CREATIVE THINKING IN FASHION & TEXTILE DESIGN: Idea Generation, Reflected in the Visual Journal

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The creative thinking that takes part in the early stages of design projects is often highly conceptual, rarely seen by others and can be difficult for designers to share. Therefore, its importance may not be well understood, leading to miscommunication and missed opportunities in the early stages of a design project. This study looks at creative thinking in the early ideation phase of the design process and how experienced professional designers across the fashion and textile design field document their thinking and ideas using expanded forms of visual journals. Drawing on theories of creativity and through the analysis of visual journals and the working environments of experienced creative professionals, it investigates what constitutes visual journaling in design, what evidence of creative thinking can be found there, and how they facilitate visual thinking and idea generation through a reflective practice lens. The insights captured not only shed light on how designers in the fashion and textile design field think, work and strategise creatively but demonstrate how critical the early creative thinking process is to the success of a project and how a designer's visual language and their expanded forms of visual journals support their creative thinking and idea generation process. Furthermore, there is a strong need for design professionals to cultivate more time and space for the early creative stages and re-orientate to a creative thinking focused approach to the design process in order to improve ideas, how they are communicated and strengthen their creative voice and influence in industry.
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