Body movement as material : Designing temporal expressions

Abstract: Movement and temporal qualities have a significant effect on design expressions. However, in the design of dress these are often overlooked, and the static form of a positioned body is considered to be the main driver of design. This work explores the expressions of the body in motion, engaged in the interaction constituted by wearing. Through a practice-led experimental approach, the research presented in this thesis aims to establish strategies for utilising the motion of the body in the context of design development. The research has been carried out through multiple series of experiments. Initial series of experiments focused on exploring wearing as an entwined dialogue between body and material that is expressing and informing the motion of the body. This was followed by series of experiments focusing on more particular variables such as body movement principles, material properties, and somatic experiences. Through analysing and implementing movement as a design material the work suggests an alternative type of form-thinking and form-giving where materiality together with the body movement extends garments into a temporal expression.The result suggests an alternative model consisting of methods, concepts, and variables for design for designing temporal expressions wherein dress is defined as a temporal form and designed as a system of possible movements and ways in which a wearer can interact with a garment. Within this model, body movement is under-stood as a material and the body is viewed as a temporal structure and a mechanism for changes in the design. Overall, temporal expressions, or temporal form suggest acts of wearing and the somatic presence of the body as foundations in body-based expressions of equal importance as worn material. In particular, the design examples suggest another use of the joints of the body – the crucial points that enable move-ment – which were the main design material for temporal expressions.The methods and thinking proposed in this thesis may be beneficial for multiple fields of art and design that use the body’s motion as design material extending the findings from the origins of dress.