A principle-based philosophical framework for fashion design praxis and education in new design landscapes

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Like technology and technology education (Ankiewicz, 2019a), fashion design as a discipline lacks a scientifically founded, discipline-specific philosophical framework that may hold affordances for fashion designers, research scholars, and curriculum developers. Attempting to develop an autonomous theory for fashion design might be overly ambitious, so we do not propose a new theory; instead, we superimpose Mitcham’s (1994) philosophical framework of technology onto Love’s (2000) meta-theoretical taxonomy for design theory for the application to fashion design praxis. The purpose of this conceptual article is to conceptualise a philosophical framework for fashion design to be considered by fashion designers, researchers and curriculum developers when engaging in praxis. The relevant research questions are then: what are the underlying philosophical principles for fashion design within the current approach to praxis? What are the affordances of such a principle-based philosophical framework for fashion designers in their practice; researchers, scholars and curriculum developers? Within the current design praxis, this article proposes a principle-based philosophical framework including volition (mind-set), design knowledge (epistemology), design process (methodology) and objects (ontology). This framework may well create opportunities for fashion designers to consider these related principles and approach their praxis in alternative ways. Similarly, researchers wanting to strengthen scholarship for fashion design could use each of these different principles as units of analysis to explore and introduce new perspectives and research about the praxis. Alternative volition and new forms of design knowledge have the potential to change designers’ choices, reasoning, cognition, and design processes and scholars may well write about this also. Finally, the framework offers the potential for scholars to question and research the ontological nature of objects and the relationship between designer, intentions and artefact function when sustainability and design for social good come into play. Furthermore, the framework for fashion design will also inform curriculum and programme development in fashion design education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1883-1900
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Design Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Design education
  • Fashion design education
  • Fashion design praxis
  • Philosophy of technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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