Perception as an Integral Part of the Design Process

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Degree Programme in Fashion and Clothing Design
Vaatetussuunnittelun ja pukutaiteen koulutusohjelma
This thesis is a personal exploration into perception and various perceptual phenomena. Through this thesis I question the traditions and limitations of my own perception in order to strengthen my design identity and to develop as a designer. Based on my findings I design and produce a collection of garments and textiles. The thesis is divided into two main categories: theoretical approach and design process. The theoretical part has an empirical approach on perception and is based mostly on literature concerning perceptual psychology and perception in the context of art. It covers the basic concept of perception as well as a selection of different perceptual phenomena. The focus is on the visual sense, however, the tactical sense is also considered. The theoretical part offers information on perception and arises essential questions that are then discussed in the production part as well as visualised in the final designs. In the production part of this thesis the gathered data is implemented and considered through the design process. As a result, my design methods are demystified as I explain and justify the colour, shape and material choices of the collection. Because I am a material-based designer, the focus of the production is strongly placed on pattern and woven textile design. Through this thesis I discovered that perception is highly subjective and hugely reliant on preconceived notions as well as context. Realising the limitations of perception made me question my own perception, which in turn enabled me to detach myself from the traditions of my previous design works. Inspired by the theory and by my observations of it I designed a women’s wear mini-collection of garments and textiles that challenges the viewer by questioning the traditions of perception and by visualising the ambiguous nature of perception through contrasting patterns, diverse woven textiles and surreal three-dimensional silhouettes.
Laitinen, Tuomas
Thesis advisor
Niinimäki, Kirsi
Laitinen, Tuomas
perception, tactical sense, fashion and clothing design, design process, material-based design, textile design, pattern, bonded textiles
Other note
  • A collection of garments and textiles