A Psychology-based design principle for meaningful upcycling in fashion

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Jirapan Wongtongsanguan
Supavee Sirinkraporn


The meaningful upcycling design principle is a psychology-based design principle considering an appropriation of attachment theory: person-product attachment to enhance an object’s value in the upcycling process through its meaning. “Cherish Unused State” refers to a circumstance where strong emotions had been bonding person and thing, when something changed, causing the person could not use their cherished thing further. They tend to keep the thing away but not dispose of forthwith because of the strong emotional attachment. The participatory design process has been introduced to capture the virtual meaning which becomes a key element of the new meaningful upcycling item.

The article presents an implementation of the meaningful upcycling design principle: Keep Change.  The “Cherish Unused State” item is an input meanwhile various research tools, different disciplines from material and visual to verbal applied to acquire significant meaning within the object. The aim of the experiment is to comprehend the potential of an object in the participatory design process based on an Actor-Network Theory. The participatory process is a co-creation process where each Actor, human or non-human, acts together. The finding indicates the potential of every single Actor in this experiment which is a person, a cherished thing, tools, and a manipulation technique that co-created new values that significantly raise existing meaning.


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