DOI: 10.3390/su16010154 ISSN: 2071-1050

Aesthetic Preference of Timber Joints in Architectural Products

Blair Kuys, Mozammel Mridha
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

This study investigates how Australian consumers’ aesthetic preferences for timber joints in architectural products are influenced by their sociodemographic characteristics and the visual appearance of the joints. Visual appearance in architecture and product design is a vital factor in consumer response and success of a product; however, designed items are often created without aesthetic research rigour to better understand user acceptance. We see this as an opportunity for greater penetration of aesthetics for designed products and, in this instance, contemporary architecture. We provide extensive literature defining aesthetics and outline the theoretical framework for experimental computer-generated visual stimuli. An online survey was conducted with 114 participants, who rated five timber joints on seven visual appearance attributes. The findings reveal that Joint 1 (angular) and Joint 5 (curved) were the most preferred joints. Employment status was the only sociodemographic factor that significantly affected the aesthetic preference. The findings of the study were used to inform design decisions for building a pagoda in a cemetery in Melbourne. The study contributes to the literature on aesthetics and design by providing empirical evidence on consumer preferences for architectural products. The study also suggests an opportunity to bridge aesthetics with sustainability, as timber is a sustainable material that can be designed to resonate with consumers’ aesthetic sensibilities while adhering to environmental principles.

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