Types of Embodiment in Design: The Embodied Foundations of Meaning and Affect in Product Design
Thomas Van Rompay, Geke Ludden


Since the introduction of the embodied cognition framework in cognitive and social psychology, numerous studies have demonstrated links between everyday bodily experiences and product evaluations involving meaning portrayal and affect. To date, however, no comprehensive framework for understanding embodiment in relation to design experience has been developed. Hence, one goal of this article is to set out a typology for understanding embodiment in relation to multi-sensory product appearance and action. A second goal is showing why insights from embodiment may be inspiring and useful to designers and why understanding of the embodied dynamics underlying product experience may guide designers in creating meaningful objects. To substantiate these assumptions, we present the different types of embodiment most relevant in relation to design research accompanied by examples. We expand on the design goals that might underlie these different types, suggesting new avenues for design and design research based on our research propositions and findings.

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