Title: The tactile triangle: a design research framework demonstrated through tactile comparisons of textile materials

Authors: Douglas Atkinson; Sharon Baurley; Bruna Beatriz Petreca; Nadia Bianchi-Berthouze; Penelope Watkins

Addresses: London College of Fashion, 20 John Prince's Street, London, W1G 0BJ, UK ' The Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2EU, UK ' The Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2EU, UK ' UCLIC, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK ' FITU Ltd. Gayton, Kings Lynn, PE32 1QS, UK

Abstract: Tactile experiences of textile materials are difficult to communicate and elicit. To interrogate this space we propose the tactile triangle, a framework to facilitate systematic analysis and comparison of tactile experiences. The three levels reflect different aspects of tactile experience and possible methods to capture them: physical properties, in which human senses or objective testing measure fabric properties; the perceptual space level in which triadic comparisons reveal combinations of various dimensions which capture and describe tactile experiences; and finally the communication level, in which design games elicit languages communicating tactile perceptions. A case study illustrates the frameworks use to compare the tactile experiences of textiles in experts and consumers. The results show expert and consumer perceptions overlapped and correlated well to objective measures except in the perception of temperature. We conclude by discussing the frameworks effectiveness, the contribution of individual methods, and its potential as a communication tool for designers.

Keywords: tactile comparisons; textile materials; textiles; fabric properties; sensory perceptions; touch; aesthetics; design games; case study; tactile perceptions; communication tool; design process.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2016.077015

Journal of Design Research, 2016 Vol.14 No.2, pp.142 - 170

Available online: 17 Jun 2016 *

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