Skip to main content
Course Director: Ioannis Xenakis
Course Code: 10302
Educational Units: 4
ECTS Units: 5
Type: Compulsory Stream 3 (ΥΕΚ3)
Semester: 08 (Spring)
Hours: 2 hours lecture and 2 hours lab

The aim of the course is to introduce students to the development of knowledge in topics related to aesthetics and emotional science in the context of approaching and analyzing the most important theoretical issues concerning processes and actions that form the the design process.

The course aims to develop the following skills:

  • strengthen design thinking
  • contribute to the interdisciplinary training of designers on issues related to aesthetics and emotional science
  • enable the development of design methods that will enhance conceptual design
  • strengthen the critical ability and decisions related to emotional/aesthetic meanings in the design process.

The purpose of the theoretical part of the course is critically approaching classic but essential questions concerning the meaning and functional role of aesthetics and emotions in the design process, in order to understand the multifaceted dimensions of aesthetic and emotional design.

The laboratory part of the course enhances design practice through the development of methods that will support decisions related to the visualization of emotional-aesthetic meanings. These meanings should be communicated in the context that the design will take place. In addition the laboratory part of the course will develop critical and creative thinking aiding students to think ways to express, represent and apply aesthetic-emotional meanings in desings.

The following fields will be developed in the theoretical part of the course:

  • Presentation of the most important theories about emotional processes and aesthetic views as well as a critical description of the phenomena related to the fundamental questions about aesthetics.
  • Presentation of the cognitive processes that lead both designers and users to attribute emotional-aesthetic preferences or values to the environments they interact with (objects, socio-cultural contexts, people, etc.).
  • Presentation of the multifaceted dimensions of aesthetics in design.

The following fields will be developed in the laboratory part of the course:

  • Application of the aesthetic theories in the design of methods in order to enhance the conceptual side of design.

Reinforcement of design decisions regarding the visualization of emotional-aesthetic meanings that should be communicated during design

Students will be able to:

  • Extend their design representations and emotional-aesthetic meanings which are not described by traditional rules and definitions of aesthetics.
  • Plan critically on issues related to aesthetic - emotional design and theoretically support their design decisions.
  • Create dynamic methodological tools that will help them gather and interpret indications from the design context able to organize their decisions about aesthetic choices.
  • They extract design specifications do as to meet the respective design requirements that will support an aesthetic-emotional interaction.

Knowledge: Students acquire basic knowledge in subjects related to aesthetics and emotional science in order to cope with the respective design problems, shaping their first steps in the critical understanding of the methods that govern modern practice.

Skills: Students acquire basic skills in designing and using methodological tools which help them make emotional design decisions.

Capabilities: Students, through collaborative design, practice skills that allow them to manage techniques and work plans, where division is required in role-playing to solve problems in the field of aesthetic-emotional design.


- Προτεινόμενη Βιβλιογραφία:

  1. Arnellos, A, & Xenakis, I. (2017). Aesthetic perception: A naturalistic turn. New Ideas in Psychology, 47, 77-79.
  2. Arnheim, R. (1974a). Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye (1st ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press.
  3. Beardsley, M. C. (1970). The Aesthetic Point of View*. Metaphilosophy, 1(1), 39–58.
  4. Berger, D. (2009). Kant’s Aesthetic Theory: The Beautiful and Agreeable. U.K.: Continuum.
  5. Berlyne, D. E. (1971). Aesthetics and psychobiology. New York, USA: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
  6. Carbon, C.-C. (2011). Cognitive mechanisms for explaining dynamics of aesthetic appreciation. I-Perception, 2(7), 708–719.
  7. Carlson, A. (2009). Aesthetics of everyday. In S. Davies, K. M. Higgins, R. Hopkins, R. Stecker, & D. E. Cooper (Eds.), A Companion to Aesthetics (2nd ed., pp. 136–139). Singapore: Wiley-Blackwell.
  8. Cupchik, G. C. (1995). Emotion in aesthetics: Reactive and reflective models. Poetics, 23(1–2), 177–188.
  9. Dewey, J. (1980). Art as Experience. New York, United States: Perigee Books.
  10. Hagman, G. (2005). Aesthetic Experience: Beauty, Creativity, and the Search for the Ideal. New York, United States: Rodopi.
  11. Hassenzahl, M. (2008). Aesthetics in interactive products: Correlates and consequences of beauty. In H. N. J. Schifferstein & P. Hekkert (Eds.), Product Experience (pp. 287–302). San Diego, CA, USA: Elsevier Science.
  12. Hekkert, P., & Leder, H. (2007). Product aesthetics. In H. N. J. Schifferstein & P. Hekkert (Eds.), Product Experience (pp. 259–285). San Diego, United States: Elsevier.
  13. Kant, I. (1914). The Critique of Judgement (2nd ed.; J. H. Bernard, Trans.). London, England: Macmillan and Co.
  14. Kirsch, L. P., Urgesi, C., & Cross, E. S. (2016). Shaping and reshaping the aesthetic brain: Emerging perspectives on the neurobiology of embodied aesthetics. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 62, 56–68. 
  15. Locher, P., Overbeeke, K., & Wensveen, S. A. G. (2010). Aesthetic Interaction: A Framework. Design Issues, 26(2), 70–79.
  16. Norman, D. A. (2004). Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things (1st ed.). New York: Basic Books.
  17. Norman, D. A. (2006). Emotionally centered design. Interactions, 13(3), 53-ff.
  18. Palmer, S. E., Schloss, K. B., & Sammartino, J. (2013). Visual Aesthetics and Human Preference. Annual Review of Psychology, 64(1), 77–107.
  19. Parsons, G., & Carlson, A. (2008). Functional Beauty. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
  20. Xenakis, I. (2018). Reducing uncertainty in sustainable interpersonal service relationships: The role of aesthetics. Cognitive Processing, 19(2), 215–229.
  21. Xenakis, I., & Arnellos, A. (2013). The relation between interaction aesthetics and affordances. Design Studies, 34(1), 57–73.
  22. Xenakis I and Arnellos A (2014) Aesthetic perception and its minimal content: a naturalistic perspective. Front. Psychol. 5:1038.
  23. Xenakis, I., & Arnellos, A. (2015). Aesthetics as an Emotional Activity That Facilitates Sense-Making: Towards an Enactive Approach to Aesthetic Experience. In A. Scarinzi (Ed.), Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind: Beyond Art Theory and the Cartesian Mind-Body Dichotomy (pp. 245–259).
  24. Xenakis, I., Arnellos, A., & Darzentas, J. (2012). The functional role of emotions in aesthetic judgment. New Ideas in Psychology, 30(2), 212–226.