A Product as a Poem: A Case Study of a Bird-shaped Teapot Design Based on Traditional Chinese Poetic Aesthetics


  • CHI CHANG LU National Taiwan University of Arts
  • PO HSIEN LIN National Taiwan University of Arts




Chinese Classical Aesthetics, Emotional Design, Poetic Design, Bionic Design, Product Design


The concept of emotional design has become the main focus in the current trend of perceptual consumption. After reviewing the historical development of art, we determined that traditional Chinese art emphasizes subjective expression and favor poetics. Poetics are image based, and personal feelings are used to analyze and understand external objects. These feelings are expressed implicitly through symbols or metaphors. Classical Chinese poetic aesthetic theory is based on nearly 2,000 years of history and, thus, comprises a myriad of valuable ideas. The creator of the bird-shaped teapot has extensive experience researching and creating Chinese art, and drew on these experiences and knowledge to craft the teapot. However, the purpose of the design was to achieve Donald A. Norman's reflective level of emotional design. In addition, the teapot was designed to exhibit traditional Oriental charm while conforming to modern style aesthetics while the design strategies were inspired by traditional Chinese aesthetics. Modern style aesthetics were introduced using a design strategy derived from the theories of Cezanne. The artist analyzed its design features and compared it with the research results of contemporary scholars, in pursuit of new understanding. Finally, a questionnaire was used to understand consumer feelings of poetic design and whether this strategy would be received well in the art and design market. The results of the case study indicate that a poetic design based on traditional Chinese artistic techniques can be implemented.

Author Biographies

CHI CHANG LU, National Taiwan University of Arts

Professor, Crafts and Design Department

PO HSIEN LIN, National Taiwan University of Arts

Professor, Graduate School of Creative Industry Design


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Case Study