• Meaningful Experiences

    Albert Boswijk

    4 years and 7 months

    Meaningful Experiences

    Experiences are mental and corporeal phenomena. Firstly, experiencing is a coherent structure of present sensing and feeling informed by past experiences. Secondly, experiencing is a specific structure by making us aware of the act of sensing and feeling and by questioning the validity of past experiences.

    Experiences occur, whether they are planned, designed and marketed or not. They are incidents, imposing themselves on the ordinary routines of everyday life. As such, incidents may be easy to remember. They might even become core elements in people’s life stories like experiences are not just goods and services to be produced or consumed. Experiences are neither bought nor sold. Users or consumers are the producers of the experiential quality and value of products. Designers, manufacturers, marketers, entertainers or retailers are at best merely providers of the frames and elements of a specific experience. Many personally valuable experiences actually occur without commercial intermediaries partaking in the process.

    An experience stems from people’s interactions with their surroundings and is, as such, situated and subjective. Experiences are generated in concrete circumstances.

    These states of mind differ from one person to the next. They may even fluctuate from one moment to the next. This is the subjective component of experiencing. Experiencing should hence be analysed in psychological terms in order to understand how to design products that contribute to the generation of experiences

    Thirdly, experiences are mentally and physically significant. In many everyday situations, a smiling face or a sudden noise will unexpectedly affect our wellbeing. Such experiences regulate our mood. But experiencing may also have ‘developmental qualities’.

    Developmental experiences are thus crucial for identity formation.

    by Christian Jantzen Handbook of Experiences

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