The Making of a Social Object

  • Dilys Williams: Director Centre for Sustainable Fashion, LCF
  • Renee Cuoco: Education Projects Manager, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, LCF

Brief description of session and activities

Sustainability is distinguished by its multidimensional, complex, big and small transformational change processes that impact the world on different scales and timelines. This is, whilst challenging, full of diverse possibility. To be path makers and navigators through this complexity requires us to teach and learn skills, knowledge and understanding of our relationships with each other and with our natural world. It requires us to hone our skills of imagination as well as our practical skills of creation and communication.

Fashion is a vital way for us to connect with the world through our social interactions; it references the time and place in which we reside. Fashion should be relevant to the context of our lives, so we need to question its current business and educational practices, to evolve more appropriate manifestations of its contribution to individuals, communities and societies.

This workshop explores this changing paradigm through a sharing of reflections on a collaborative project between undergraduate students across disciplines in design and communication, researchers within Centre for Sustainable Fashion, alumni and members of Nike’s sustainable innovation team. The project, based on hybrid problem-based learning techniques, engages sustainability principles to visualize our interdependence, support a mutual learning environment and begin to explore cause and effect of our actions and interactions. It explores ways in which expansive design thinking can be bridged into current industry paradigms, seeking ways to de-couple success from ecological degradation.

Participants will be introduced to the open source app that was developed through the project, test out a sample session illustrating the projects osmosis between technical and human dimensions of sustainability and receive links to resources for further exploration of design for sustainability.

How will students be involved in the session?

Students involved in the initial project will participate and share their experiences and reflections as part of the workshop.

What will participants take away from the session?

Example framework for engaging students in an expansive, participatory learning experience relevant to sustainability and employability