A Product Semantic Study of the Influence of Vision on Wood Evaluation


  • A. Roos
  • S. Lindberg
  • A. Kihlstedt


Wood design, perceptions, consumer studies


Using product semantics, this study investigated how visual attributes of wood are perceived and interpreted semantically. The wood species alder, ash, aspen, beech, birch, elm, larch, lime, maple, oak, pine, and spruce were included. The subjects rated the samples based on the descriptive words natural, exclusive, ecofriendly, rough, inexpensive, modern, reliable, warm, cozy, solid, and light. The most significant differences in ratings were between softwoods and hardwoods. Principal component analysis yielded three dimensions based on visual perceptions: exclusive-modern, ecofriendly-natural, and light. Maple and ash and other hardwoods were seen as more exclusive and modern than spruce and pine. Pine, conversely, was perceived as the most ecofriendly-natural wood type. Beech and alder did not score high (or low) on any of the three dimensions, meaning that these gave a neutral impression. The potential use of these results in product design and interior design is discussed.


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Research Contributions