Emotive implications of rendering in conceptual design
Emotions play an important role in human cognition and affect reasoning, judgment, decision-making, and other cognitive processes. However, there has been little scientific research into the role emotions play in designing. Rendering enables the visualisation of conceptual models by providing graphical presentation of design concepts. Such a presentation can convey not only object information but also emotive information and can evoke human emotive responses. The work presented in this thesis addresses five main elements: emotive implications; adoption of Interacting Cognitive System (ICS) to designer perception; adoption of Kansei Engineering as the analytical tool for the research; testing a spectrum of existing rendering techniques developed to date; and testing of perception with academics, students and design practitioners from industry. This thesis presents a novel study of the emotive effectiveness of different rendering styles that cover a spectrum of existing photorealistic rendering (PR) and non-photorealistic rendering (NPR) styles in conceptual design. The study involved a sample of sixty-one respondents, which included academics, fourth year and fifth year undergraduate and postgraduate students. The main contribution of knowledge is in the form of insights into the emotive implications of different rendering styles in conceptual design. The insights can act as a guide for designers to base their decisions in using the respective rendering style/emotive implication paradigms when creating designs that elicit desired responses. The overall idea of gaining the insights is to support the designer in creating and influencing the emotional impact of a new design. The results of the study highlight fourteen emotive implications of computer graphic images, the four underlying constructs that describe the fourteen emotive implications, i. e. affective, cognitive, functional and motivational, and the patterns of relationships between the rendering styles and emotive implications. The results show that different kinds of rendering styles have definite and significant effects. For instance, PR styles are most effective for conveying affective and motivational content; and NPR styles are most effective for conveying affective, cognitive and functional content. A survey-based study involving thirty-three design practitioners from industry was used for the validation of the research results. The thesis finishes by presenting the strengths and weaknesses of the research outcome, the techniques employed and the research methodology utilised to facilitate the work presented in this thesis. Finally, based on the current research findings, future works have been identified, including extension of the research within actual design practice and further investigation of an alternative rendering approach for presenting vague information that is often found in the conceptual design stage.