‘Thoughts on Position’ is the first exercise in the series ‘Thoughts on’. The objective of the series is to contribute to design discussions using simple design experiments.

‘Thoughts on Position’ studies the relationship between the placement of an element and it’s meaning. It questions if the same element can communicate different messages when placed in different positions.

For this exploratory, I created a survey with a range of questions that were ordered randomly for each participant. To showcase the results, I have organized the questions into 3 categories: Human Emotions, Social Perceptions and Everyday Situations. The objective of the survey is not to bring definitive answers, but raise interest in the questions.

While this exploration is brought to life by conceptual examples with limited context, we can imagine the application of these concepts in tangible ways.  Photographers use the position of elements to create emotions and perceptions about their subjects. A person in the center of the frame could communicate a different message than a person in the bottom right corner. Architects and UI/UX designers, on the other hand, very often think about position in a more functional way, facilitating the interaction of the user and bringing attention to specific points.

The questions found in this survey can help us to think more carefully about the role position plays in conveying meaning in our work, regardless of whether we want to evoke emotion or maximize functionality.
Special thanks to Victoria Wrigley.

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