Exploring Elastic Movement as a Medium for Complex Emotional Expression in Silver Design
Kristina Niedderer


This research explores how elastic movement can be used as a medium for expressing emotion in silver design, using Argentium® Sterling silver and laser welding. The rationale was for technical reasons, traditionally, silver tends to be rigid and therefore uses semiotic language to create emotional expression rather than movement, which is explored in this investigation. The investigation is situated in the context of traditional silversmithing design and practice, and has the aim of expanding its conceptual and creative possibilities. Using conceptual analysis and development combined with creative exploration, the research develops a soma-semiotic framework to serve both as a design tool and as an aid for the interpretation of artefacts. The conceptual development builds on a review of silver design, on selected approaches of emotional design, and on theories from emotional psychology and soma-aesthetics to develop the framework. The creative exploration was used in parallel to understand better the complexities of embodying emotion through designing and of reading and interpreting artefacts, thus serving to refine the framework within an iterative process. The outcome and contribution of this study are firstly an enhanced understanding of the conceptual and creative possibilities of using elastic movement to create emotional expression in silver design. Secondly, the study provides a soma-semiotic framework as an aid for creating and interpreting complex emotions in design. The study highlights the complexity of emotions, stressing the need for future research to develop a broader spectrum and vocabulary of complex emotional expression.

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