Apparel Design Studio
In this upper-level required course for the Product Design and Development emphasis, students learn skills such as patternmaking, draping, sewing, and other means of garment construction in a critical and creative context. These skills are presented as creative design tools to be utilized in open, iterative processes, and as a means to realizing and executing solutions to design problems.
Fashion Diary Sketchbook
Throughout the semester, students are prompted with various topics to explore their creativity and different sources of inspiration. This becomes their fashion sketchbook or diary.
The Studio Environment
There is a unique learning experience that happens in a studio class. From my perspective, I am a guide for my students to explore a creative problem. My studio teaching style is influenced by my own learning experience at Parsons School of Design and I work to replicate that transformative environment. This class, in particular, has a holistic ebb and flow, with me demonstrating new skills and knowledge, then students practicing those new skills. I enjoy working individually with my students meeting them where they are but pushing them to a new level of knowledge that they can use in the fashion industry.
With different skills, designers communicate their ideas in different ways. I love introducing several modes of creative communication for students. Hand illustration skills are one of the first units in Apparel Design Studio. After teaching students about line, form, and media, we practiced various body shapes and ability croquis along with fabric rendering. Students' mini collection are their first project in hand illustration.
Historic Garments for Design Education
Object-based learning is at the foundation of fashion education as touch is a primary means to understanding clothing and textiles. In my apparel design studio, I love to utilize our Historic Textile and Costume Collection housed at UGA's Special Collection Library. In collaboration with a teaching assistant, we designed two workshops for design students to observe historic objects for design education. The first workshop is focused on teaching the students the importance of material culture and how that understanding can assist in designing new apparel products. The second workshop encourages students to adopt a “slow approach to seeing” (Mida & Kim, 2015) and to pay greater attention to small construction details, such as stitches, buttons, zippers, and hooks, which reinforces the stitches and seams students are learning in the studio.
A manuscript detailing this project is currently under review at a peer-reviewed journal. The link to the published manuscript is hopefully coming soon!