The obvious conclusion of the 1950’s experiment of the American psychologist Harry Harlow is that most creatures have immediate physical needs — be it sustenance or shelter — but there is a large emotional component that needs to be nourished as well.
Harlow’s monkeys preferred the animate mother because they were not just seeking milk, they were desperate for an emotional bond.
Form and function are universal concepts that every junior designer considers when developing new work. But there is a third, more subtle factor at play in design; one that many designers may relate to subconsciously but rarely express as a priority in their design thinking: feeling.
The first time you meet someone, your first thought isn’t “How do they function?” it’s “How do they make me feel?”.
These emotional bonds (or lack thereof), are the invisible currency of contemporary life.