This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Sustainable Packaging Design with Influence of Japanese Philosophy




Wu, Ailun

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Industrial and Graphic Design


This thesis uses the concept of emotion to analyze the sustainability of packaging. It describes the environmental impact of packaging and current strategies to address this issue. It discusses the significance of user perceived experience for the product. This thesis presents a framework based on Norman’s theory on three levels of emotional design: the "visceral level, behavioral level and reflective level" are proposed to illustrate the user's experience before, during and after use. The research indicated that the reflective level has a two-way effect on the user and the product; it is the highlight of a long-lasting connection with the product. The Wabi-sabi and Shibumi are traditional Japanese values, which are used to explore how to love the imperfections and flaws of the world in the face of the force majeure of nature, time and the environment, in order to achieve sustainable use and development of products. The research concludes with a guideline to designers for designing sustainable products with perceived value; however, this paper is limited to the application in packaging design. Designers could spread the concept of sustainability through Japanese philosophy and aesthetics to increase user's awareness of ecological issues. Innovative repurposing of sustainable packaging is experience-oriented to expand the connection between user and product and achieve emotional attachment. Retailers could apply Japanese philosophy on the brand culture to increase customer loyalty with the concept of green consumption and eco-friendliness. This broadens the limits of the concept of environmental protection in the field of materials technology.