6. Design Com III


Taught Twice
University of Cincinnati
Summer 2017 / Summer 2018

This course was developed as the first introduction to formal design research methodologies that students used to begin development on their Senior Capstone. The main deliverable for this course was an extensive process book that included collages, reflective writing, material experimentation and intial Senior Capstone sketches. 

Formal Research Methodology:
The students were introduced to the What Why How If model of organizing their concept research for their Senior Capstone. Throughout the course students produced mutiple drafts of their Research Abstract which detailed their concept references, muses and inspirations. This process forced students to externalize their inspirations, finding their concept in the real world and researching it’s history and influences. Without proper guidance many fashion students will resort to the traditional and shallow method of simply building a mood board to communicate their inspiration. The mood board method lacks depth and often times results in students regurgitating the trends they see on the internet. 

Teaching Reflections: Having a background in Design Research I was able to evolve the curriculum for this course to guide students to develop their own research methodology. When research is not comprehensively facilitated in a fashion curriculum you get senior collections that lack depth and seriousness. I placed a heavy importance on their ability to communicate and contextualize not only their inspiration but their overall concept. We are at a point in the fashion industry where aesthetics just simply are not enough. We need to challenge our students to understand the larger conceptual implications of the products they are making and sending into the world. 

Design Com III Overall Structure Syllabus