Physical and Digital Environments: Engaging Fashion Design Students in Archival Research

  • Evans, Claire (University of Huddersfield, Creative Arts Building) ;
  • Allen, Claire (University of Huddersfield, Creative Arts Building) ;
  • Shah, Karen (University of Huddersfield, Creative Arts Building)
  • Received : 2014.04.01
  • Accepted : 2014.06.14
  • Published : 2014.06.30

Abstract

With the rapid development of digital technologies potential exists to expand upon the accessibility of fashion archives and increase their use as a pedagogical tool for research. At present this is compromised due the three-dimensional, tactile nature of the objects being viewed and the fact that they are not necessarily replicable in a digital format. The aim of this paper is to examine art and design students physical object research skills and discuss how they are positioned in relation to creative tools and strategies they use to produce outcomes such as they own collections and design responses. Findings and conclusions are drawn from projects concerned with the development and use of physical and virtual archives and inform the methodology used. Traditional methods and tools within higher education are discussed together with students increased use of digital resources and innovative ways to engage students. The academic challenge of supporting student engagement in archival research across digital and physical dimensions is explored. The papers findings indicate a need for further research considering the impact of digital technology on students' physical integration with archives and the need for more structured support surrounding student physical and digital research investigations.

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