Textiles as a catalyst in the co-creative design process

Townsend, K. ORCID: 0000-0003-2212-2511, Sadkowska, A., Sissons, J., Harrigan, K. and West, K., 2017. Textiles as a catalyst in the co-creative design process. In: Intersections: Collaborations In Textile Design Research Conference, Loughborough University London, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 13 September 2017. Proceedings. London: Loughborough University.

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This paper presents findings relating to the crucial role of textiles in the Emotional Fit (Townsend et al. 2016) collaborative research project, which is investigating a person-centred, sustainable approach to fashion for an ageing demographic. Working with a group of Nottingham women (aged 55+) the team have accrued and responded to data drawn from in-depth interviews, wardrobe inventories and body measurements, to develop a collection of co-designed fashion prototypes that aim to meet the physical and emotional needs of their participants. By integrating geometric cutting with carefully selected and bespoke printed textiles, the resulting minimal waste garments enable wearers to express themselves via universal silhouettes incorporating multiple styling options, in support of personal agency and product longevity.
Textiles act as the catalyst for the design and project development process by: providing a starting point for shape making through draping on the body and mannequin; as sensorial substrates to elicit tactile responses and interactions; as the surface for photographic imagery, engineered patterns and contrasting volumes, to be enacted by the human form.
The project demonstrates how such a co-creative or hacking approach necessitates a shift away from the established hierarchical fashion system (Busch 2009) that often undervalues its consumers. Here, by contrast, we actively explore the potential customer’s lived experience of the relationship between body, cloth and dress to inform a more holistic fashion design philosophy. The methodology challenges the generally accepted view of the textiles as subordinate to the practice of fashion, by documenting normally unspoken exchanges with the semantics of fabric through handling, manipulation, testing, printing, toiling and constructing. By reflecting on the aesthetics of cloth in relation to the emotional fit of clothing, we illustrate how it is intrinsic within the creative decision-making process, whereby embodied associations with the past point towards newly imagined wearable futures.
by the Textiles programme at the University of Dundee between 2012–2014; collaborative design-led research projects that supported local medical and health care companies by providing key expertise in textile design, functional clothing design methodologies and user-centred processes for design-led innovation. Analysis and discussion focuses on understanding the challenges and benefits of collaborative research between academia and local enterprise to textile design innovation, local economy, society, and education.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Townsend, K., Sadkowska, A., Sissons, J., Harrigan, K. and West, K.
Publisher: Loughborough University
Place of Publication: London
Date: September 2017
Rights: This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) licence.
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 19 Feb 2018 09:54
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2018 10:01
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/32742

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