Emotional Lighting

[ Lightings affects people’s mood ]


Light, as intangible photonic phenomena also induces emotional feelings in people. The quality of light in a room is often an influencing factor when people appraise the environment.

researchers are looking into electric lighting solutions that mimic the feeling of daylight and several lighting solutions have been developed to re-create the pleasant feeling of a blue sky view and sunny daylight indoors, including the virtual skylight ‘Blue-sky’ by Philips

Source: (Mason, J. Aliakseyeu , D. Meerbeek ,B., 2014)



Designers started to realize the important of the past and took those elements to transform them in a modern way

Modern lightings inspired from the classic movement

(1) Neverending Glory The Met Pendant

Designed by Jan Plecháč & Henry Wielgus for Lasvit

(2) Bourgie Lamp


Source: https://www.aliexpress.com/item-img/Modern-brief-iron-birdcage-pendant-light-classic-combination-of-restaurant-lamp-hybrid-type-stair-pendant-light/650398785.html

Mille Bolle by Slamp


Changing the type of lighting only from cold to hot affected on the resulted mood that the light represent.


“Childhood memory, playing, the thrill of a soap bubble…interpreted by designer Adriano Rachele in a collection of iridescent lamps that seem to be fluttering in the air. They fit perfectly to enrich with charm even the most straight architectures, thanks to their reflection and refraction effects.”




The beauty of those lightings allows the designers to modify different types of geometric shapes, to produce unique sculptural pieces.

Mandala No.1

Source: https://www.architonic.com/en/product/willowlamp-mandala-study-no-1/1190785

Inspired by Islamic patterns, translated into various dimensions through the extrusion of the complex interlocking geometry.

Made from laser cut stainless steel frames, chrome plated or lacquered solid brass components, ball chain in several optional finishes.

This giant light sculpture would truly be a sight to behold in any building. Created by Willow lamp, the South African company based in Cape Town

The light effects, why it is important

“Home lighting was mostly simple on/off control of a 60 watt lamp and when the need arose for more emotional lighting people would light a few candles. However, with the advent of the LED and connected lighting that can offer color and high quality warm and cool white light, there is the potential for people to benefit from more advanced lighting applications that can enhance and support their lives” (Mason, J. Aliakseyeu , D. Meerbeek ,B., 2014)

The light effects

“There is a growing need to explore more into how different light qualities make people feel. Can artificial light be designed in such a way that it can change the way a person feels or the emotions they can feel? “

The Lightings in Ramadan



Going back to the old days and experience the nostalgia of my favorite month of the year had its own oriental flair. That festive feeling, decorating our home with traditional lamps and other Ramadan decorations.

Personal brief


To design a light unit inspired from the traditional Cultural elements using the geometric patterns from Andalusia and the nostalgia of the festive feel on the holy month, By studying the link between lights and emotions.


Emotional Design (Heart Vs. Mind)

Creative designers who design consumer products are beginning to appreciate the importance of evoking emotions  to capture viewers’ attention and create satisfying experience. According to the ISPO news, 50% of every buying decision is driven by emotion. Although Norman’s approach to user centered design was focused in usability, he tried then to figure out, from a scientific perspective, what makes something a good or bad design. Previously he didn’t take emotions into account, only usability and functions from a logical, dispassionate way.

Figure 1: How People Relate With Products (Goto, K., 2015)

“Today’s consumer is hungry for something much deeper than a viral video. They’re looking for authentic connection. In this emerging Emotion Economy, brands must build products and services that address people’s unspoken feelings, wishes, and needs. And business as usual won’t cut it. To succeed, companies must connect at an emotional level with their customers.” (Goto, K., 2015)

Emotional design, represents a change of his viewpoint about how people relate with products. He states that there are different emotional layers to consider, beyond the logical perspective of usability (Norman, 2004). In his opinion, emotions and cognition are thoroughly intertwined. So, the question arose: Can beauty and usability go together?

“pleasing things work better, are easier to learn, and produce a more harmonious result.” (Norman, 2002)

Figure 2: Dunne and Raby’s Teddy Bear Blood Bag

Dunne and Raby found that: Responsible Design encompasses what is largely understood as humanitarian notion of service. Here the designer works to provide a useful, useable, and desirable product to those who are largely ignored by the market.

One Product, Fits all ?

Norman asserts that no product will satisfy everyone

Attractive = Conscious  both are equally important and extremely related.

researches showed that when people are relaxed and happy, they become more creative and more imaginative in problem solving situations.

Attractive things work better because they make people feel good, thus people are more tolerant of minor difficulties and they think more creatively. Plus, they are willing to work harder to find the solution to what they are trying to do.

Norman’s Three levels of Design (2004):

Norman’s studies of emotions suggest that there are 3 level of the cognitive and emotional system for humans: Visceral, Behavioral and Reflective.

Each of the 3 levels of design (Visceral, behavioral and reflective) play its part in shaping the experience of use.

