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Course Description

This hands-on design course challenges students to explore traditional and non-traditional approaches to fashion design, including research and concept development, design ideation, experimental making, visual expression, and presentation design. Students meet online 4 days per week over a 4 week period with Parsons faculty and an international cohort of peers for real-time creative and technical design instruction, project guidance, and group and individual critiques. Live instruction is supplemented with digitally archived project support and reference resources. This exploratory design course incorporates structured “away time” from the computer in which students investigate world events, social issues, and personal experiences and interests as a springboard for design inspiration, direction, and production. Students learn the fundamentals of research, observational writing and drawing, design ideation, creative and technical fashion illustration, basic surface and textile design, experimental garment and accessories prototyping techniques, and the creation of analog and digital visual presentations. Digital tools, including the Adobe Creative Cloud, are introduced. The four-week experience includes guest speakers from industry and virtual field trips. From the start of the course students keep an online design process journal and complete a series of exploratory 2D and 3D fashion design studies based on their original research and concepts to be presented in a final design presentation in the medium and format of their choice: lookbook, e-pub, curated exhibit space, website, short film, etc.

Learner Outcomes

  • Show an understanding of the virtual design studio environment and practice by participating in a variety of synchronous (real time interaction) and asynchronous (away-time) activities including lectures, demos, and discussions; individual and collaborative exercises and projects; and self and peer critiques.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the practice and application of primary and secondary research and its impact on creative and technical processes, including themes derived from observing and interpreting world events, social issues, and personal experiences.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the iterative creative process by maintaining analog and/or digital creative process journals/sketchbooks documenting research, ideation studies, resolved design, commentary, and self-reflection.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of analog and digital drawing and imaging mediums and styles to visually communicate different phases of the fashion design process including concept, color story, textile and surface design, garment design, and presentation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of exploratory making skills to interpret original ideas for fashion from 2D to 3D using traditional and non-traditional rapid prototyping techniques and materials (paper draping, material handcraft manipulations, and basic hand or machine sewn mockups).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of human-centered design in the context of fashion by designing in response to the experiences, needs, and desires of a targeted audience.
  • Acquire the skills to create and curate a cohesive body of design work that supports a visual narrative expressive of an individual and evolving design identity.

Additional Information

This course is one offering from our Parsons Online Summer Intensive Studies program. For more information on schedule, registration, and refund policies, see program details.
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