2 (or 3) Questions About Emotional Design for Rochus Jacob
by Jaime / February 16, 2011


Rochus Jacob has a portfolio full of simple, sensuous designs that often belie underlying complexity. As Jacob himself says, "Complexity is covered by simplicity."

We asked the creator of these minimalist objects if there was a connection between emotion and function and form.



(Click the images below for full sized images)


rochus_jacob_rethinking_the_radiator.jpg

Rethinking the radiator, placing heat in the heart of the home


In your work is the emotional connection just as important as the function and form?

The emotional connection can be very important. When a person falls in love with an object, that's truly when an object gets the most use. Emotional connection is essential to longevity of design.


rochus_jacob_rhino_radio.jpg

The Sensual radio, explore new stations by moving through the sand


Do you think there is a larger movement to design products that provoke an emotional response?

Absolutely, If we define the emotional response you are asking about as a shift towards highlighting more the symbolic function of an object. Distinct from signs, which indicate the nature and the practical functions of products, symbols are associated with the users imagination and experience. We definitely see more designers breaking out of some form of neo minimalism that we have seen a lot over the last couple of years. But I would also say every designer provokes some sort of emotional response to their design on a large scale from silence to excitement.


rochus_jacob_murakami_chair.jpg

The Murakami Chair, generates power from the rocking motion to light the lamp


Several of your pieces highlight electricity use. How do you think design can help change people's consumption habits?

There is always a lot that can be done on the very forefront of product innovation to create products that are more efficient and resourceful during manufacturing.


rochus_jacob_thermodynamic_cooler.jpg

Thermodynamic Cooler, cools using the effect of evaporating water (and no electricity)

But on a larger scale I think there are already great long lasting products and alternatives out there, however, the biggest change in having an impact is teaching as many people as possible about good design and making the right product choices. There are enough designers and companies out there who get it right. It's more about communicating why a more expensive product could be a the better investment over time then always buying the cheapest one.

+ rochusjacob.com


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