‘In this Digital age are Designers "missing out" on ‘Touch’

Bruce Montgomery

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Ignoring our sensory skills is having a detrimental impact on creative practise. The result will be a totally artificial world if we do not utilise ‘TOUCH’. ‘Sennett views Ruskin, unforgettably, as a man deeply aware of his own sensations and experience, making the appeal we might today describe as "get back in touch with your body". Ruskin observed in Stones of Venice the draughtsman stopping, fumbling, and losing temporary control over his work only to resume with new confidence. These are magic human moments no machines can replicate.’ [1] This paper questions whether we have allowed designers to depend too much on technology to the degree that designers are missing out on developing knowledge and products through sensory and tactile skills both in industry and in education thus allowing the next generation to move even further away from Sennett’s vision of the novice to practitioner and eventually expert. It explores the implications of this trend and will look at a range of design references and conferences that refer to the subject. The research moves on to look at how digital has changed design practise. The paper concludes that there may be creative benefits if digital design was balanced with a more tactile design skills education in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Textile Institute Centenary Conference: 3-4 November 2010, Manchester, UK: Textiles: a Global Vision
Place of PublicationManchester, UK
PublisherTextile Institute
ISBN (Print)978-0956641915
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2010


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