An exploration of how creativity, functionality, and aesthetics are related in design

Han, J, Forbes, H and Schaefer, D (2021) An exploration of how creativity, functionality, and aesthetics are related in design. Research in Engineering Design, 32 (3). pp. 289-307. ISSN 0934-9839

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An exploration of how creativity, functionality, and aesthetics are related in design
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Creativity is considered to have a significant impact on the design process and its outcomes, while aesthetics and functionality
are considered key characteristics of products. A relationship between creativity, aesthetics and functionality is, therefore,
often assumed, however, researchers view the relations between creativity, functionality and aesthetics differently. In this
paper, the authors present first evidence that novelty, usefulness and surprise are the core elements of design creativity. The
aim of this research is the exploration of the relations between functionality, aesthetics, novelty, usefulness, surprise, and
overall creativity, by means of an experimental case study involving design experts evaluating forty-five design samples.
Statistical analysis has been conducted to investigate and understand these relations. The results obtained indicate that aesthetics
has a significant positive relationship with creativity but that functionality does not have a statistically significant
relationship with creativity in general. Further analysis confirms that design creativity is strongly and positively related to
novelty and surprise, but not significantly related to usefulness. In addition, high correlation coefficient values have revealed
that creativity, novelty and surprise are perceived as the same dimension as are functionality and usefulness. This paper
may be of interest to researchers, practitioners, and educators in the broader realm of design, including industrial design,
creativity in design, engineering design, design innovation, product design and new product development. It provides new
insights into how creativity is perceived within the field and offers a new point of view on creativity and its dimensions for
the community to meditate and to debate.

Keywords:Aesthetics, Creativity, Design
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W240 Industrial/Product Design
Divisions:College of Science > School of Engineering
ID Code:48133
Deposited On:21 Feb 2022 12:41

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