Automobile Design : Approaches to understanding visual form

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Automobile Design: Approaches to understanding visual Form. by Mohsen Jaafarnia Doctor of Philosophy in Design Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati India Supervisor: Professor Ravi MokashiPunekar Today, body designs of vehicles such as personal cars differ from brand to brand. The challenges of globalization have led to situations wherein manufacturers are prone to introduce an already existing model into new markets, especially emerging ones in developing countries. When such new markets get crowded with competition, manufacturers start customizing the designs developed elsewhere, to suit local preferences. An understanding of visual form- an important aspect of design semantics is a critical factor for the designer to influence the user's aesthetic decision in the purchase of products. Human, animal and insect life forms in the creation of man-made product forms are increasingly inspiring designers. This research attempts to understand the processes and approaches to understanding visual form based on semantics framework of Ferdinand di Saussure.Considering the external form of the car as the focus of study, the research reports the results of the analysis of the users response to the emotion set for the front face and body of carDs derived from five approaches viz. Repertory Grid Technique, Semantic Differential technique, Co-relation Technique, Relation Technique and technique of visual analysis of form. Based on the insights drawn from these studies it has attempted to derive a set of Dvisual keyD that corresponds to different emotional expressions that can help designers to derive expressive styles for cars. Attempt is made to validate the findings by generating concept drawings for a desired expression of car forms for two car manufacturers. Two approaches to generation of car form has been attempted: One method is based on drawing upon the graphical keysD derived from the experiments conducted as part of this research and the other is based on a bio-design method, that were used to semantically transfer common expressions to a carDs face. Such studies with respect to form preferences for automobile design offer diverse challenges. Factors include studies in form preference, cultural preference, economic influences, technology literacy, gender and regional preferences This thesis uses an empirical methodology involving user response to two-dimensional images. The data assimilated, based on a semantic framework, has attempted to outline a methodology for deriving Dvisual keysD as guidelines for automobile designers to generate expressive forms for cars. It has evolved an approach that covers the wide domains of history of the evolution of car forms; visual approach for form analysis of car forms; and user response to car face based on a semantic framework. The research work aims at understanding visual preference in the design of external form of cars amongst two targeted user groups (India and Iran). These objectives are met through: 1. Tracing and mapping factors that influenced the development of aesthetics in automobile form from a historical perspective. 2. Understanding Design elements involved in the aesthetic preferences of car face and car body designs from amongst potential and existing car users. 3. Identifying the design elements that contribute to the evoked feelings through analysis of visual form by professional.
Supervisor: R. Mokashi Punekar