How changes in technology stimulate the creative process

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The role of the designer is not simply to translate patterns but to creatively interpret them. The pattern designer’s creative choice of tools, whether pencil and paper or computer-aided design (CAD)/computer-aided manufacture CAM, is central to the realisation of two-dimensional (2D) pattern pieces into three dimensional (3D) garments. There is a need for research investigating the impact of integrating developments in technology on the creative processes and output of designers.

As pattern cutting technology has advanced, perceptions have changed. With CAD/CAM the creative aspect of pattern cutting often ignored; the pattern designer is now sometimes viewed as a mere technologist. Consequently, there is a need for the fashion industry to be reminded of the creative output and skills provided by pattern designers. Furthermore, there is a lacuna in knowledge
surrounding how technical tools impact on design processes. The hypothesis behind this research is that CAD/CAM can foster and galvanise creativity in the designer and enhance their outputs rather than merely speeding up processes.

Through a review of literature in this field, this paper investigates the interplay between changing tool technology and creativity, and how tools are utilised by designers to realise their own creative potential. This interplay invites consideration of whether or not a pattern designer’s creativity is affected by the
tools selected. As technology becomes more sophisticated and designers become fluent in its use, it is now being used to interpret pattern designs before they are even cut out. This is explored through reflective and critical examination of designers’ tool use and consideration of how appropriate tool choices best support and enhance the process of creating garments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFutureScan 4
Subtitle of host publicationValuing Practice
EditorsHelena Britt, Kevin Almond, Laura Morgan
PublisherFTC: Association of Fashion and Textiles
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781527249691
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2019
EventFuturescan 4: Valuing Practice - University of Bolton, Bolton, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Jan 201924 Jan 2019


ConferenceFuturescan 4: Valuing Practice
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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