Making and writing; writing and making: Co-constructing experiential knowledge in and through 'doing' fashion

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This paper stems from my doctoral project in which my aim was to develop an in-depth understanding of how a small sample of mature men has experienced fashion and ageing. Working with such an open-ended aim allowed me to develop a fit-for-purpose methodology that accommodated two components: the topic of the investigation and the theoretical perspectives that, as a creative practitioner, I brought into it. A particular research mechanism, which was based on the integration of fashion theory and practice, synthesised to activities of interpretative making and writing, was implemented to suit my epistemological constructivist stance, my particular way of being in the world and conducting research-through-design. In this paper, I focus on two artefacts I created in response to empirical data gathered via in-depth interviews and personal inventories with the study participants. The making processes of the Dis-Comforting suit jacket and film, involved de-construction of a secondhand garment, a scenario-based reflective performance, and practical experimentations with materials and objects. 'Making', as a means of embodied, visual enquiry became a highly metaphorical analytical tool that afforded the advanced insights into older men's lived experiences. Consequently, I argue that through my embodied interactions with objects and materials, as the creative practitioner, I co-constructed new experiential understandings and offered fresh perspectives of the phenomenon under study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd Biennial Research Through Design Conference
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017


  • fashion and clothing
  • ageing
  • mature men
  • meaning-making
  • writing and making
  • Arts-Informed Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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