Object elicitation in interviews about clothing design, ageing and dementia

Sonja Iltanen, Päivi Topo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Although photo elicitation has been thoroughly discussed in the literature, object elicitation has rarely been dealt with explicitly. This article describes the processes involved in object-elicitation interviews in three studies on clothing design, ageing and dementia, and elaborates on the practical, analytical and ethical issues. Object elicitation facilitates discussing concrete objects, such as garments, as well as sensitive issues like embodiment and power relations. Thus, object elicitation interviews may be ethically challenging in terms of anonymity and creating negative affect. Use of the method with ageing people and people with dementia needs to be further developed, with focus on challenges relating to cognition, communication and physical abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-184
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Design Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Ageing
  • Clothing
  • Dementia
  • Design
  • Ethical issues
  • Garment
  • Object elicitation interview

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