Development of a new cultural design process using Kansei engineering and fuzzy techniques: A case study in Mazu crown design

Shuo Fang Liu, Yuan Chin Hsu, Hung Cheng Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Belief in Mazu has a crucial cultural status in Taiwan and the coastal area of Fujian, China. The design and manufacture of apparel and accessories to be placed on statues of the deity are also considered a sacred and critical part of the religion’s cultural and artistic inheritance. The crown hat of Mazu is one of the most essential elements of the deity’s apparel. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: This study explored the styles of Mazu crown hats using Kansei engineering (KE). People generally use adjectives words to provide aesthetic evaluations. Fuzzy theory is suitable for processing linguistic problems that include vagueness, thereby providing a reasonable method of quantifying such aesthetic evaluations. Therefore, this study first established a fuzzy positioning model (FPM) of word evaluations for analysis. Factor analysis was used to obtain representative image adjectives that represented Mazu’s image. Fuzzy analysis methods were then employed to rank the various image adjectives through evaluation words and to determine the differences between adjectives. Finally, on the basis of image analysis results and expert suggestions, the crown hat was redesigned and its suitability verified. Findings: Four results were obtained. First, four image adjectives appropriate for representing Mazu’s image were identified, of which “noble and kind” is the most suitable. Second, fuzzy analysis was found to successfully rank style images. Third, the crown hat style and design characteristics suitable for Mazu were acquired. Fourth, the verification demonstrated that the redesign effectively enhanced the perceived image of the crown hat design. Originality/value: This study employed KE to improve the design of a Mazu crown hat. The proposed FPM can aid the development of cultural and creative design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-684
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Clothing Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 2

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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