. All in all, I realised the importance of each category of aesthetics.