Title: Children and aesthetics: exploring toddlers' aesthetic experience of everyday products

Authors: Lise Tinmannsvik, Hans V. Bjelland

Addresses: Department of Product Design, Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Kolbjorn Hejes vei 2b, NO-7491, Trondheim, Norway. ' Department of Product Design, Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Kolbjorn Hejes vei 2b, NO-7491, Trondheim, Norway

Abstract: Aesthetics and the aesthetic experience of children have previously received limited attention within the profession of product design. By taking on a broad perspective on aesthetics, this paper will show that there are many dimensions to children|s aesthetic experience, which are very interesting from a designer|s point of view. The paper explores how young children perceive the world and children|s overall aesthetic experience. The biological, emotional and cultural aspects which influence this experience are presented and discussed. Based on this discussion, we reflect on how this knowledge can inspire designers to make better products for young children. Aesthetic stimulation represents a positive influence on children|s emotional and cognitive development. Although it is difficult to generalise children|s aesthetic preferences, there are some general aspects which can be pointed out. However, varied aesthetic expressions and the richness of the sensory experience should be the overall goal when designing products for young children.

Keywords: aesthetics; aesthetic experience; aesthetic preference; toddlers; perception; human senses; environmental aesthetics; product design; product development; young children; biology; emotion; culture; emotional development; cognitive development; sensory experience.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2009.027471

International Journal of Product Development, 2009 Vol.9 No.4, pp.370 - 388

Published online: 26 Jul 2009 *

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