Kimberly A. Peck
Master's Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Architecture
March 14, 1997
Studying the interaction of people with the objects around them is essential to designers. A designer must study in detail: the hold, the fit in the hand, the effect of movement, the placement, and the juxtaposition and relation of objects to one another. Insight derived from such investigation determines the form given to an object. However, the answer is not a static or rote response to function. The designer searches to balance meaning with practicality, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of perception to make people reconsider how and why objects exist. Questions of changing social customs, habits, rituals and traditions are explored. The resulting form reflects the manner in which the object is used. Shape is given to ritual. The intent is for design to reflect the order of day to day existence. It is not important whether an object is a recognizable form or whether it looks like its predecessors. However, upon consideration one should realize the form is correct. The object possesses meaning; it is appropriate for its time. The process is on-going, requiring the designer to continually re-evaluate and re-define the human condition by assessing the world we make and how we exist within it. One pursues better ways to facilitate daily life, never becoming complacent with existing products. More acutely, it is requisite for the designer to maintain an ongoing dialogue with their work-an empirical process of evaluating and analyzing past objects in order to make the decisions that allow the beginning of the next.
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