In an open access article, Liedgren, Desmet, and Gaggiolo lay out the case for considering higher levels in Maslow’s system when developing design options. They “argue that the sublime is struggling to find room in product design primarily aimed at commercial and transactional goals such as speed and efficiency. We suggest a new category of products to promote deeper and more meaningful experiences, specifically those offering liminality, transcendence, and personal transformation. . . . Traditional structured approaches to experience (UX) design reduce the complexity of human experience by narrowing it down to transactions: qualities that can be managed in scalable, and predictable design processes, such as aesthetic pleasure, marketability, ease of use, or momentary desirability. Liminal Design chooses another approach: in a structured way, it explores the phenomenology of experiential design while embracing the impalpable, incorporeal, and transformative nature of deep real-life human experiences. There is a need for these kinds of approaches to support the practice of design for experiences that extend beyond those dictated by efficiency and simple pleasure.” Concrete examples of how design can support transcendence are included.
Johan Liedgren, Pieter Desmet, and Andrea Gaggiolo. 2023. “Liminal Design: A Conceptual Framework and Three-Step Approach for Developing Technology That Delivers Transcendence and Deeper Experiences.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 14, 10431, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023/104317o