The tactile triangle: A design research framework demonstrated through tactile comparisons of textile aterials
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Copyright © 2016 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. Tactile experiences of textile materials are difficult to communicate and elicit. To interrogate this space we propose the tactile triangle, a framework to facilitate systematic analysis and comparison of tactile experiences. The three levels reflect different aspects of tactile experience and possible methods to capture them: physical properties, in which human senses or objective testing measure fabric properties; the perceptual space level in which triadic comparisons reveal combinations of various dimensions which capture and describe tactile experiences; and finally the communication level, in which design games elicit languages communicating tactile perceptions. A case study illustrates the framework's use to compare the tactile experiences of textiles in experts and consumers. The results show expert and consumer perceptions overlapped and correlated well to objective measures except in the perception of temperature. We conclude by discussing the framework's effectiveness, the contribution of individual methods, and its potential as a communication tool for designers.
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