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Textile Influence. Exploring the Relationsship between Textiles and Products in the Design Process

Textile materials and textile design are a part of countless products in our surroundings, as well as diverse design fields and industries, each of which has very different material traditions and working methods. The aim of this thesis is to add to our understanding of the relationship between textiles and products in the design process, and to explore how textiles enter and influence product design processes and how products function in textile design processes. A further aim is to examine the effect of new textile technology, such as smart textiles and 3D printed textiles, on this dynamic. This thesis is the result of an interplay between theoretical work, experimental practice-based projects, and observation of design practice, and it presents two types of results: Firstly, descriptions of how the relationship can manifest itself in the design process, which give a broad picture of the relationship between textile and product and in so doing add to our understanding of textiles as design materials and highlight some of the additional complexities and possibilities for the design process that come with new forms of textiles. Secondly, this thesis presents ways of describing the dynamics between textiles and products in the design process, with the intention of opening up for reflection on how we design, and can design, with textiles. Here, the main outcome is a theoretical framework which examines the relationship from both a product design and a textile design perspective, and includes methods and questions that can be used to explore and define how textiles and products meet in the design process.
Boras, 2015

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University of Boras