Exploring the impact of digital textile prints on identity expression in women breast cancer survivors
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[EMBARGOED UNTIL 8/1/2023] The aim of this study was to explore how a designer's use of digital printing technology and the employment of individualized imagery in textile print design evoke emotional responses to textile print design. Roughly about 13 percent of women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime (Breastcancer.org, 2022). There is currently little opportunity for breast cancer survivors to express themselves through customized products that meet their criteria. This study sought to address eight breast cancer survivors' identity expression needs using DTP, integrating their personal photographs to co-design a custom DTP scarf. In this study it was found that there was complex negotiation between the public and private self as participants determined what they were willing to share through their photograph selections. It was also found that the custom scarf and co-design process allowed participants to commemorate and find closure regarding their breast cancer journey. The study's findings have contributions to the Emotional Design Theory, and Public, Private, Secret Self model, and User-center design process. Implications for designers, healthcare professionals, educators, and survivors looking to know more about how to create customized apparel that allows for greater identity expression.