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Name: Lisa Shawgi

PhD: Textiles

Thesis Title: Supporting persons living with a 'hidden disability' through textile developments. 


Thesis Description:

Persons living with Raynaud's, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus or Diabetes experience a ‘hidden disability’. Their distressing medical symptoms include painfully cold extremities and aching joints that affect their everyday activities. Through participatory action research, knitwear design processes can establish a genuine dialogue between the medical and aesthetic dimensions of such conditions, enhancing physical and mental well-being. This PhD brings technologists, designers and patients together with the aim of uncovering and address patients’ un-met needs to align functional and therapeutic design elements with that aesthetic and sensorial issues that are often overshadowed by the emphasis on performance and physical comfort in 'assistive' clothing. This project adopts an 'empathetic' design approach to work with individual sufferers to address their personal difficulties and enhance their independence by extending the effectiveness of their self-management of their condition. Simultaneously, the research seeks to address misconceptions and stigma associated with this ‘hidden disability’ by offering sufferers designs that afford control, project positive identity and choice of/for self-expression, while integrating medical holistic interventions. The project will design for the condition by addressing the symptomatic relief/self-management needs through textile development, and with by considering the emotional needs through a participatory process 


Supervisors and Institution(s): 

Professor Tom Fisher Nottingham Trent University

Dr. Katherine Townsend Nottingham Trent University

Dr. Dorothy Hardy Nottingham Trent University


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