Investigation and interpretation: the traditional and practice-based methods of the Drawing Research Group

Pamela Schenk, Alison Jane Harley

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This paper contributes to the wider debate on the potential for textile design research by reviewing the range of research methods and the variety of research themes and topics of the Drawing Research Group (DRG) in the School of Textile Design, Heriot Watt University. Duck, the Journal for Research in Textiles and Textile Design, the premier open access peer reviewed online journal for research in textiles and textile design, included the opportunity to submit papers for the first Volume, What is Textile Design Research, initially published in 2010, in the 2012 call for contributions. Written specifically for this call, the paper outlines the distinctive combination of practice-based enquiry through drawing with textile design topics that characterises the work of the group. Several research themes are identified that capitalize on the substantial industrial experience and practical skill-base within the group and the school’s unique historical and professional context, and these include the role of both observational drawing and copying in the reinterpretation of visual source material, particularly textile archives; and the creative potential of iterative links between drawing, design and production for knit and weave. The substantial number of digital and paper-based drawings included in the paper represents the work of all the members of the DRG and exemplifies the depth of investigation that drawing can achieve when applied to the cultural and expressive aspects of textile design research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages21
JournalDuck: Journal for Research in Textiles and Textile Design
Issue numbern/a
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Drawing in the design process
  • practice-based drawing research
  • textile design and production


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