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Title: Aesthetics in engineering design
Author: Gunningham, F. G. C.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1993
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Bad design must be a contributor to the demise of British manufacturing but good designers are often lost to jobs in management or selling, where the rewards are greater. Further, it is often said that although Britain produces ingenious prototypes, other countries produce better products by paying greater attention to reliability, cost and aesthetics in detail design. The research investigates the place of aesthetics in engineering design in the UK, now and in the past. By surveys and interviews, the attempt was made to quantify the aesthetic content of product design and the reaction of the customer to this aesthetic content. The reaction of electrical engineering designers to the government's sponsoring of good design was sought; the aesthetic content of design in the National Curriculum for schools was explored; the evolution of some styles in the modelling and packaging of products was studied; some attempt was made to determine the economic benefits of considering aesthetics in design; and the greater opportunity that is provided by newer design methods to consider aesthetics has been studied. Few theories guide the designer in his search for aesthetics although all designers have looked for inspiration in nature (e.g. the golden ratio) and perhaps science (e.g. styles that have developed from streamlining). The pioneering giants of design gave high consideration to aesthetic but regretted that their crafted products could only be sold to wealthier customers. With the production methods available in the twentieth century, good aesthetic designs can be (but, only sometimes, are) offered to the general public. Great nineteenth century designers stressed the need for knowledge of the craft of manufacture to ensure the correct use of both materials and methods but modern materials and manufacturing methods develop so rapidly that the education of today's engineers must continue through their working lives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available