Thursday, March 06, 2008

protocol analysis: fashion design

(Last post today, and probably pre-IFFTI, I promise)

Today I took part in a protocol analysis(*) exercise at uni; they wanted a designer from each of the disciplines (fashion design, visual communications, industrial design and interior design) to work in a real-life design situation and talk through their thinking whilst designing whilst being filmed. Apparently my PhD-designing was real life enough. (And to prove I've completely lost my sense of humour, everything I do now is doctoral. As in doctoral sewing, doctoral answering the phone, doctoral going to the toilet. Think carefully before stepping into the slushy pit that is a PhD.)

It was interesting to be the guinea pig, given the practice-led methodology of my project. There are parallels in what I'm doing during the practice and what I did today (working on a circle shirt, of all things, on camera). Of course I don't talk out loud in my studio - much - but as I'm needing to keep a record of pretty much everything I do, I kind of talk inside my head a lot as I document it all. I do tell myself that most faculties are still intact while I do this, of course, but boy is it noisy in there sometimes. Research, baby. It was also interesting to get someone else's view on my design processes afterwards; one person's (mine) anal retentiveness is another's "methodical approach", it turns out. The video will be used to show undergraduate students design in action and reflection in action. That tablecloth (to be explained later) is sure to come back to haunt me, possibly on YouTube.

(*) Protocol analysis as a method of inquiry isn't anywhere near as boring as it sounds even if a large percentage of the academic papers written about it would put half the universe into a permanent coma.

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