Harah Chon is a Korean-American fashion designer from New York. She received her BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons, the New School for Design and MBA (Distinction) from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University – Graduate School of Business. Prior to continuing her studies in HK, Harah worked as a designer at Polo Ralph Lauren in New York and later co-founded the brand Callie-n-Cullen in Hong Kong. Harah completed her PhD at School of Design in 2015 with research on design epistemologies and culture.
The mediating role of design knowledge and its relational effects on interactions with fashion objects against the Chinese cultural backdrop
Prof. Ming Xi Tang
About the Research
Designers engage in various activities to shape individual experiences and perceptions into the creation of finished objects, implicating the communication of design intent as an extension of design knowledge. The design object assumes the representational form of this knowledge which is embedded and made cognizable to end-users, emphasizing the dynamic relationship between users and objects. Designers transmit knowledge as design intent, through interactions involving the user and object, allowing individual interpretations to serve as the meaning-making function of design knowledge.
Positioned against the phenomenon of fashion, user-object interactions produce meanings to fulfill and establish relevance in specific social and cultural contexts. The consumption process creates a point of negotiation between design intent and user interpretation, utilizing the surface of the body to visually communicate and display the fashion object. The fashion system, as the interplay between the individual and society, requires a critical review of the design process during which design knowledge and its relevant meanings are produced and understood against changing cultural contexts. This thesis work deeply investigates the role of design knowledge as mediating the interactions between users and fashion objects. Supported by evidence of cultural change affecting the first generation of only-child adults, known as the Post-80s & 90s Chinese, the research analyzes the flow of knowledge as the transaction of meanings from the perspectives of design theory and theory of design practice.