Materializing Craft: Evaluating the Effects of Experiencing Actual Materials during the Design Process

By Einat Leader.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper deals with the information derived from working with actual materials during the design process, and evaluating its influences on the designer's perceptions and knowledge.

The main hypothesis is that experience with actual materials during the design process would contribute to the concept and shape development. To demonstrate this, the paper will examine literature in the fields of design studies and observations. Special emphasis will be put on the unique information and design knowledge gained from the tactile experience, and the unpredictable design observations derived while developing the shapes and characteristics of the product.

All this, Considering the evolution that took place in last two decades in the means of virtual and digital planning, that contributed to the reduction of tactile experience due to considerations of time, money, availability and/or comfort. The reduction of tactile experience during the design process can be seen everywhere – in design education and in the professional field amongst experienced designers. For example, today one can design a complete object like a chair, item of clothing or an instrument, without experimenting in its final materials - from the idea stage through to the final product.

The question raised: are designers fulfilling their role - their ethical and professional designation? The paper seeks to point out the importance of experiencing the actual materials during the design process, without undermining all the other stages and planning tools.

Keywords: Design Knowledge, Design Process, Materials, Practical Experience, Tactile

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.405-418. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 617.776KB).

Einat Leader

Head of the Jewellery and Fashion Department, The Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Israel

A Jeweller and researcher in the field of Metalwork as well as in design history, theory and practice. Currently head of the Jewellery and Fashion Department of the Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem, Israel (since 2005). Her works exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Israel and abroad, focus on a critical aspect of design and metalwork.


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