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  • The new me is beauty.

  • (Laughter)

  • Yeah, people used to say, "Norman's OK,

  • but if you followed what he said, everything would be usable

  • but it would be ugly."

  • Well, I didn't have that in mind, so ...

  • This is neat.

  • Thank you for setting up my display.

  • I mean, it's just wonderful.

  • And I haven't the slightest idea of what it does or what it's good for,

  • but I want it.

  • And that's my new life.

  • My new life is trying to understand what beauty is about,

  • and "pretty," and "emotions."

  • The new me is all about making things kind of neat and fun.

  • And so this is a Philippe Starck juicer, produced by Alessi.

  • It's just neat; it's fun. It's so much fun I have it in my house --

  • but I have it in the entryway, I don't use it to make juice.

  • (Laughter)

  • In fact, I bought the gold-plated special edition

  • and it comes with a little slip of paper

  • that says, "Don't use this juicer to make juice."

  • The acid will ruin the gold plating.

  • (Laughter)

  • So actually, I took a carton of orange juice

  • and I poured it in the glass to take this picture.

  • (Laughter)

  • Beneath it is a wonderful knife.

  • It's a Global cutting knife made in Japan.

  • First of all, look at the shape -- it's just wonderful to look at.

  • Second of all, it's really beautifully balanced:

  • it holds well, it feels well.

  • And third of all, it's so sharp, it just cuts.

  • It's a delight to use.

  • And so it's got everything, right?

  • It's beautiful and it's functional.

  • And I can tell you stories about it,

  • which makes it reflective,

  • and so you'll see I have a theory of emotion.

  • And those are the three components.

  • Hiroshi Ishii and his group at the MIT Media Lab

  • took a ping-pong table and placed a projector above it,

  • and on the ping-pong table they projected an image of water

  • with fish swimming in it.

  • And as you play ping-pong, whenever the ball hits part of the table,

  • the ripples spread out and the fish run away.

  • But of course, then the ball hits the other side,

  • the ripples hit the -- poor fish, they can't find any peace and quiet.

  • (Laughter)

  • Is that a good way to play ping-pong?

  • No. But is it fun?

  • Yeah! Yeah.

  • Or look at Google.

  • If you type in, oh say, "emotion and design,"

  • you get 10 pages of results.

  • So Google just took their logo and they spread it out.

  • Instead of saying, "You got 73,000 results.

  • This is one through 20. Next,"

  • they just give you as many o's as there are pages.

  • It's really simple and subtle.

  • I bet a lot of you have seen it and never noticed it.

  • That's the subconscious mind

  • that sort of notices it -- it probably is kind of pleasant

  • and you didn't know why.

  • And it's just clever.

  • And of course, what's especially good is,

  • if you type "design and emotion,"

  • the first response out of those 10 pages is my website.

  • (Laughter)

  • Now, the weird thing is Google lies,

  • because if I type "design and emotion,"

  • it says, "You don't need the 'and.' We do it anyway."

  • So, OK.

  • So I type "design emotion"

  • and my website wasn't first again.

  • It was third.

  • Oh well, different story.

  • There was this wonderful review in The New York Times

  • about the MINI Cooper automobile.

  • It said, "You know, this is a car that has lots of faults.

  • Buy it anyway.

  • It's so much fun to drive."

  • And if you look at the inside of the car --

  • I mean, I loved it, I wanted to see it, I rented it,

  • this is me taking a picture while my son is driving --

  • and the inside of the car, the whole design is fun.

  • It's round, it's neat.

  • The controls work wonderfully.

  • So that's my new life; it's all about fun.

  • I really have the feeling that pleasant things work better,

  • and that never made any sense to me

  • until I finally figured out -- look ...

  • I'm going to put a plank on the ground.

  • So, imagine I have a plank about two feet wide and 30 feet long

  • and I'm going to walk on it, and you see I can walk on it without looking,

  • I can go back and forth and I can jump up and down.

  • No problem.

  • Now I'm going to put the plank 300 feet in the air --

  • and I'm not going to go near it, thank you.

  • Intense fear paralyzes you.

  • It actually affects the way the brain works.

  • So, Paul Saffo, before his talk said that he didn't really have it down

  • until just a few days or hours before the talk,

  • and that anxiety was really helpful in causing him to focus.

  • That's what fear and anxiety does;

  • it causes you to be -- what's called depth-first processing --

  • to focus, not be distracted.

  • And I couldn't force myself across that.

  • Now some people can -- circus workers, steel workers.

  • But it really changes the way you think.

  • And then, a psychologist, Alice Isen,

  • did this wonderful experiment.

  • She brought students in to solve problems.

  • So, she'd bring people into the room,

  • and there'd be a string hanging down here

  • and a string hanging down here.

  • It was an empty room, except for a table with a bunch of crap on it --

  • some papers and scissors and stuff.

  • And she'd bring them in,

  • and she'd say,

  • "This is an IQ test and it determines how well you do in life.

  • Would you tie those two strings together?"

  • So they'd take one string and they'd pull it over here

  • and they couldn't reach the other string.

  • Still can't reach it.

  • And, basically, none of them could solve it.

  • You bring in a second group of people,

  • and you say, "Oh, before we start,

  • I got this box of candy, and I don't eat candy.

  • Would you like the box of candy?"

  • And turns out they liked it, and it made them happy --

  • not very happy, but a little bit of happy.

  • And guess what -- they solved the problem.

