From Function to Emotion: A Critical Essay on the History of Design Arguments

Kurtgözü A. E.

THE DESIGN JOURNAL, vol.6, no.2, pp.49-59, 2003 (AHCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Journal Name: THE DESIGN JOURNAL
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI)
  • Page Numbers: pp.49-59
  • TED University Affiliated: No


There has been an increasing emphasis on the concept of emotion and its ramifications in design discussions. Emotional responses to designed products are studied in order to inform the design of new ones. This article is an attempt to cast light on the underlying assumptions and enabling conditions involved in this recent emergence of a concern with emotions in design. To achieve this, a historical narrative is reconstructed by bringing a number of important design movements into dialogue with the different stages of capitalist production as well as the leading philosophical paradigms. The article ends with a brief discussion on the vicissitudes of emotionally driven design as it comes into contact with the logic of the market.