This thesis explores the question: What are the significant emotional connections between consumers and their furniture, and how do designers engage with this? Due to the nature of the question it has been necessary to explore literature across various different faculties. Therefore the literature review covers a wide spectrum of research and methodologies exploring the significance of the psychological factors (especially emotions) in the designing and consuming of furniture.
This has enabled the author to identify the main factors within the thesis; design, the consumer and emotions each are discussed in detail. The relationships and connections between each are also investigated. The research also identified that due to the various types on furniture available, only one could be evaluated for this thesis; therefore the branch of furniture studied is chairs.
Using the research carried out, a methodology was created in order to carry out a practical exploratory chair study. This involved identifying five categories of chairs, and selecting one from each, and then staging a suitable environment to carry out the trial. Participants were then asked to interact with each chair, whilst at the same time answering an in-depth verbal questionnaire. The purpose of the trial was to establish if each of the chairs evoked any emotional connections to the participants and if so what types of emotion. The results of the trial were then analysed, from which conclusions were able to be deduced and a consequence of the study was discussed.
A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy of Loughborough University.