Awakening takes place within: a practice-led research through texture and embodiment


  • Sophie Ardern Auckland University of Technology
  • Marcos Mortensen Steagall Auckland University of Technology



Texture, Embodiment, Heuristic enquiry, Nostalgia, Mark-making


This article explores contextual research and creative design methodologies to understand the relationship between the researcher’s embodied approach and the produced artefact. The question of: ‘How might I honestly depict my own embodied textural world to awaken others?’ frames the project in a way which allows the designer/researcher to produce work organically and honestly. Encompassing different navigational directions and frameworks of information allows personal understanding to pervade through. The ideas of place, nostalgia, storytelling and texture are explored throughout the physical artefacts of a textural archival book ‘Awaken’ and a series of posters. The methodology of a heuristic-led enquiry activated by embodiment enabled the translation into something more significant than an abstract thought. Exploring the contextual knowledge of texture and its multi-sensory ability, nostalgia and embodiment, frames the project in the broader context allowing for a critical work commentary.


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Author Biographies

Sophie Ardern, Auckland University of Technology

Sophie Ardern is a designer based in Aotearoa New Zealand. She completed a Bachelor's in Communication Design at Auckland University of Technology in 2022, and as a practitioner, she is interested in how textures can surface embodied qualities of the world.

Marcos Mortensen Steagall, Auckland University of Technology

Marcos Mortensen Steagall is an Associate Professor in the Communication Design department at the Auckland University of Technology - AUT since 2016. He is the Communication Design Postgraduate Strand Leader and Programme Leader for Communication Design and Interaction Design for Year 3. He holds a Master's (2000) and PhD (2006) in Communication & Semiotics acquired from The Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a PhD in Art & Design from Auckland University of Technology in 2019. Research interest focus on Practice-oriented research in Design through a Global South perspective.


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How to Cite

Ardern, S., & Mortensen Steagall, M. (2023). Awakening takes place within: a practice-led research through texture and embodiment. DAT Journal, 8(1), 70–100.