Developing a Visual Language to Enhance Knowledge Transfer in the Design of Smart Clothes and Wearable Technology for the Active Ageing

By David Taylor.

Published by The Design Collection

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

Design has a rich iconographic based tradition of information transfer with its roots stretching back many millennia. This topic is evolving into a new on and off screen visual language embedded in our daily interaction with an ever expanding range of physical and virtual tools. There is a need to be able to interpret the information presented through this new language with the result that vital meaning can be “lost in translation” between the conceptual development of the product and the amalgamation of technical functionality and needs of the end user. This is particularly important in emerging disciplines such as Smart Clothes and Wearable Technology, bringing together a wide range of cross disciplinary skills and technical expertise. The challenge is particularly evident when attempting to create an understanding of potentially complex technical functions and benefits within the smart clothes space when addressing niche vertical markets such as the active ageing, where the “end user” may not be familiar with either the terminology or the emerging visual language.

Keywords: Active Ageing, Visual Language, Smart Clothes, Icons, Pictograms, Graphic Design, ISOTYPE

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.369-388. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.527MB).

David Taylor

PhD Researcher, School of Art Media and Design, University of Wales Newport, Newport, Newport, UK

Awarded first degree in Graphic Design at University of Wales Newport in the mid 1980’s before working as a designer at one of the UK’s first truly cross disciplinary product design agencies with access to the first Apple Macintosh design system in Wales. Followed by a move to the top graphic design agency in Wales and a rapid realisation that “normal” employment was not appropriate for my needs, several years were spent working as a freelance designer and teaching at degree level. After setting up a new graphic design agency, span out and founded the first web design agency in Wales in 1994 with a focus on internet based business systems development with a strong visual design ethic. Following a work related RSI injury in 2009, returned to education to research for a design related PhD investigating communication issues in the emerging field of Smart Clothes and Wearable Technology.

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