An amazing technique that i like to use sometimes to clear my mind and focus all my energy onto one object by using the senses. First i try to clear all prior knowledge on what the object is, what it does and pick it up as if it is a new discovery.
First i use touch:
To look at the way it sits in my hand, if its cold/hot, if it is friendly to touch like any sharp edges.
Next look and observe it:
This is a great way to see how it looks when it ornate, doing something, how it sits on the table, how the design of the object works, its purpose.
Then listen to the object:
What can you hear, does it make a sound, does it sit quietly, is the sound pleasant or harsh.
After is the smell of the object:
Does it have a smell, does it not, is the smell nice or harsh, does its smell attribute to the object, or just a facet of how it was made.
Finally There is Taste:
Sometimes not needed, but in certain cases, is it sweet, is it sour, is it crunchy, or is it a liquid.
There are many ways to use the senses to observe something and usually you will come away with a new perspective on the object, or a new thought on what it does, like something you didn't know before. As you can see the senses play a major role in how we create an object. It is a personal thing to, if you know you love something, that the person next to will not have the same view. Is this due to the feelings that a person has, or are our senses different. Can i smell something that someone else can't or can they hear something i can't. The senses make the reality we live in and when we design we are creating a new piece of reality that will in turn taken, without thought, through the senses.