Have Your Say… How can design evoke emotion?

This month Design Insider will be asking ‘How can design evoke emotion?’

We welcome you to join the discussion by leaving your opinion in a comment at the end of the article.  In what ways can design evoke emotion?  What are the benefits of creating designs that evoke emotion? We would love to hear about your examples, let us know!!

Have your say feature emotion question 2


Signe Fink Nørgaard, Designer, Ege

Operating in the tension field between art and design, Danish cabinetmaker and designer Benjamin Nordsmark speaks right to my heart with his objects for PTSD – An Art Project. Inspired by war veterans he has created five heavy items reflecting his thoughts about everyday objects suddenly seen in another light when returning to normal day life.

‘I feel very drawn by these pieces. Though hidden a little bit the functionality is obviously present but it makes room for an interesting aesthetic with a symbolic value making you look and think twice.’

PTSD3 7x4


Gurvinder Khurana, Director & Co-Founder, align

1 - Reception, Cathay Pacific offices, Hammersmith (1280x853)

Many of our projects for tech and media clients are high-energy and colourful, looking to stimulate and energise, so this workspace for Cathay Pacific was a nice alternative and sought to inspire calm and serenity in those who work there.

Have your say feature EMOTION QUOTE 1 ART

‘All design evokes some kind of emotion – even bad design. A poorly-designed space can make people bored, irritated, claustrophobic or depressed, so it’s very important for designers to be aware of emotional stimuli. Once, product, retail and hospitality design did this more than workspace, because emotional reactions were deemed a selling tool in these areas, but workspace design has come a long way since in comprehending how the experience of being in or moving through space is as emotional as it is functional.’


Carolyn Mitchell, Sales Director, Style Library Contract

Have your say feature EMOTION QUOTE 2 ART

Style Library Contract really believe in the power of design and how it effects our emotions.

‘It’s true – good design can stir our emotions. We’ve all felt that sense of awe when entering a perfectly designed space. At Style Library Contract, we experience first-hand how interior design can awaken our senses and create a good feel factor across our commercial sectors. We love working with our clients to create interior spaces that mean something. Each of our brands has its own unique personality, from Anthology’s edgy contemporary textured wallpapers to Zoffany’s luxurious damasks, inspired by our very own design archives. Just like our clients, we’re passionate about design and we work together to create inspirational spaces.’

How do you think design can evoke emotion? Please let us know in the comments section below of on twitter @DesignInsider1

About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
View all posts by Alys Bryan →


  • Roy Kirby

    As mentioned already design evokes emotion and more than that has the power to enforce. The best of clients recognise the use of design to maximise their investment potential and return.
    Good design is like choreography – we need guests to move in a certain way through a space and feel a certain way about the experience that is relevant to them and their choices.
    Relaxed, formal, inspired, entertained, tempted to indulge.

    The stimuli is multi faceted using;-
    Volume – the flow of space to enhance impact, sense of journey or arrival.
    Light and dark – where the light spills and dark falls to create sense of intimacy or drama.
    Colour – and colour psychology which has been studied for centuries.
    Sound – the selection of music and careful zoning of areas specific to activities. From the busy theatre of a bar server space to the formal quieter spaces for formal dining and lunching.

    Not forgetting Feng shui which is an important factor to a lot of business and cannot be under-estimated in its influence on their investment and fortune equal to all the colour, space and materials which have to be weaved into the fabric of a solution to a design brief.