Three roles for textiles as tangible working materials in co-design processes

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2012

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Textiles are increasingly complex materials used in a growing number of applications, e. g. in architecture. The textile industry must therefore engage with other professions when developing both textiles and products of which textiles are a part. In this article, we argue that tools taken from the field of participatory design represent a potential for staging such co-design situations and report on our experience from a co-design process where architects, engineers and textile experts engaged in designing future textile solutions for Danish hospital environments. During this process we used what we call tangible working materials to stage the collaboration between the stakeholders engaged as co-designers. Our experience using the tangible working materials showed us that they can be divided into three types, with different attributes and roles in the design process: real, mediating and representative materials.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)183-195
StatePublished - 2012
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 2


  • Tangible working materials, Tools and techniques, Textiles, Architecture, Co-design, Participaty design
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ID: 12253451