Title: Object elicitation in interviews about clothing design, ageing and dementia

Authors: Sonja Iltanen; Päivi Topo

Addresses: School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, P.O. Box 31000, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland ' The Age Institute, Asemapäällikönkatu 7, 00520 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: Although photo elicitation has been thoroughly discussed in the literature, object elicitation has rarely been dealt with explicitly. This article describes the processes involved in object-elicitation interviews in three studies on clothing design, ageing and dementia, and elaborates on the practical, analytical and ethical issues. Object elicitation facilitates discussing concrete objects, such as garments, as well as sensitive issues like embodiment and power relations. Thus, object elicitation interviews may be ethically challenging in terms of anonymity and creating negative affect. Use of the method with ageing people and people with dementia needs to be further developed, with focus on challenges relating to cognition, communication and physical abilities.

Keywords: object elicitation interviews; clothing design; garment design; apparel design; ageing; dementia; ethical issues; ethics; embodiment; power relations; anonymity; negative affect; cognition; communication; physical abilities.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2015.069759

Journal of Design Research, 2015 Vol.13 No.2, pp.167 - 184

Received: 01 Apr 2014
Accepted: 21 Nov 2014

Published online: 09 Jun 2015 *

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