A case study of a course for textile and fashion students
Textiles are a part of a global fast fashion system that launches several collections over a year. Research from consumer and wardrobe studies has shown that consumers often wear their clothes only a few times. This has a tremendous impact on the environment. In order to meet this challenge we need to change the education of future designers. This is an emerging field at a number of design schools across the world, among these Design School Kolding in Denmark. In this paper we understand and discuss design education as part of a cultural phenomenon. The aim of our research is to develop new dialogue tools for teaching fashion and textile students in order to stimulate new ways of thinking and engaging with users. By employing participatory design methods in the field of fashion and textiles, we seek to develop an alternative transformational strategy that may further the design of products and services for a more sustainable future. This paper is based on a case from teaching fashion and textile students at Design School Kolding in Denmark, where we run different courses aiming at changing the profession. By moving the focus from the production phase to the use phase, the project seeks to create new paths that can strengthen the experience of fashion wear without increasing the material consumption. We use examples of students’ projects to outline how the object (rethinking the combination of clothing, materials, use practices and services) intersects with the fashion and textiles disciplines. In this paper we discuss ways in which design education might contribute in changing the current professional culture in order to meet the need for more sustainable futures.