Drawn Threads: Drawing as a visual methodology to enhance qualitative studies
This paper is an analysis of the value that drawing can bring to a formal research methodology. It is based on a series of drawings that were produced to extend and develop a form of qualitative enquiry, an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). This analysis was conducted as part of a study of personal textiles that individuals retain and value beyond their practice use, solely for their sentimental or family historical value, termed, the personal textile archive. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used for analysing the individual experience of these textiles, and was found to be a methodologically sound, yet flexible and creative method of uncovering the data. Phenomenological research methods are established as valid means to investigate subjective human experience, across a range of different subject disciplines (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009). Such an interpretative approach was found to be an effective method to discern and illustrate the themes that arise through the individual’s engagement with their own archived personal textiles. However, a visual rather than a text-based method is investigated for the supplementary value and illumination such an approach could bring to a qualitative study. In this respect, drawing is explored as a practice-based method of visual inquiry to supplement and support the initial research analysis. Within this model of thinking, drawing is a means of embodied, visual enquiry, which can be used to produce an analytical and evaluative practice that offers further insights to the text-based analysis. Drawing from the final and completed artefacts is a method for making implicit aspects of the experience of their making explicit. The drawn exploration of the material qualities of a textile design enabled an increased understanding of the tacit expertise of the designer or crafts-person, through applied drawing expertise.
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Citation : Lerpiniere, C. (2013) Drawn Threads: Drawing as a visual methodology to enhance qualitative studies. In: Nimkulrat, N., Niedderer, K. and Evans, M. (eds.) Proceedings of the International Conference 2013 of the Design Research Society Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge, Loughborough, UK, July 4-5 2013.
Research Group : Textiles Engineering and Materials (TEAM)
Research Institute : Institute of Art and Design
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Design