Monday, December 6, 2010

感性 - kansei

"A cool, swanky house that can comfortably accommodate a family of 4 is all I want", says a customer to an architect/interior designer.

One solution is to layout, an out of the box, 3-4BHK plan. Then furnish the house such that the (visual) taste of the customer is satisfied.

But does this cater to all the requirements of the customer? Will the growing children be kept in mind while designing? How will the design imbibe the influences of the neighborhood on the styling and outlook of the house? Lot more questions will pop out for sure when the customer's actual needs are analyzed.

Kansei Engineering is one such field where the customer's feeling and needs (also referred to as the customers Kansei) are recognized and implemented in the design. It heavily justifies the need to survey the customer feeling and needs.

According to Nagamachi, In the case of urban planning, if the people in the community want to design in terms of kansei ergonomics, the kansei included are the district's culture and history which should be implemented in the urban redesign1.

Ofcourse, the application of Kansei is not limited to building and planning. It can and has been put to use by companies like Mitsubishi, Toyota, Canon, Fuji, Ford, Honda for designing their products 2.

So next time you are getting a house built or decorated do checkout if your needs and feelings are translated* into the end product. Because at the end of the day you will be living with it and am sure you would not like to crib about things in the days to come.

  1. Introduction of Kansei Engineering. Japan Standard Association, Tokyo.
  2. Kansei engineering as a powerful consumer-oriented technology for product development, 2002, Applied Ergonomics.
* The translation part involves a whole lot of surveys and statistical analysis. More on that in the subsequent blogs.

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