Acquiring materials knowledge in design education

  • Anders Haug


Product material choices affect how a product will be manufactured, how it will function, and how it will be experienced. Thus, understanding materials is essential for designers in many regards. However, materials used in designs are subject to ongoing changes in availability, processing methods, price and attributed meanings. Furthermore, new materials are constantly being developed. Therefore, designers continuously need to acquire new materials knowledge (i.e., internalisation of facts, information, and skills) to be able to produce designs that utilise available material possibilities and achieve the desired user experiences. However, although this topic has been dealt with to some extent, a detailed classification of approaches for how designers can acquire materials knowledge is absent in the literature. To provide designers and design educators with a structured basis for understanding/teaching materials knowledge acquisition, this paper develops a framework that defines twelve distinct ways for designers to acquire materials knowledge.


Design materials Materials knowledge Industrial design Fashion design Materials knowledge acquisition Consumer goods 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship ManagementUniversity of Southern DenmarkKoldingDenmark

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