By Haian Xue, Pieter M. A. Desmet & JungKyoon Yoon

Abstract: This two-part article explores the concept of emotional connoisseurship—the art of appreciating lived emotional experiences in emotion-driven design (EDD). In Part 1, we aim to establish and position the concept within the current EDD theoretical landscape. We first review the concept of connoisseurship, its origins, development, and relevance to professional practices. Second, building upon the existing design literature, we scrutinize the relationships between design connoisseurship and design expertise. We then conceptualize emotional connoisseurship as an essential skill that designers aspiring to practice EDD must actively cultivate, along with learning EDD theories, methods, and tools. After that, we reflect on how previous EDD research outcomes (i.e., emotional granularity design tools) can support the development of a designer’s emotional connoisseurship, especially in a schema-oriented or top-down manner, and argue the need for a sensibility-oriented or bottom-up approach. Part 1 sets the stage for Part 2. Part 2 will detail our pedagogical initiative supporting the self-cultivation of emotional connoisseurship among novice designers through a sensibility-oriented approach.

Download full paper

Xue, H., Desmet, P. M. A., & Yoon, J. (2024). On the Cultivation of Designers’ Emotional Connoisseurship (Part 1): A Theoretical Positioning. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, 10(1), 9-31.