Researching the Material’: a Sensorial Approach to Shoe Design

Braithwaite, Naomi (2010) Researching the Material’: a Sensorial Approach to Shoe Design. [Video] (Unpublished)

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Recording of presentation given at Vital Signs 2 Conference, 7-9 September 2010, University of Manchester

This paper stems from current doctoral research exploring the creative practice of a number of independent British shoe designers. Using an ethnographic method of interviews and participatory observations this research offers an understanding of creative practices as an emotional, embodied and sensorial experience for its practitioners. Shoe design exists as a dialogue between practitioner, material and form, overseen by the sensory realms of sight and touch. It is the designer’s eye that is drawn first, seduced by the gloss and sheen of a material, from here the designer connects with its tactile nature and visualises how the raw material will transform into the structure of a shoe. Touch is not just a reactive process, but, a proactive one through which new creative ideas transpire. The paper will argue that it is the sense experience that seizes and acts upon the body of the individual designer and in turn stimulates their creative thought. To fully understand this sensorial process, an ethnographic method that relies predominantly on observations is insufficient. The paper will thus trace the researcher’s journey through a shoe design and making course. It will be argued that in order to understand design as sensory and embodied, one must experience it emotionally and physically by ‘learning to do’. Applying this method will contribute to the interpretation of design as sensorial.

Item Type: Video
Uncontrolled Keywords: Realities, sensory worlds
Subjects: 4. Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis > 4.11 Ethnography
Depositing User: Realities user
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2010 14:10
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 13:53

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