Perception Enhancement

The 21st century is rich in materials and technologies. Perhaps for the first time in human history it is no longer difficult to design great products, systems and services, but instead has become an enormous challenge to decide which to design in the first place. In the new world of capability and opportunity the traditional buzzwords such as form, function, quality and cost are no longer sufficient to fuel discourse and drive innovation. A new value system is required and a new discourse must be initiated.

The term “perception enhancement” refers to all opportunities from the technological to the sociological for discussing, evaluating and designing for positive human perception. Like all other forms of human endeavour, design and innovation are expressions of the underlying discourse and of the accepted evaluation metrics. It is our belief that the critical discourse and the key metrics of 21st century society are those of “perception enhancement”.

In its most elemental and incremental forms the “perception enhancement” approach involves questions which revolve around all that which is subjective and essential to human satisfaction and well being. As a positive driver for change, “perception enhancement” involves asking questions about how people perceive and interact with products, systems and services, and involves metrics and approaches for achieving optimal outcomes.

In its most advanced forms the “perception enhancement” paradigm is a design philosophy based on fundamental questions about how human beings, with all their perceptual, cognitive, psychological and sociological richness, can benefit from new and innovative approaches to life’s challenges. Starting from the perceived and the subjective, “perception enhancement” puts the human understanding of things and situations at it core, emphasising the neural and the spiritual, over the physical and the functional. In this from, “perception enhancement” is a position from which to critique and improve the texture of the built environment around us.

The old adage of “man is the measure of all things” has for the last century served as a rallying point for many great achievements in design and innovation. Never before, however, has there been a greater opportunity, or a greater need, for placing people’s subjective and spiritual needs at the top of every design agenda and of every design specification. Benefitting from the many recent advances in branding, marketing, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy and sociology, “perception enhancement” is both a rally cry and a manifesto for innovation in the 21st century.