The Prototype as Mediator of Embodied Experience in Fashion Design

Tore Kristensen, Ulla Ræbild

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch


For many people fashion design is associated with shows and aesthetic appearances of a somewhat superficial nature. However, fashion design is much more. This paper sets out from a work in progress which uses theory on embodied knowledge to understand how fashion design processes take place. It is based on photographic material obtained in design studios during prototype development. The prototype is considered a core fashion design competence. Yet, companies increasingly cut costs by reducing or omitting prototype development. We intend to show, how the garment prototype acts as an important mediator of embodied experience between designer and user. That is, by use of a cognitive approach, we explore how mediation is enabled to occur through the recurrent patterns of sensorimotor actions that surround the garment prototype development. Tentative findings indicate, that eliminating the prototype could cause loss of important knowledge and lead to poorer design.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventThe 15th NORDCODE Seminar - Syddansk Universitet , Kolding, Denmark
Duration: 22 Nov 201624 Nov 2016
Conference number: 15


SeminarThe 15th NORDCODE Seminar
LocationSyddansk Universitet
Internet address

Bibliographical note

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  • Fashion design methodology
  • Garment prototyping
  • Embodied cognition
  • Design mediation
  • Tacit knowledge
  • Design skills
  • Sensorimotor experience
  • Image schemata

Cite this

Kristensen, T., & Ræbild, U. (2016). The Prototype as Mediator of Embodied Experience in Fashion Design. Paper presented at The 15th NORDCODE Seminar, Kolding, Denmark.