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Sources of inspiration and mental image in textile design process

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The purpose of this study was to describe the sources of inspiration and the emergence of mental images in a virtual design course. The study was conducted in The Department of Home Economics and Craft Science at the University of Helsinki. During the virtual course, eleven students designed fabric collage textiles and carried out exercises using the technique in a networked environment. Qualitative content analysis was performed on the collected visual and verbal data. The study indicated that typical mental images related to visual, kinaesthetic and verbal aspects of design activity. It was essential to use diverse processing of mental images and multisensory sources of inspiration. A virtual environment lacks face-to-face interactions but, at the same time, it seems to provide a shared body of experiences about design examples.

Keywords: design education; designing; mental image; source of inspiration; virtual learning

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Home Economics and Craft Science, University of Helsinki.

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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