An investigation into the learning experience of textile designers and makers: examining the relationship between experiential learning and "intelligent making".
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TONER-EDGAR, M. 2008. An investigation into the learning experience of textile designers and makers: examining the relationship between experiential learning and "intelligent making". Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.
This thesis examines the relationship between textile craft practice and Kolb's Theory of Experiential Learning. The nature of craft practice has been described as 'Intelligent Making'. The aims were to investigate the term 'Intelligent Making' and construct a framework of the learning experience, on which to base the critical context for future textile practice. A review was made of textile craft practice, investigating models of experiential and reflective learning theories. Experiential Learning Theory and 'Intelligent Making' in textile practice were found to be similar, although the main difference was in relation to reflective observation. The textile making process was examined at under-graduate, post graduate and practitioner levels with self-observation, through a reflective journal, based upon my own hat-making process. Reflexivity was used to explicate the embodied knowledge, made visible through materials and methods of making. This research demonstrates that an extended understanding is based on the fact that reflexivity is the methodological approach embedded within textile practice. The critical capacity of textiles was demonstrated through reflective observation, analysis and evaluation. Shared reflection describes the nature of the process and may enable each maker to restructure their own practice. One advantage of this research is the enhancement of a shared language for textile makers and an evolving reflexive textile vocabulary. This investigation results in a newly proposed visualisation of the making process creating an extended framework to previous models, to advance the future critical context of textile practice. Both volumes of this thesis are combined sequentially into the attached file.