Primary Research ‘Value and Sustainability’

The PRIMARY RESEARCH I conducted was focused on uncovering What makes clothing special?  To get the most from the emotive, subjective context of this topic, I decided to source my data through in-depth one on one interviews with a select group of respondents.  Qualitative Interviews are specifically designed to be ‘used in an exploratory manner which seeks to investigate the subjective interpretations of social phenomena’ (Seale, 1998).

In terms of choosing my respondents, there was no-one in particular I had in mind at the outset of this research project. The two participants I ended up with, Laura and Joan, emerged off the back of casual conversation about my topic, which then led me to asking them about their ‘most treasured possession’.  Although not my original intention, this informal method proved effective  in achieving authentic, real and emotive information, as they were talking to me as a friend rather than a researcher, and were not self-conscious about their responses. To maintain this dynamic but also accurately collect this incredibly valuable data, I quickly asked them if I could record the conservation for my research part way through. The fact they were already in a flow about the topic and were comfortable talking about it with me, meant that this did little to interfere with it’s quality.

Finally, I decided to use VISUAL STORYTELLING to frame the presentation of this research.  On one hand this reflected my concerns as an FPI student, where visuals are central to my practise.  However more significantly, I felt that the evocative power of imaging, would add another layer of depth to my research content, projecting emotions between the person and the product, which cannot be captured through the medium of words.  In terms of the composition of the photos themselves, I kept the styling simple to ensure that person-product relationship was the focus.  This was combined with high contrast, one-side lighting to ensure the presence of detail and definition on the participant and the clothing (more detail on the imaging experience in my PROMOTIONAL IMAGING LOOKBOOK).

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