Our Advanced Human-Centered Design & Development Methodology.

Explore P/A For Yourself

RKS Psycho Aesthetics Our Advanced Human Centered Design & Development Methodology

Harvard Case Study: RKS Guitars


Harvard Case Study: Coffee Mug

P/A Work Book

A few of the great institutions that use our design thinking methodology...

We Create Solutions For Our Clients That...

Elevate the
Are relevant to the
Create Emotional
View of RKS Psycho Aesthetics broken down into a visual of the process with steps for each

What is Psycho-Aesthetics?

An Intro Into Our Advanced Human-Centered Methodology

The Hero's Journey

The path to empowering consumers depends on you and your ability to guide them past hesitation and doubt and into a rich, inviting series of experiences that leave them feeling good about themselves. To achieve this, Psycho-Aesthetics employs our interpretation of the Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell. TheHero’s Journey is used to frame the process by which consumers bond with the products and experiences they seek out in the marketplace.

The P/A Map

P/A maps are a scalable design-strategy framework. They are a center point to Psycho-Aesthetics, providing a consistent lens to see the world through. By adopting P/A maps, we as designers develop relevance and understanding of how people see the world, resulting in our ability to empathize with them and their perceptions. Additionally, we find that using P/A maps trigger recall at a higher level than occur otherwise. Viewing visuals trigger recall of process and insights that allow communication with higher levels of depth, clarity, and conviction. The maps become a new shared language between us and our stakeholders.It is used to map personas, brands, and offerings against the consumer’s Hierarchy of Needs, Desires, and Aspirations on one hand and levels of interactivity on the other. Once these entities are mapped, opportunity zones (White Space / Blue Ocean) can be identified and design directions can be designed and communicated.

How Does RKS Use P/A Mapping?

The P/A Map is an essential human-centered tool

Psycho Aesthetics®: "It's not how you feel about the design or experience; it's how the design makes you feel about yourself."

View of RKS Psycho Aesthetics Book used as educational materials at many acredited universitites and institutions
The roots of Psycho-Aesthetics (P/A) come from a uniquely pivotal time in which its founder Ravi Sawhney worked with dozens of cognitive and industrial psychologists developing the first touch screen interface at Xerox PARC, the birthplace of many of today’s technologies, including the Macintosh. During this challenging time, he found that several facts created barriers to its success:
1. People were not yet familiar with computers
2. People related to CRT screens as TVs and thereby knew only to never put their finger prints on the screen.
3. They knew to stand back far enough to avoid its radiation. A button on the screen saying “touch to start” was met with great resistance, in part due to the presentation of the technology.
Imagine a foot-deep display with a 5-inch by 7-inch display buried inches inside a dark bezel. It was anything but intuitive. Success was finally attained after months of exploration, playing with various designs on screen, and working to reduce the perception of depth and darkness, all of which eventually allowed users who were new to the concept to immediately accept and interact with it. That was 1978.
Download our P/A workbook to learn more!


Psycho-Aesthetics (P/A) is a design-thinking tool that combines psychology and aesthetics to help designers create compelling and effective solutions to various design challenges. By understanding how people think and feel about design, designers can create solutions that resonate with their audience and achieve their business objectives. 

P/A differs from other design-thinking tools in that it places a strong emphasis on the psychological and emotional aspects of design. By understanding how people perceive and interact with design, designers can create solutions that connect with their audience on a deeper level and achieve better results. 

Anyone involved in the design process can benefit from using P/A, including designers, marketers, and product managers. By using P/A, these professionals can create solutions that better meet the needs and desires of their target audience, resulting in increased engagement, satisfaction, and revenue. 

The key principles of P/A include mapping onto a consistent framework, creating a “hero’s journey” for stakeholders, and understanding the emotional and psychological aspects of design. By incorporating these principles into your design process, you can create solutions that are both effective and emotionally resonant. 

Yes, P/A can be used for any design challenge, including branding, product design, user experience design, and more. By applying the principles of P/A to your design process, you can create solutions that better meet the needs and desires of your target audience. 

P/A helps designers connect with their audience by providing a framework for understanding the emotional and psychological aspects of design. By incorporating these aspects into their design solutions, designers can create solutions that resonate with their audience on a deeper level and achieve better results. 

Check out our Psycho-Aesthetics page which has resources to help you get started!

Examples of How We Use Psycho-Aesthetics

VGX Inovio - Case Study​

Utilizing Psycho-Aesthetics RKS collaborated with pharmeceutical company Inovio to create a human-centered DNA Vaccine Delivery Automation.

Allergan - Case Study

We utilized our P/A methodology to create a precise, ergonomic syringe. Check out the process of design for yourself.

Hamilton T1 - Case Study

Through a Psycho-Aesthetics driven process, RKS offered Hamilton a solution to create a more compact mobile ventilator.

Witness more P/A in action

Psycho-Aesthetics™ (P/A)

Our Advanced Human-Centered Design & Development Methodology.

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