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Kansei engineering on Multifunctional furniture by Javier Navarro

In this article your are going to discover The Kansei engineering and the application of this theory in the development of Unamo Multifunctional furniture.

Nowadays, the search for products that comply with our demands is simple, given the infinity of ways of accessing them. When choosing, aspects such as functionality, location, destination, safety, concordance and price tend to prevail. The components that form part of the decision-making include highly sensitive aspects that we must not ignore and that can ultimately become authentic drivers in the choice.

There are numerous disciplines that study, from the conception, how a product will interact with its potential users. The ergonomic methodologies seek the best adaptability in the design phase in order to convert the product into that which approaches the perceived and true needs of the customers. Comfort, mobility of the elements that form part of the same, warmth of the materials, each and all of the characteristics are analysed from an ergonomic point of view in order to transfer the components to the anthropometric functionalities of people.

For the designer Valerie Pettis from New York, design is the search for balance between business and art; art and talent; intuition and logic; concept and detail; happiness and formality; customer and designer; designer and printer; printer and the public.
Historically, the evolution experienced during the past century with regards to manufacturing methods and the search for adequate quality substantially modified the techniques for quality and excellence analysis of the product. The unitary selection of each of the objects, including the creation of the series and finally, the introduction of analysis factors beyond the product, provides accurate instruments that, on one hand gather the expectations of external customers and, on the other, integrate the internal customers to the production.
However, I would like to highlight a design methodology that added new, highly sensitive values that seek to emotionally charm the customer. This is the KANSEI methodology (etymologically, the term is divided in two, KAN (sensation) and SEI (sensitivity)). In the words of its creator, Mitsuo Nagamachi, Kansei engineering is a methodology for product development that is aimed towards the user, establishing procedures to translate the perceptions, preferences and sensations of existing products or concepts, in terms of solutions and parameters of specific design. Thus, we find terms that come together in this definition, such as: feelings, aesthetic, logic, emotions, sensitivity, intuition and affection.

The objective of Kansei Engineering is to gather the emotional needs of the customers, to establish mathematical models of how these needs connect to them and to introduce these needs to the product manufacturing process. This methodology is applicable to all design disciplines oriented towards satisfying customer needs, both in the industrial scope and the graphic design or multimedia design scope.

For decision-making, this engineering uses a variety of methods from brainstorming to the strategy of the product characteristics, including the technique of forced attributes. The semantic differential adds the values to be highlighted in the equipment and from there, the components that must be included in the finished products are selected.

This sensitive methodology is applied to the multipurpose furniture and all the Designs developeved by Unamo head designer. In the words of Humberto Navarro, UNAMO is.

“the body of an idea that travels with a box for a heart, where someone stored three colours and three shapes so that they would never be bored”.

The emotional component of the kansei engineering can be observed in each of his creations, a focus that has made them worthy of numerous recognitions on a national and international level.

The semantic axes confer comfort and functionality to the products that respond to the customer’s expectations. The emotional integration can be found in the entire creation process. From the designer’s idea, the choice of textile materials, the treatment of the wood, the assembly during the manufacturing process, to the obtaining of the end product, everything includes the essential and semantic values that define the Kansei methodology.
An entire set of descriptive terms that showcase the personal values of the UNAMO products, whose creative spirit defines them as “furniture that feeds the soul simply by contemplating it, furniture that feeds life simply by using it”.

Javier Navarro Aparicio