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Business of Design: On finding design inspiration

Published by Megan Sorenson


Line drawing of green clothing on a clothesline.
This is the second in a series of posts for the 2019/20 "sustainable textiles" cohort of the Business of Design program.

As with all of these posts, these tips may also be of use to anyone doing research on sustainable product/process design in general.

When it comes to finding inspiration, designers (including product designers) and artists still turn to books and magazines. Whether it's a feature in a glossy magazine or an in-depth interview with a contemporary artist, such resources are easy to browse, sample, flip through, and explore in depth, and they can jumpstart your creativity.

The Fraser Library at our SFU Surrey campus is particularly strong in such areas. Start by browsing the Library's print journals and magazines. Fraser Library has subscriptions to Applied Arts magazine, Disegno, and Make (among many others). 

Finding the book you need can be as easy as browsing the stacks. To start with, you could check out the call numbers NK 1520 for Art and Design or TT 490-695 for Technology and Clothing Manufacture. (What's a call number?) Here are a few samples of the titles you'll find on those shelves: 


Of course, browsing the shelves will only lead you to our print titles. We also have thousands of ebooks filled to the brim with the ideas and experiences of others.

Search our catalogue using to find both ebooks and books from all SFU libraries. Start with combinations of the following terms to focus your search on sustainable textiles/fashion topics. 

TIP: Try adding the phrase "Environmental aspects" or "Social aspects" after some of the terms above. For instance: Clothing trade -- Environmental aspects

Here are a few more examples of what you'll find, this time with a focus on ebooks that you can read anywhere:


-- Adena & Mark

P.S.: Don't forget that other posts in this series can be found by searching for the tag BoD-Textiles.
Mark Bodnar - Business Librarian: mbodnar@sfu.ca
Adena Brons - IAT Librarian: adena_brons@sfu.ca

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