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Fashion and Textile Design Using Emotion and Personality

Wendy Moody , Peter Kinderman

Good design should engage personality and emotion. Using appropriate psychological approaches to the measurement of both personality and emotion offers a humanitarian approach to design. From a design perspective this project explores the preliminary development of the traditional design process or formula, using psychological methods to inform the process.

‘By describing the individual’s standing on each of the five factors [of personality], we can provide a comprehensive sketch that summarises his or her emotional, interpersonal, experimental, attitudinal, and motivational style’, (Costa & McCrae, 1985). Emotion, once experienced, will create or enhance either a positive or negative mood affect (Watson & Tellegen, 1985). Mood affect has been strongly associated with personality. If the designer is more aware of their own personality and emotional self, by fusing emotion, mood, personality and an understanding of the self-concept in the design process it could help the designer offer an alternative and informed method of tailoring a product to an individual.

Drawing upon data collected from a short project carried out by Level One students in fashion and textile design, and examples of the first author’s visualization work, we explore how fashion/textile design concepts reflect personality, how they capture emotion and mood, and how this information can be used to inform the design process or even be used to develop design and retail services. It will also consider the implications within design education.

Using a personality framework, results indicated that personality factors are expressed in design work and that these factors can be used to moderate personality and mood (and consequently the self), and therefore the design of fashion/textile products. This offers insight into design and the user where a product could seem conflicting for the same person if different levels of personality are considered.


personality, emotion, mood, self, design, design process