Research Interest

My research background is based on "Human-centered Approach", engaging in Kansei Design, Emotional Design, User Experience, and Human Factors. Now I apply interdisciplinary research by integrating social psychology and consumer behavior to design issues.

Culturally Conscious Design
interdisciplinary approach: product design / social psychology / marketing

What is Culturally Conscious Design?

This research goal aims to help designer, methodologist, researcher, and manager regarding a culture-conscious approach, to generate knowledge as for how cultural aspects play a role in product, service, and business design. To better understand the culture of intended users and consumer by integrating interdisciplinary science including social psychology, marketing, product design domain. To investigate that what are culture barriers they encounter and what opportunities are there to support them?

Culturally Conscious Design

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Culturally Conscious Design Framework

This Culturally Conscious Design framework integrates the Maslow's human hierarchy of needs (Maslow, 1962) and design hierarchy of needs (Bradley, 2010) into the new grounding culture hierarchy of needs, which is called Culturally Conscious Design Hierarchy.


  • For the basic level: human beings seek physiological needs such as food and water. As the design hierarchy of needs, it must satisfy the functional purpose at first. This basic level is equivalent to HUMAN NATURE need of culture.

  • For the medium level: Once the basic level need is satisfied, human beings begin to pursue psychological needs such as safety, love, and esteem. As the design hierarchy of needs, the product has to fulfill reliability, usability, and proficiency sequentially. We conceptualized this medium level as CULTURE in our framework. Group of people shares information in the shared context, as the consequence, they learn each other in order to meet those needs. 

  • For the top level: Once the medium level need is met, human being tend to realize self-fulfillment needs such as self-actualization, self-efficacy, and confidence. As the design hierarchy of needs, it includes the highest level such as emotion, aesthetic beauty, creativity. This top-level demonstrates people eager to present their own IDENTITY when the culture level is satisfied.    

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Research Areas

Cultural Cognition
/ Product Visual Information

The cultural difference of visual perception on product

Prior work in cultural psychology has shown that cultures vary in the extent of attention paid to contextual information (Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Masuda & Nisbett, 2001; Nisbett, 2003; Nisbett, Peng, Choi, & Norenzayan, 2001). People engaged in European American cultures tend to apply analytical cognition to pay attention on the salient object and context-independent, whereas those engaged in East Asian cultures are described as more holistic in cognitive style and thus context-dependent (Masuda & Nisbett, 2001; Nisbett, 2003)


This research goal is to explore the potential cultural difference in cognition pattern as described below on the aesthetic judgment of a focal object and it's contextual information.

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/ Product Aesthetics

The trade-off between aesthetics and functionality

In a modern world that is product-saturated, it is often hard to differentiate products purely by their aesthetic or functional values. Indeed, most products contain both aesthetics and functional attributes (Okada 2005). Previous research has shown that regardless of functional considerations about a product, aesthetics provide intrinsic value and reflect more hedonic, experiential or emotional aspects of product consumption based on factors such as appearance or styling.


This research is to gain a better understanding of the interplay of aesthetics and functionality on consumer perceptions and evaluations of the product by examing different level of aesthetics and functionality.



Emotional Design
/ Sensory Design

Emotional Design is provided by Donald Norman. It is nearly cognitive science way to explain human perception and feeling. It is a little different from Kansei Engineering (KE), the KE is applied technology to transfer user's feeling into product parameter. However, Emotional Design is based on cognition, psychology, and brain science. In general, Emotional Design and Kansei Engineering all concentrated on "Human-Centered Approach".

Donald Norman divided Emotional Design into three parts: (1) Visceral (2) Behavioral (3) Reflective. They are human mental process is stimulated by our sensory perception, and then drive us to produce exactly emotion.

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User Experience
/ UX / Ethnogrphy

User Experience is also called as UX, it is the way a person feels about using a product, system or service. UX includes all the users' emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use. Therefore, UX is all about "User" & "Context", is based on User-Centered Design in different application such as HCI, Interaction Design, Service Design.  


The Model of Agency
/ The Self in Action

The cultural difference of self-agency and choice 

A major cultural difference has been identified in the form of agency. Whereas European Americans have an independent or disjoint agency, East Asians have an interdependent, conjoint agency. Past evidence shows that, compared to East Asians, European Americans are more likely to use their internal attributes to guide their actions, and as a consequence, more likely to construe their behaviors as the choice. So far, however, it is not clear whether this cultural difference could extend to attention and memory such that European Americans are more likely than East Asians to pay attention to, and as a result, to remember objects they like better. 


This research goal is to test this possibility of cultural difference in attention pattern and decision making on aesthetic objects for attractiveness.​

Kansei Design
/ Affective Engineering

Kansei design & Kansei experience

Kansei Engineering (KE) is a technology that unites Kansei into engineering realms in order to realize product that match consumer’s needs and desire. It is a scientific discipline where the development of product that pleases and satisfies consumers is carried out technologically. The terms of "Kansei Engineering" is originated from Japan scholar, Mituo Nagamachi. It is widely called Affective Engineering or Emotional Design in the U.S or Europe.


Kansei is generally referred to as sensitivity, sensibility, feeling, and emotion. Therefore, the simple interpretation of Kansei is “psychological feeling” that people have with a product, situations or surroundings.

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/ Entrepreneurial Creativity

Where is the creativity coming from? And how it connects to entrepreneurship in the classroom setting? As a prospective design educator, I would like to explore the broader possibilities that how individual creativity could lead to creative collaboration. There are three phases of entrepreneurial creativity conceptualized: (1) Individual Creativity (2) Team's Creativity (3) Leadership Creative Teams.

The purpose of this project is to explore the relationship between creativity, innovation, and problem-solving processes, especially considering the elements of creative thinking, explore insights from a variety of perspectives, and engage in projects designed to foster students’ own creativity and innovation.

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Contextual Design
/ Contextmapping

Contextual Design (CD) is User-Centered approach process. It combines ethnographic methodology into gathering data, such as Persona. The Contextual Design process consists of several steps: Contextual Inquiry, Interpretation, Data Consolidation, Visioning, Storyboarding, User Environment Design, and Prototyping. 

The term of Contextmapping is provided by Netherlands scholar (Visser et al., 2005), which is a procedure included generative techniques, culture probes. These techniques encouraged people stimulated their documents on their own lives, and thus parts of their experience.