The Designers Leap: Boundary Jumping to foster interdisciplinarity between Textile Design and Science

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Creative thinking is an instinctive problem-solving process for designers however, designers alone cannot solve real-world problems. Collaboration between higher education and industry, and across design and science disciplines can create new paradigms of research to address societal and economic challenges. This paper argues from the perspective of fashion and textile designers, for design to be at the heart of the collaborative research process and advocates for co-design, speculative-design and scenario design to be considered as valid methodologies to foster interdisciplinarity. Perspectives on interdisciplinary partnerships across academic disciplines and with industry are typified by two very different reflections of collaborative projects between fashion designers, textile designers, scientists and industrial partners. The paper identifies commonalities and differences between scientists and designers, with particular relevance to textiles, in a bid to understand how they may collaborate more effectively in the context of interdisciplinary work, and the paper further identifies factors needed for establishing common enablers for engaging in co-design. This is an under-explored field and highlights the changing role of the designer, and as such is of value to researchers in textiles, fashion and product design.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Textile Design Research and Practice
Early online date16 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished online - 16 Jul 2018


  • Interdisciplinary
  • Transdisciplinary
  • Fashion
  • Speculative Design
  • Boundary Jumping
  • Textiles
  • Co-Design


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