Laverty / Sensory Nourishment

Sensory Nourishment Consciously crafting sensations in clothing design to support diverse sensory needs

Author: Maureen Selina Laverty, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Supervisor: Trond Are Øritsland, Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Pauline van Dongen, Eindhoven University of Technology

Research stage: initial doctoral stage

Category: Extended abstract

DDR Statement

Aggressive, rapid design processes that dominate commercial fashion design practices fail to see the value in slowing down. Such a model does not allow time or space for designers to reflect, experiment or question the fashion system. I see my doctoral design driven research as a privileged opportunity that allows space and time for such reflection, experimentation and questioning. DDr allows me to engage with and attend to my own body and those of my participants: it’s sensations, feelings, emotions, and values. Through my collaboration with participants on the autism spectrum I can present a case study that illustrates the value in slowing down and its collective benefit to universal well-being.

That is not to say that these considerations do not exist in less dominant fashion design practices, however, their methodologies are relatively undocumented. In my own training as a tailor, both my clients’ and my own bodily experiences were intuitively engaged in the design process through material selection, garment fittings, and conversations about their everyday routines and well-being. It may seem counterintuitive to intellectualise this tacit knowledge in academia but, as highlighted in my abstract, there is a necessity to gather knowledge on how fashion design processes contribute to the well-being of the end-wearer. The integration of DDr methods into more dominant industry practices can stimulate discourse and inspire better ways of working that considers this contribution.