          “Each is as important as the other, but each requires a different approach by the designers” (2004 p65)

Figure 3: Norman’s three levels of design

Behavioral and reflective level are directly affected by culture.

Behavioral is about function, performance and usability, whilst reflective is about interpretation, understanding and reasoning.

The question is how to combine these 3 levels in one product. There is no clear answer to that question but it should be take into consideration that no product will never satisfy everyone.

Products must be attractive and pleasurable but also effective, understandable and appropriately priced. Products must strive for balance among the 3 levels.

Behavioral: When designing for the behavioral level, the hardest is to understand the unarticulated needs of the user, because they don’t know what they need. Observation is the appropriate type of research for this situation, instead of focus groups, questionnaires or surveys which rely too much on the user opinion.

Reflective: Beauty comes from conscious, it looks below the surface.

Paul Ekman’s 7 universal Emotions: (Weinschenk , 2011, p:164)

Figure 4: Paul Ekman’s 7 universal emotions.

In Weinschenk’s book “100 things every designer needs to know about people” , he considered how emotions are important in our everyday life, and he was talking about the different between emotions, moods and attitudes.

·       Emotions expressed physically, often lead to an action.

·       Mood last longer perhaps a day or two

·       Attitudes have a more cognitive and conscious

On the other hand, Jordan, (2000) asserts that products might affect person’s mode using a product might let you feel of self-confident such as wearing a new dress.

Emotional Benefits are those pertaining to how a product affects a person’s mood. Using a product might be, for example, exciting, interesting, fun, satisfying or confidence enhancing. A computer game, for example, might be exciting and fun to use , whilst a stylish new dress may give the wearer a feeling of self-confidence.” (Jordan, 2000)

Figure 5: Object displaying emotion and personality. (Istock photo)

(Useful, Usable, and Desirable )

Requirements for fulfilling emotional needs:

The Hug salt and pepper shakers designed by Alberto Mantilla

Figure 6: The hug salt and pepper shakers designed by Albert Mantilla.

(Discursive design)

These are two shakers differ only in color The shakers, with their stubby arms, nest together appearing to hug each other.

The bold use of black and white suggests that we are all brothers and sisters on this planet and we need to treat each other with kindness, compassion and respect.

(To understand the primary intention of the designer, which cannot always be read from the objects)


Magic chair stands despite cut-off legs Designed by Peter Bristol

Figure 7: Magic chair stands despite cut-off legs designed by Peter Bristol

It stands strong, so you could sit on it, and wonder does a chair without legs manage to be useful.


Figure 8: A large whale sculpture at the Seattle children’s Hospital (Sculpture by Martin Oliver, Photo: Edie Adams)

Emotional design is about directing the user’s attention to the right thing, at the right time.

In Seattle Children’s Hospital, a large whale sculpture helps direct children’s attention away from the environment of the hospital.


(Creation of experiences that become stories and memories)

Figure 9: McDonald’s Logo

McDonald’s uses a multisensory approach to make potential customers familiar with their products. Colorful commercial advertising, busy store locations, the special scent and taste of the food, the ubiquitous brand identity, and the toys all combine to create positive memories for children.


Figure 10: Trevor Van Gorp, 2012

Using flattery/compliments to influence purchase decisions.

Even a compliment from an inanimate object is more affective than no compliment at all.

“We make decisions based on how we feel” (Grop, T. 2012)

Teapot, Designed by Christopher Dresser For James Dixon and Sons (1880):

Figure 11: Teapot, designed by Christopher Dresser for James Dixon and sons.

In my opinion this teapot is not suitable for personal use, I might buy it if I have the interest in collecting unusual products.

“These teapots are rare survivals of the radical work he produced at the very peak of his powers.

Dresser was an industrial designer before the profession had been invented, a man who found new ways of designing for production that few of his contemporaries could have imagined. He grasped both the properties of materials and the processes of production and adapted his designs and aesthetics to them brilliantly.” Victoria and Albert Museum

Personal/ cultural histories:

Figure 12: public facilities should involve understandable logos for different nationalities, with various backgrounds

(Connect people to objects through recognition & memory)

To understand how recognition is been affected by personal histories and expectations. I would like to share a personal experience with you. One day my little brother needed to go to the toilet and was confused from those universal letters. He went to open the door that holds the letter “F” because he thought that it means “Father” and “M” means “Mother”, due to his shallow knowledge on English. This example explains that designers should have in consideration the different cultural backgrounds and must have in mind that not every one knows what “Male” and “Female” stands for.

Clay water pot:

Figure 13: The health benefits of using clay water pot

Using a clay pot for water is not just a traditional alternative to the steel, glass and plastic containers, but it’s a healthy alternative as well.

Late 80’s:

Figure 14: Some of the products that evoke great memories from the late 80’s

I was born at the late 80’s, and during my childhood especially those memories that were related with my grandmother’s house, such as watching “Horouf” program, and reading “Majid” magazine, where my uncle used to bought it for me every Wednesday while he come back from work. Also my grandmother used to have different types of candies in her secret closet inside the kitchen, for example Chiclets gum. On the other hand, playing with the Nintendo, especially Mario is a global nostalgia for different cultures all over the world, and having it returned back to be played using your iPhone, is great.

