E-Textiles: A Soft touch barometer for female students to self-manage their stress

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

Abstract

The surge in student anxiety and stress in universities continues to escalate, and with over 50% of young people now going to university, and finite university support resources available, finding complementary ways to support student wellbeing is essential. Enabling students to recognise, understand and manage their in-the moment stress can empower them to take some control over their own mental health. This paper focuses on female students. It adopts a mixed methodology approach of experiential learning informed by themes of social and technology acceptance. Overlapping methodologies of “what if…?” scenarios around wellbeing are posed to inspire textile-based concepts as an intervention. The research presents novel approaches and proposes five early design concepts to consider the monitoring, management and prevention of female student stress through the design of crafted, wearer-centred e-textiles. The research is underpinned by both quantitative and qualitative data generated at two female student focus groups. The interactive textile outcomes and playful narratives encouraged student discussion and illuminated wider debate around female student mental health issues. The findings revealed that students are receptive to taking greater responsibility for their own mental wellbeing and open to exploring new paradigms of self-management of stress. The research outcomes built new interdisciplinary knowledge in design practice by exploring the intersections between fashion and textiles, science, technology and wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Textile Design Research and Practice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • E-textiles
  • female student stress
  • design for wellbeing
  • playful-narratives
  • self-managed wellness
  • Social acceptance

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