Neuro your design

On January 14, 2014
The material plastic, the colour red and a closed organic shape will create what an MRI scanner has determined is the perfect design. Research-based designer Merel Bekking is using the scanner as a tool for creating the perfect design, something that has never been done before.
MerelIn the coming months, Bekking will use the results of MRI scans as a guide for creating a series of perfect everyday objects, which will be revealed at the FuoriSalone at the Salone de Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, 8–13 April 2014.
The formula of the perfect design
Ambitious Merel Bekking  posed the question of what the perfect design might be. But defining this is difficult, since perfection is subject to taste and aesthetics. In this research, Bekking excluded personal preferences and tastes and will create designs purely based on scientific research results obtained with MRI scanners.

The Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging in Amsterdam helped Bekking with her research by providing knowledge and the loan of MRI scanners. The Spinoza Centre also paired her with Dr Steven Scholte, a partner in Europe’s first neuromarketing research and consulting firm, Neurensics. Bekking and Scholte created their own method for scientifically researching people’s preferences and dislikes with respect to shapes, colour and materials by looking at the brain.
A group of 20 individuals (10 males, 10 females; between the ages of 20 and 30; all with higher education), who were unaware of what kind of test they were undergoing, were shown various shapes, colors and materials while lying in an MRI scanner for an hour. The scan results, which were standardized, pinpointed individuals’ likes and dislikes for certain shapes, colors and materials.

‘’The results of the scans were that people preferred the material plastic, the color red and a closed organic shape,” Merel Bekking says. It is surprising to see that the individuals gave different answers on paper than what the scans showed – they said they liked the material wood, the color blue, and open, round shapes. This clearly shows that what individuals think they prefer doesn’t match the preferences of their brains.’’

Uniquely, instead of creating a product and then getting individuals to test it in a MRI scanner (as is done in the increasingly popular method of neuromarketing), Bekking turns the process around 180 degrees, using the MRI scanner not as a way to control designs but as a design tool.infographic_brain_manufacturing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: