This is the central question of the symposium ‘HOPE – design against stigma’, hosted on April 28 by the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft. Three international speakers will give their vision on how designers can create hope and make better products for those who are forced to use products they need, but do not like. In the afternoon, Kristof Vaes will defend his thesis “Product Stigmaticity.” In his thesis, Vaes introduces a set of tools that support designers to relieve users of the social stress related to using stigmatizing products.
“Product-related stigma has negative effects on the product user, ranging from stress to lowered self- esteem and social isolation. This is interesting for designers because they are in a position to shape the product’s appearance in such a way that these reactions and effects may be reduced or avoided. We developed tools that support designers to go beyond the physical adaptation between user and product to inspire products that support the user’s personal and social well-being.” – Kristof Vaes / Product Stigmaticity – Antwerp, Belgium