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Visual balance in engineering design for aesthetic value



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The aesthetic aspect of a functional product is growing to be an important reason for the consumer’s choice to buy the product. Despite this importance, aesthetics has not generally been incorporated into engineering design which makes much sense of functional and ergonomic designs. The study presented in this thesis aims to remedy this observed gap. The study focuses on the integration of aesthetic attributes with functional attributes of a product and on the quantification of the aesthetic principle from fine arts into design variables of the product. In particular, two hypotheses underlie this study: (1) design variables can be classified in terms of their relevance to functional, ergonomic, and aesthetic attributes, and (2) a particular aesthetic principle, namely visual balance, helps to achieve an improved aesthetic product.The cell phone is used to ground this study. A statistic experiment using the cell phone product positively tests the first hypothesis, resulting in two design variable which are only related to the aesthetic attribute of the cell phone product. The study of the visual balance principle results in a more general formula which relates design variables to visual balance with consideration of both geometry and color of the cell phone product. Finally, another statistic experiment is designed, which positively tests the second hypothesis.This study concludes: (1) the effective integration of aesthetics with function and ergonomics requires an analysis and classification of design variables, and (2) there is a potential to quantify all aesthetic principles from fine arts into design variables.



balance measurement, engineering design, aesthetics, beauty, quantify, cell phone, ergonomics, neural network, weight of color, function, axiomatic design theory, independence axiom, product



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


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