Dynamic Cutting: a new method of experimental pattern cutting using metaphor to activate tacit knowledge of material creativity and spatial creativity

2020-03-09T16:38:31Z (GMT) by Donna Sgro
This creative practice research was conducted as part of my PhD by project at RMIT University. The values embedded in practices of fashion design are becoming better understood through research that is based in creative practice and undertaken by practitioners. In my experience as a fashion designer, the separation of design and pattern cutting in my practice impacted creativity in the cut of garments. This research aimed to expand creativity through pattern cutting by challenging this separation formed through my tacit knowing in practice. A metaphoric strategy was explored to adapt new methods for design from a study of butterfly metamorphosis. In this study, research for design was undertaken using mixed methods including growing butterflies, documentation, drawing and text-based analysis from a variety of disciplines on the subjects of butterflies and metamorphosis. Generative metaphors developed from this study of butterfly metamorphosis provided an alternative conception of a garment in the design process for pattern cutting. First, the garment was conceived as a transitioning insect body, then as a dynamic form, lastly as a chrysalis formation. This series of metaphors led experimentation in research through design of garments and textiles, resulting in two new concepts to describe creativity in pattern cutting using tacit knowledge. Material creativity refers to the creativity a practitioner experiences when designing and making garments through individual engagement with materials. Spatial creativity refers to the creativity a practitioner experiences when working with and analysing patterns in both 2D and 3D forms. Dynamic Cutting is a new method of experimental cutting for fashion design, which involves attuning to both material and spatial affordances. This research offers a new framework for thinking through, reflecting upon and expanding notions of creativity in fashion design using tacit, hand-based engagement with pattern cutting. It also demonstrates how a metaphoric strategy can be used to raise awareness of, and extend the application of, implicit knowing in practice.

Futurescan 4: Valuing Practice
University of Bolton
23-24 January 2019

Photographs by Tony Radcliffe and Di Downs.