“The soul of an [aesthetic] object has three aspects: A sensuous quality, and idea embodied in its function, and a feeling expressed in its form.” (Dufrenne, 1973, p.138)

Cupchik and Hilsher argue that Dufrenne “fails to appreciate the expressive potential of design products. In addition to instrumental value that is implicit in the structure of a ‘useful object’, there is also an expressive quality that is incorporated into the design.”

“When you examine a design object, the more meaningful the object is to you, the more carefully and slowly you will examine the object, with the result that the experience of the object in space will be more intimate.” In the visualization only the more popular musicians are named, while the rest require the user to hover over the circle to identify the artist.

First I’ll examine an element of a social interaction on Rdio, where users can look at the music habits of friends or strangers over time. The following image is from my own listening habits after a short period of use. The size of circles directly correlate with the amount of song listens.

Music or artists that are significant in a person’s life are likely to change over time. You might go through a phase in your life where you listen to a certain type of music heavily and upon looking back on your listening choices you laugh at yourself.

Sensuous quality:
Sensuous defined: “Relating to or affecting the senses rather than intellect.” So rather than just giving a user a quantitative excel list of song listens, Rdio transforms these listens into these circles. The circles are somewhat tangible, as they can be moved around the digital space. Other than the slight tangible nature and the variety in object size, there is not much else that is sensual about this feature. The circles are uniform, bland in color, and flat.

“An idea embodied in its function” the viewer gets a picture of perhaps the individual and their personality. Music preference has often been cited as being able to make reasonable predictions of individuals and their personality. The following research displays a strong correlation between music taste and the ability of complete strangers to make predictions on that individuals’ personality:
“In 2003, Sam Gosling and I conducted a few studies on music and personality and discovered several significant associations. For example, and as shown below in Figure 1, people with strong preferences for classical, jazz, and folk music (dubbed Reflective & Complex) tend to have personality traits associated with openness (e.g., creativity, imagination) and verbal ability, and people with strong preferences for popular styles of music (Upbeat & Conventional) tend to have traits associated with extraversion (sociability, talkativeness), agreeableness (friendliness, warmth), conscientiousness (reliability, dependability), and low levels of openness (conventionality, dogmatism), verbal, and analytic ability.”
“The results suggested that people are able to form accurate impressions of others solely on the basis of their music preferences. As depicted in the left set of blue bars in Figure 2, the participants formed reasonably accurate impressions about extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism (emotional instability), and openness.”

Feeling: still figuring this out.