Roles and Responsibilities
I was responsible for a broad-based, long-term, research study conducted over a period of 30 years comprising analyses of the involvement with drawing of over 300 designers in industry and education. While publication in journals and conference proceedings presented the findings at various stages of the investigation, my recent book, published by Intellect in 2016, brought together the knowledge gained over the extent of the study. This book entitled The Role of Drawing in the Design Process: Characterising Industrial and Educational Practice, first defines the essentially paper-based design process before the pervasive spread of digital systems, then describes progressive changes as the design profession adopted screen-based methods, and thereafter reveals the wide range of hybrid drawing systems that link paper and screen-based styles assisting the designers of today
I have been investigating the ways in which designers use drawing since the mid-1980s and demonstrated that a variety of forms of drawing can be found in the design processes of many design disciplines within both industrial and educational environments. I have shown how, even after the introduction of digital technology to the design studio, designers still benefit from the acquisition of a range of paper-based drawing techniques to help them perform various design tasks, and how creative textile and fashion design can be stimulated by the visual literacy, creative thinking, and individuality of approach promoted by a well-informed and effective drawing practice. I believe the development and maintenance of a sympathetic and professionally informed drawing studies programme is essential for fashion and textile design courses.
I also co-author with members of the Drawing Research Group in the School of Textiles and Design, in a collaboration aimed at further improving understanding of how drawing activity supports designerly practice. Various research methods have been adopted including reflective drawing exercises to observe and analyse designerly and educational procedures. Research outputs have been disseminated on various platforms including online and traditional drawing and design research journals and international design conferences.