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Aesthetic properties in knotty wood surfaces and their connection with people's preferences

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For wood products that contain visible wood surfaces it is important to be able to describe, measure, and communicate the aesthetic properties desired. The aims of this investigation were to shed light on how people's preferences toward different wood appearances containing knots can be described and to create a better understanding of how to measure those preferences. A total of 215 persons from Sweden with different backgrounds were interviewed as to their preferences for 10 Scots pine wood surfaces containing knots. Their impressions and preferences were documented by a questionnaire with 54 questions and analyzed by a principal component analysis. A thorough description of what people see and value in a wood surface with knots is given in the body of the text. People's preferences are affected by a balance between two main properties: the degree of harmony and activity, and the importance of avoiding a state of disharmony when composing wood surfaces. When investigating people's preferences toward a knotty wood appearance, 13 of 54 questions proved to be important. Three questions detect the final assessment, and four describe the reasons for the final assessment. Finally, six questions describe the blend of wood properties in a more objective way and are to only a minor extent connected with the final assessments.


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Correspondence to N. Olof Broman.

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Broman, N.O. Aesthetic properties in knotty wood surfaces and their connection with people's preferences. J Wood Sci 47, 192–198 (2001) doi:10.1007/BF01171221

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Key words

  • Wood
  • Attitudes
  • Scots pine
  • Questionnaire
  • Interviewing technique