15:00 - 16:40
Session: S36
[Interconnected Products] + Design
Would You Like A Cup of Meaning: Discovering Different Roles of Coffee Cups Through Narratives
Product Semantics; Discursively Informed Design; Narrative-Based Research; Ethnographic Approach; Artifact

We are surrounded with thousands of artifacts. We use them, we live with them, and we interact with them. Coffee cups are just one type of these artifacts, which are in every part of our lives. Asking whether their meanings can be more than we think, this paper tries to explore various meanings and roles of coffee cups in our lives. Methodologically positioned in the theory of product semantics and the context of discursively informed design, this study is completely based on the narratives of 6 participants, who take place in this study. According to these narratives, 7 different roles of the coffee cup are determined: ambiance setter, memory embodier, motivator, personality indicator, timer, social situation indicator and object of one’s place. While these roles are analysed and presented in the light of the theories and essential contexts of product semantics, as the concluding remark two inferences are made considering human interaction with the world in the context of discursively informed design: making sense of context(s) and connecting contexts.