2016 Volume 15 Issue 5 Pages 609-614
Since the 1960s, a number of engineering design theories and methodologies have been proposed aiming at explaining the nature of design activity scientifically. In this paper, we discuss what these engineering design theories could mean to fashion designers. Since, in the engineering design theories, the analysis - synthesis - evaluation (ASE) paradigm, which is believed to have originated in the process of mathematical proving and making scientific theories, is widely held, the theories could contribute the understanding of the nature of fashion design as far as the fashion design activity is rational in a scientific sense. However, in the fashion design process, designers develop and validate solutions to fulfill consumers' “body expression function” which largely involves subjective sensation. Therefore, the engineering design theories cannot be applied to the fashion design directly. After examining why it cannot be applied to the fashion design, we will discuss if there are any other ways to implement a theory of fashion design by referring to the Christopher Alexander later theory of design.