  • And it turns out that when you're anxious

  • you squirt neural transmitters in the brain, which focuses you

  • makes you depth-first.

  • And when you're happy -- what we call positive valence --

  • you squirt dopamine into the prefrontal lobes,

  • which makes you a breadth-first problem solver:

  • you're more susceptible to interruption; you do out-of-the-box thinking.

  • That's what brainstorming is about, right?

  • With brainstorming we make you happy, we play games,

  • and we say, "No criticism,"

  • and you get all these weird, neat ideas.

  • But in fact, if that's how you always were you'd never get any work done

  • because you'd be working along and say, "Oh, I got a new way of doing it."

  • So to get work done, you've got to set a deadline, right?

  • You've got be anxious.

  • The brain works differently

  • if you're happy. Things work better because you're more creative.

  • You get a little problem, you say, "Ah, I'll figure it out."

  • No big deal.

  • There's something I call the visceral level of processing, and there will be visceral-level design.

  • Biology -- we have co-adapted through biology to like bright colors.

  • That's especially good that mammals and primates like fruits

  • and bright plants, because you eat the fruit

  • and you thereby spread the seed.

  • There's an amazing amount of stuff that's built into the brain.

  • We dislike bitter tastes, we dislike loud sounds,

  • we dislike hot temperatures, cold temperatures.

  • We dislike scolding voices. We dislike frowning faces;

  • we like symmetrical faces, etc., etc.

  • So that's the visceral level.

  • In design, you can express visceral in lots of ways,

  • like the choice of type fonts and the red for hot, exciting.

  • Or the 1963 Jaguar:

  • It's actually a crummy car, falls apart all the time,

  • but the owners love it.

  • And it's beautiful -- it's in the Museum of Modern Art.

  • A water bottle:

  • You buy it because of the bottle, not because of the water.

  • And when people are finished, they don't throw it away.

  • They keep it for -- you know, it's like the old wine bottles, you keep it for decoration

  • or maybe fill it with water again, which proves it's not the water.

  • It's all about the visceral experience.

  • The middle level of processing is the behavioral level

  • and that's actually where most of our stuff gets done.

  • Visceral is subconscious, you're unaware of it.

  • Behavioral is subconscious, you're unaware of it.

  • Almost everything we do is subconscious.

  • I'm walking around the stage -- I'm not attending to the control of my legs.

  • I'm doing a lot; most of my talk is subconscious;

  • it has been rehearsed and thought about a lot.

  • Most of what we do is subconscious.

  • Automatic behavior -- skilled behavior -- is subconscious,

  • controlled by the behavioral side.

  • And behavioral design is all about feeling in control,

  • which includes usability, understanding --

  • but also the feel and heft.

  • That's why the Global knives are so neat.

  • They're so nicely balanced, so sharp,

  • that you really feel you're in control of the cutting.

  • Or, just driving a high-performance sports car

  • over a demanding curb --

  • again, feeling that you are in complete control of the environment.

  • Or the sensual feeling.

  • This is a Kohler shower, a waterfall shower,

  • and actually, all those knobs beneath are also showerheads.

  • It will squirt you all around

  • and you can stay in that shower for hours --

  • and not waste water, by the way,

  • because it recirculates the same dirty water.

  • (Laughter)

  • Or this -- this is a really neat teapot I found

  • at high tea at The Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.

  • It's a Ronnefeldt tilting teapot.

  • That's kind of what the teapot looks like

  • but the way you use it is you lay it on its back,

  • and you put tea in,

  • and then you fill it with water.

  • The water then seeps over the tea.

  • And the tea is sitting in this stuff to the right --

  • the tea is to the right of this line.

  • There's a little ledge inside, so the tea is sitting there

  • and the water is filling it up like that.

  • And when the tea is ready, or almost ready, you tilt it.

  • And that means the tea is partially covered

  • while it completes the brewing.

  • And when it's finished, you put it vertically,

  • and now the tea is -- you remember -- above this line

  • and the water only comes to here --

  • and so it keeps the tea out.

  • On top of that, it communicates,

  • which is what emotion does.

  • Emotion is all about acting; emotion is really about acting.

  • It's being safe in the world.

  • Cognition is about understanding the world, emotion is about interpreting it --

  • saying good, bad, safe, dangerous,

  • and getting us ready to act, which is why the muscles tense or relax.

  • And that's why we can tell the emotion of somebody else --

  • because their muscles are acting, subconsciously,

  • except that we've evolved to make the facial muscles really rich with emotion.

  • Well, this has emotions if you like,

  • because it signals the waiter that, "Hey, I'm finished. See -- upright."

  • And the waiter can come by and say, "Would you like more water?"

  • It's kind of neat. What a wonderful design.

  • And the third level is reflective,

  • which is, if you like the superego,

  • it's a little part of the brain that has no control over what you do,

  • no control over the -- doesn't see the senses,

  • doesn't control the muscles.

  • It looks over what's going on.

  • It's that little voice in your head

  • that's watching and saying, "That's good. That's bad."

  • Or, "Why are you doing that? I don't understand."

  • It's that little voice in your head that's the seat of consciousness.

  • Here's a great reflective product.

  • Owners of the Hummer have said, "You know I've owned many cars in my life --

  • all sorts of exotic cars,

  • but never have I had a car that attracted so much attention."

  • It's about attention. It's about their image,

  • not about the car.

  • If you want a more positive model --