The consumption and design process of handcrafters : theoretical implications Public Deposited


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  • The overarching purpose of this research was to determine characteristics of raw materials which impacted the consumption and design process of crafters. The characteristics were related to the three levels of design as described by Donald Norman and the concept of linking value in consumer tribes. The specific focus of this research was a comparison of the levels of design of artisan brand yarn and national brand yarn consumed and utilized by crafters. The comparison occurred at each of the three stages of the craft design process: the initial planning stage of the project, the design process stage, and the result stage. Quantitative data were collected to test four hypotheses and qualitative data were gathered to investigate five research questions relating to the purpose statement. Six hundred and fifty-seven individuals participated in an online, self-administered survey. Participants were recruited using the online social media platform, and also through a snowball sampling technique. Hypotheses were tested using Pearson's Correlation test, frequencies, and MANOVA. Factor analysis was also used to determine the appropriateness of the three levels of design. Qualitative data from the surveys were analyzed using the constant comparison method. The data were organized into emergent themes which were used to explore the research questions and provide more explanation for the hypotheses. Two design process models were proposed as part of this research effort. The three levels of design as described by Norman (2004) were not appropriate for describing what characteristics of raw materials were important to the consumption and design process of crafters. Individuals purchasing artisan brand yarn placed more emphasis on characteristics such as: the visible texture and feel of the yarn. These craft consumers were also more interested in buying yarn which supported an important business and which came from animals which were ethically raised. The resulting craft design process models were also a major outcome. The description of these models was the first attempt to detail the steps taken by crafters when producing projects. This research was also the first attempt to integrate consumption of materials into a design process model. Future research should endeavor to utilize these models to describe the behavior of different types of crafters.
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