Understanding the purpose and process of research, particularly programmatic research to aid in design problem solving, is important not only to graduate, but also to undergraduate students. Shortly after developing a research project to investigate the relationships among selected personal values, perceived social influences on those values, and the functional/performance aspects of uniforms worn by female student-athletes, the authors realized they had the perfect opportunity for involving undergraduate students in the research experience. Seven undergraduate students were involved with data collection and analysis for one of five different women’s sports uniforms: basketball, crewing/rowing, golf, gymnastics, and volleyball. Research skills learned by students included: developing a purpose statement and review of literature, interviewing, analyzing semi-structured interview results, and developing a research report. Students also developed their communication and critical thinking skills. As a result of their data analysis, they compared design changes in competitive uniforms for “their” sport across the twentieth century, athletes’ perceptions relative to the uniform and their performance, and the functional requirements of the designed uniform. As part of the research process, students learned what characteristics of uniform design were important and made recommendations for changes in the design of the uniforms.
|Keywords:||Apparel Design, Design Research, Undergraduate Research|
Associate Professor, Department of Design and Human Environment, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA
Professor, Design and Human Environment, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA