Design-ing and Creative Philosophies









Experience: A Central Concept in Design and its Roots in the History of Science  

Johannes Uhlmann, Christian Wölfel, Jens Krzywinski 

Dresden University of Technology (3)

Keywords: product experience; experiencing; history of science


This paper traces the roots of theories on experience and experiencing in the history of science of the 19th and 20th century. From the concepts of Wilhelm Dilthey (1833–1911) and others, a phenomenological model of experiencing has been derived for industrial design around 1990, which is to be published internationally for the first time in this paper. From a current view, this model does not provide new opportunities on designing or evaluating user experience. However, it can be used to bridge theories and findings from the late 19th and early 20th century with current models of user experience, which are more comprehensive and can be used beyond the description of experiencing. These models also offer methods for designing, evaluating and even quantitatively measuring user experience, or have a stronger focus on emotions. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Uhlmann, J., Wölfel, C., Krzywinski, J. (2016). Experience – A Central Concept in Design and its Roots in the History of Science. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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