Designing through craft practice: A woven textile approach for footwear

2019-02-01T10:21:52Z (GMT) by Jenny Pinski Faith Kane Mark A. Evans
Commercial sandals are typically designed in a two-dimensional (2D) format with materials being applied during product development. In contrast, woven textile practitioners frequently utilize hands-on interaction with materials to produce design ideas through a craft-based approach. Hands-on making has been associated with a number of benefits including, but not limited to, knowledge generation and the potential for innovation. This article reports on practice-led research consisting of a sandal design project that integrates craft-based woven textile practice. Action research was used to develop the approach and evaluate the creative potential and practical considerations at different stages of the design process. Ultimately, this research determines where and how craft-based woven textile practice may be integrated into commercial footwear design and identifies the associated creative design potential. Qualitative data was recorded by written and visual means of documentation and analyzed using coding and clustering. The findings indicate that there is novel creative potential associated with the integration of a craft-based woven textile approach to sandal design and that it may be integrated to varying degrees at all stages of the design process. Benefits include opportunities for innovation, generation of in-depth knowledge, control, and immediacy in decision-making. Key challenges were noted in time and cost inefficiencies. The ability to consider material and product design in parallel ensured a considered relationship between the two. This led to benefits in the final designs that included the production of zero-waste, stitch free constructions. This research contributes empirical evidence and findings in relation to theoretical concerns in the area of craft practice as a vehicle for design innovation.