Birkhoff proposed that order divided by complexity is a formula for esthetic measurement. In that context, this work proposes to measure order with a method to quantify Gestalt principles in 2D product representations. These principles establish how humans visually group elements of a shape together, and they have been used in architecture, product design and art as guidelines for a good design. A human subject study was conducted to test the hypothesis that if complexity is held constant across different versions of the same basic concept, Gestalt can serve as a direct measurement of the relative esthetics of those candidate designs. In a survey, subjects were asked to evaluate their preferences for multiple individual 2D representations of automotive wheel rims from a variety of styles. The wheel rims within each style were designed in pairs, one pair with lower and one pair with higher Gestalt. Complexity was held constant by only comparing subject ratings within wheel rim styles. The results show that a positive change in Gestalt has a positive effect on aesthetic subject preference and that preferences are not significantly different for designs differing in geometry but having the same Gestalt. The implications of these results for designers and for future work are discussed.
Relationship Between Product Aesthetic Subject Preference and Quantified Gestalt Principles in Automobile Wheel Rims
Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received September 24, 2015; final manuscript received February 10, 2016; published online March 17, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Kristina Shea.
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Lugo, J. E., Schmiedeler, J. P., Batill, S. M., and Carlson, L. (March 17, 2016). "Relationship Between Product Aesthetic Subject Preference and Quantified Gestalt Principles in Automobile Wheel Rims." ASME. J. Mech. Des. May 2016; 138(5): 051101. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4032775
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