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People / PhD Students / Valerie Mace

Personalisation as a dimension of intimacy. Towards an experiential framework for design to cultivate visitors’ ability to develop positive emotional connections with the public interior.  Situated in the context of the public interior, my research explores the concept of personalisation as a dimension of intimacy. Spaces where the sensing body becomes intimately connected to its environment can have a positive influence on people’s emotions and contribute to wellbeing. This phenomenon occurs through embodied experiences as the environment takes on emotional significance and people develop intimate connections with place. My research draws on Merleau-Ponty’s (1945) phenomenological theory of embodiment to place the sensing body inhabiting the environment as the primary means of perception and as a set of possibilities for experience, and on Dretske’s (2003) representational theory of experience to conceptualise the process through which individuals assign emotional significance to their environment. I investigate design, organisational practices and visitors’ lived experiences of personalisation to explore how personalisation can cultivate visitors’ ability to develop positive emotional connections with the public interior, how the micro-scale of intimacy can co-exist in synthesis with the macro-scale of the public interior.

Discipline: Interaction Design, Interior Design