B: The human evaluation – data collection

During my own design process, the data collection I consume is mostly all user based: how a garment works and fits, and how the wearer feels. However, to arrive at the point of design, I also undertake research, look back at the trends of past eras, and examine common reoccurring looks, colours, shapes and styles.

From the research that I undertake, I then draw key overlapping qualities that are due to be reinvented and can work off this to sketch my own innovative designs repeatedly. This is the way fashion design works most of the time, although it can also be a spontaneous moment of brilliant creativity – if one is lucky.

During my research of data collection methods, I found interaction prototyping and evaluation. I connected with this process of continually testing a ‘rough’ prototype in a designs basic concept as it was an interdisciplinary way of thinking about toiling in fashion design. To make a toile is to sew a basic shape or practice run of our final garment, however it is often made of a cheaper fabric (often calico canvas) or something of a similar weight to our final garment fabric. This allows us to place the garment on a fit model and discover how the human moves, wears and fits our design. Working on a flat pattern compared to seeing it on a body makes a huge difference; it is a 3D body in which evaluation is key – not only for the fit of a garment but also for how the design works aesthetically with the shape of either a female or male. “Interaction prototypes can help you to generate scenarios of product-user interactions. These scenarios can inform the design brief and requirements by providing insight into use situations, sequences of use and the geometrical and material qualities that influence a user’s experiences.” (Annemiek van Boeijen, Jaap Daalhuizen, Jelle Zijlstra, Roos van der Schoor, 2014)

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Quick cardboard model gives the designer feedback on how the design works and how users react and interact. (Roos Van der Schoor,2014.)

Below are images of the toiling stages I have undergone for my recent menswear collection. I discovered that pants were too long, the sleeve didn’t fit right through the shoulder, the shirt flared and the model was restricted in his neck. The collection of user based data was endless and ensured that my final design was perfectly successful on the body. The process of data collection for organic waste design could be tested in a similar way: does the apple core fit through the bin’s processing tube to eliminate seeds from the core? Can the user open the bin with one hand if waste is in the other?

Research in a widespread concept is essential and this is not a new finding, however the concept of making our own drawings from researching trends of the past is a way of collecting data in our own unique way. This can allow the research to be more specific in areas we need for a basic design in mind.

For example, to analyse the past growth or decline of waste in a particular area such as Parramatta, we can look at key events and changes during that time and consequently make conclusions as to why this has happened. Currently, we can understand that due to a rise in the population and new development, there is a rise in waste because of human interaction. Whereas if the suburb is coastal, we may be able to conclude that decay has become more prevalent because of rising sea levels and sand dumping.

Ultimo, being one of the hubs of the city, has had similar reoccurring waste issues that unfortunately have not yet been solved. Therefore, by analysing the past, we can understand what has not worked, why that is, and the requirements the area needs to create a successful design in its management of waste in the future.

Both of these ways of collecting data allow research and user based data to contribute to a more successful final design. They are unique in perspective, coming from a fashion design background, however they focus on the process and exploration just as much as they do the end product.

Annemiek van Boeijen, Jaap Daalhuizen, Jelle Zijlstra, Roos van der Schoor, 2014, Delft Design Guide: Design Strategies and Methods, Edition 2, illustrated, revised, BIS Publishers, Amsterdam.


Author: nataliemhryan

Currently studying a Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at University of Technology, Sydney.

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