Exploring the Fit Between Materials’ Expressive Values and the Self-expression of the End-User

  • Veelaert LoreEmail author
  • Moons Ingrid
  • Coppieters Werner
  • Du Bois Els
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


In industrial design, materials selection plays an important role. Being the interface of a product, a material does not only have to meet technical-functional requirements, but also has to include intended experiential characteristics. Unfortunately, there is no one-to-one correspondence between materials and their expressive value, since a material’s perceived character is influenced by multiple contextual factors that are product-related (shape, function), user-related (gender, culture, etc.), and context-related (time, place, etc.). Our current research aims to explore possible relationships between materials, their expressive value and the link with self-expression of the end-user. It defines expressive value in terms of Schwartz end values. Consequently, this paper reveals insight in the expressive values that twelve pre-selected materials evoke in itself and in interaction with different pre-selected forms. Moreover, respondents are classified in meaningful self-expressive categories, based on their value orientation. For each of these segments, the materials and form-material combinations were investigated, both indirectly and directly, in relation to the fit between the expressive value of the material and the self-expression. Relationships were found between the self-perception and a material’s fit with the self-expression, and between materials and their perceived expression of values.


Industrial design Materials experience Expressive value Self-expression Schwartz personal values 



The study represented above was conducted in collaboration with five master students of Product Development within the course of Applied Research Methods at the University of Antwerp. Therefore we would like to acknowledge Anouk Winants, Emiel Tormans, Wouter Hendrickx, Hervé Houard and Thomas Roscam for their enthusiasm and commitment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veelaert Lore
    • 1
    Email author
  • Moons Ingrid
    • 1
  • Coppieters Werner
    • 1
  • Du Bois Els
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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