Design from Fiction to Reality: An Exploration into the Process of Design in Cosplay


Enthusiasts dressing up as anime characters and posing for photography have become a common sight in anime activities around Taiwan. In cosplay (formed from the words of costume and play), comic fans dress and pose as the characters in certain movies, manga or anime, and believe that the ultimate goal for a cosplayer is to actualize the character in real world. Having great passion for the characters they identify with, cosplayers strive to become fictional characters by imitating the way they dress, act and behave in anime works. In order to accentuate characters and showcase the character’s distinctiveness, costume and props become the key point when cosplaying. In Taiwan, costumes and props are made by the cosplayers themselves. Characters in animation are mostly surreal, some of them exist only as two-dimensional pictures. It is a challenge to actualize the fictional character in real life through the production of costume and props. Sense of design is highly needed when producing the props and costume. Cosplayers grope their way round making their own cosplay items. It can be said that cosplayers learn the design skill by doing. This research is aimed for exploring the amateuristic design process of cosplay, especially focusing on the cosplayers’ design thinking and self-training procedure in the hope to open up a new perspective on design science. Keywords: Cosplay, Fan Craft, Amateur Design

Author Information
Shih-Pang Tsai, Tatung University, Taiwan 
Ming-Hsiu Mia Chen, Tatung University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2014
Stream: Ethics; Religion; Philosophy

This paper is part of the ACERP2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Tsai S., & Chen M. (2014) Design from Fiction to Reality: An Exploration into the Process of Design in Cosplay ISSN: 2187-476X – The Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy 2014 – Official Conference Proceedings
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