Excursion to Harvey Norman

Comparison of two products with the same purpose

Both of the products are coffee makers. While Kenwood took a much more simple and conventional approach to a coffee maker — incorporating the usual components, the Dolce Gusto took on a more futuristic approach and strayed far away from the regularity of a conventional coffee maker. I prefer the Kenwood coffee maker to that of Dolce Gusto even though the latter is more daring in terms of design approach. This is because Kenwood’s appear to be more straightforward and easy to use. The aesthetics of Dolce Gusto appears to lean more towards the emotions node because of its attempt to invoke a sense of futurism, while Kenwood leans more towards the function node.

Trends observed includes a return to vintage, less mechanical/intimidating aesthetics, more round edges, and bright and pastel colours.

Giving “forms” to products

From the previous lecture, we understood how the aesthetics of products are influenced by three major factors: Function, Human, Emotion.

Of which, it is determined by the more dominant factor.

Below are the three products I have categorised according to the three dominant factors which I feel have influenced their aesthetics.


This is a tilting teacup designed by Magisso.

I feel that the product is function-dominant because of the overall simplicity and intuitiveness of its design.  The intention of the product is to help tea enthusiasts brew the perfect cup of tea. Users are able to adjust the strength of their tea by tilting the teacup.

The design of the product is very straightforward; even without an instruction booklet, users will be able to understand how the teacup is meant to be used.

I feel that the Lililite, a bed reading lamp designed by Thijs Smeets, really embodies human-dominant aesthetics. Smeets take into consideration the habits and needs of avid readers and transformed them into his design.

Everything an avid reader needs is housed in one design; space for them to place their books, and a physical bookmark that acts as an on/off switch for the book light below.

All in all, I feel that this is a product that was designed with human as its utmost consideration.

Lastly, we have the Heifer Pitcher.

It is a double walled glass pitcher that features the shape of cow udders on the inside. The first word that came into mind when I looked at it was “cute.” The designers behind the Heifer Pitcher intended for it to be a fun way to encourage children to drink their milk, and an object of amusement for adults. Regardless of the liquid in the pitcher, consumers will definitely have a fun time using it.




Naoto Fukasawa

The designer I best identify with is Naoto Fukasawa.




His designs are organic, minimalistic, and intuitive, which is closest to my design aesthetics and what I’d hope to do in future. Born in Yamanashi Prefecture in 1956, Fukasawa has been described by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the world’s most influential designers. Fukasawa is a member of MUJI’s advisory board and has designed products ranging from kitchen appliances to ready-constructed cabins for getaways.