Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Proposal tutor feedback

Your work in the proposal demonstrates a broad but nonetheless promising sense of your critical questions related to textile design and post-modernity, as well as the concerns you have between forms and practices of hand-crafted vs. digitally crafted pattern design and (re)production and the complexities of how this fits in with post-modernity and I would also suggest with contemporary forms of nostalgia (we can see this pursuit of the nostalgic through the mass produced commodities of Kidston and Kiely).

 At this stage you should begin working towards a blog and a good sense of your literature searches / review and methodology – thus, try to expand on your initial thoughts and sophisticate your argument so that it demonstrates a critically informed understanding of the relationship between old and new textile design and techniques in design and perhaps contexts such as Kidston and Kiely aligned to campaigns, company logos, brandings strategies etc.; the possibilities are vast and it’s your job to isolate the best ones, for example a series of detailed examples from these designers / companies may work well towards a case study such as Liberty, series of instances to use for focus groups and detailed qualitative questionnaire.

 The contexts of textile design both as a tool and an ideological discourse to sell and communicate are also interesting and at times well-conceived but still rather obvious and general – A reconsideration of the social and cultural location and meanings of the topic will add depth and dimension to your approach. You will need to have a sound knowledge of some literature and I think at this stage an awareness of publications related to post-modernity (Frederic Jamesons work on parody and pastiche is obtuse and conceptual but excellent) and nostalgia are required. 

Now is the time to try to expand and develop this so that key texts bring to bear the research methods you suggest – Liberty will certainly give you an excellent historical and contextual grounding as will the history of Biba which is connected to Liberty. Also look at the work of Celia Birtwell which is very influential in light of the issues you are interested in. This will have to be well illustrated well in your research blog in ways which are imaginative yet realistic for the manageability of the project.  It is good that you have planned your aims, continue with this and try to do some research and field-work if you can, this will then allow you to open the argument to criticality and what you are saying could then be effectively ‘plugged into’ some of the theoretical work and original ways of thinking related not just to a potted history but an original critical intervention. The research methods and primary / secondary sources you begin to make are methodically supported but try to be as clear as you can about HOW you are going to go about this. Reading, listing keywords, collecting visual and textual clippings and data throughout summer will assist with this and create a dissertation proposal with far more clarity.  A promising topic though. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you need more advice.

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