Case in Emotion
Merel Bekking has the ambition to create the perfect design. Only the perfect design is something that is very hard to define, it has to do with personal preferences and taste. What will happen if you use modern-day technologies and science?
Merel Bekking (1987) is a research-based-designer. In 2011 she graduated as a Product Designer from the Utrecht School of Arts, The Netherlands. Her series “Well, they were already dead anyway” has attracted quite bit of attention from the local and international press. At the moment Bekking is working in her own design studio where she is working on assignments, new products and projects. For her latest project she is taking here research to a scientific level.
Like every designer Merel Bekking has the ambition to create the perfect design. Of course this creates a problem because ‘the perfect design’ is very hard to define. It is subject to taste and esthetics. With this project Bekking is going to exclude personal preferences and taste and will design purely based on scientific research results obtained with fMRI scanners.
Instead of creating a product and have a group of subjects test it in a fMRI scanner, like the increasingly popular neuromarketing method, Bekking turns this process 180 degrees around. Now the fMRI scanner will not be used in a way to control designs, it will be used as a design tool. Bekking will research all the elements that are important in a design process. The group of subject will be shown colors, shapes and materials. This will result in a list of preferences and dislikes about these important design elements. Without the subject knowing these people will lay the base for new designs. After the research Bekking will use the results, the list with preferences, as a guideline to create the perfect series of everyday objects. Tables, cabinets, lamps and much more. It is all possible to design by this new method but is it really possible to create the perfect design?