A Pattern Language Describing Apparel Design Creativity

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Title: A Pattern Language Describing Apparel Design Creativity
Author: Pechoux, Beatrice Le
Advisors: LITTLE, TREVOR J, Chair
Abstract: The apparel design process involves gathering and analyzing information on fashion trends, markets, past line sales and editing ideas for successful combinations of fabric, style and price. These ideas are the result of creativity. Creativity is most often modeled as a problem solving process involving complex chaotic systems. In the fields of architecture and software design, pattern languages have been developed to help understand the various fundamental components and dynamics of complex systems by using a series of related generic problem-solving patterns empirically proven to be successful in a specified context of forces. Patterns record existing knowledge to make it rapidly and easily accessible and communicated between different users. The research objective of this dissertation was to develop a pattern language describing the initial creative phase of the apparel design process. First, an archetype of the initial creative process in apparel design was constructed based on the literature reviewed to integrate the intervening marketing and design components, and suggest a set of links between these components and the various stages of the process. Second, patterns describing these links and the archetype were developed to form a pattern language representing the dynamics of the archetypal model, i.e. the articulation and interdependencies of all its components and stages. Design professionals reviewed the pattern language. Students used it to develop product concepts and storyboards, which were evaluated by a panel of judges. Feedback from these participants indicates the pattern language offers a "design manual" that can be used by all team members to improve design efficiency and effectiveness, i.e. higher success rates of new products in a timely manner. Combining information technology and the pattern language could make an even greater contribution to apparel design, both at an operational level and a strategic planning level. This research provides a working example of a pattern language and shows the benefits to be attained. Also, the dissertation includes a guide on constructing pattern languages in the hope of reaching the ultimate goal of encouraging industry and academic apparel design experts to contribute to the necessary ongoing developments of the pattern language.
Date: 2000-04-12
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Textile Technology Management
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/5109

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