Products I am attached to:

Figure 15: Some of the products that I love.

At the left is a traditional Mibkhar where we use it every Friday morning with Oud before going to pray, to stir our clothes and hairs. Bringing this tradition and culture to the U.K. deteriorate the affect of having a homesick and that smell remind me back with the cosy family gathering every Friday morning.

Next to it is my Michael Kors cross bag where it was a gift from my husband, which gave it an extra value and makes me attached to it more.

At the right side is a necklace from Tiffany & co was a gift as well from my husband when we were engaged. Wearing it return me back to those lovely days.

A&V (Victoria and Albert Museum) Power of making exhibition:

Figure 16: Victoria and Albert Museum Logo

The world’s leading museum of art and design

rediscovered value of the process of making and of the handmade product in our society.

Figure 17: Victoria and Albert Museum


to explore the cultural, historical and physical consequences of the objects in our world and the people who made them.

GARETH NEAL urban picnic, 2010:

Figure 18: The Gareth Neal Urban Picnic, 2010

(Ghosts of the past meet contemporary constructions)

He embedded the value of traditional furniture craftsmanship with a contemporary twist using a CNC router.



Digital Fabrication Meets Ancient Japanese Tradition


Figure 19: Ceramic Speakers (2010) Designed by Nendo


Ceramic speakers (2010) limited-edition audio speakers, ceramic substrate decorated with the kutani-ware technique.

The cross over between cutting edge digital fabrication technologies and ancient handcraft traditions, to create exquisite new experience of artisanship.

“Tokyo studio Nendo have collaborated with a traditional Japanese potter to create a flat, square loudspeaker made of 1mm thick ceramic decorated with intricate patterns.

The speaker combines high-tech industrial ceramics and traditional craftsmanship.” (Warmann, 2010)

The renaissance of the local shoemaker ( Brown and Mitchell, 2003,p. 86):

Figure 20: The Camper shoe company in Majorca.
  • offering personal service over the long term
  • Local, no mass produced. You can get to know and enjoy their work
  • The renaissance of the local shoemaker:
  • Shoes decorated by indigenous people from around the world, from the Camper Shoe Company in Majorca
  • Shoes and Indigenous Art reflects our attempt to offer indigenous peoples the only thing we know how to make, shoes, and to give them character with the living imprint of these peoples’ culture and artistic expression, in the hope that what we see today, lines, signs, colours, means much more than this; that they hold the essential everyday lessons of these rich, living and indispensible cultures. Cultures in danger of disappearance, and so putting at stake our passport to the future. Because we cannot imagine a worthwhile future if we cannot succeed in keeping alive, as they do, the concepts of respect, balance and contact with the earth.

Playing with tradition:

Designed by: Richard Hutton

Figure 21: Playing with Tradition, designed by Richard Hutton

Richard Hutton explores the use of traditional craft with his ‘Playing with Tradition’ rugs. Each rug is hand knotted, however at a specially chosen point the old-style pattern is stretched out, almost suggesting a digital malfunction.

“The idea behind the carpet was to build a bridge between the old and the new, east meets west. From this starting point, I looked at various ways to give a reinterpretation.” – Richard Hutton

Hickory Dickory Clock, Designed by Jacob Cress:

Figure 22: Hickory Dickory Clock, Designed by Jacob Cress

  • Walnut
  • $25,000
  • Hickory Dickory Clock
  • The mouse ran up the clock
  • The clock struck one –
  • The other got away.


  • Anger
  • Fun
  • Uniqueness
  • Motion

Oops ! Designed by Jacob Cress:

Figure 23: Oops chair designed by Jacob Cress

“His view of the world and the objects in it provides an interesting approach to his high quality hand-crafted furniture, clocks and boxes.”


Aljoud lootah reinterprets ancient weaving craft with misnad & uwairyan carpets:



Figure 25: Aljood Lootah’s ancient weaving craft with misnad and uwairyan carpet.

forming a contemporary interpretation of an ancient form of art, emirati designer aljoud lootah adapts history and tradition to modern needs in the making of two handwoven carpets. ‘misnad’ and ‘uwairyan’ are informed by the practice of ‘alsadu’, an indigenous style of weaving characterized colorful motifs and narrow bands of geometric patterning.

Sustainability of craftsmanship:

Figure 26: The influence of the demand of creating new products through the sustainability of craftsmanship



  • Norman, D. (2004) Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) every day things. New York: Basic Books.
  • Designing pleasurable products (Patric Jordan)
  • Digital Handmade (Lucy Johston)
  • The beauty of craft (Brown & Mitchel)
  • “100 things every designer needs to know about people” (Weinchenk)
  • Gorp, Trevor van;Adams, Edie. (2012). Design for Emotion. Morgan Kaufmann. Retrieved 23 April 2017, from <http://www.myilibrary.com?ID=361144&gt;

Online websites:

Figures List: