Publication 2009 supported by European Union and Department for International Development
Fashioning an Ethical Industry
Sustainable Fashion -
A Handbook for Educators
As educationalists and interested parties in exploring the ethical debate in all areas of design we have co-developed this module and brief ‘Contentious Issues’ to deliver as a multidisciplinary tool to fit into any design programme or into any school within the university. The brief invites students to highlight a contentious issue and conduct independent research. Through a series of set tasks they produce a fully referenced and educated argument, giving a holistic view of the issue through a visual presentation, supported by a written document that highlights their assigned role/characters opinion on the subject. Students are encouraged to develop their understanding of professional practice in the design industries, within the context of social, cultural, political, economic and technological change.
This module and brief were written to help first year students to make the transition of learning in school, with increasingly set outcomes, to research and learning at university were they would be required to question, challenge, hypothesise and synthesise their findings and become confident, independent, life long learners. It has been observed that student intake from schools and further education establishments were often unprepared for the task of carrying out independent in-depth research in their chosen fields. That there was increasingly a reliance on web based research for school projects that has left many of these students without the knowledge to access other sources of information and research. As well as aiding students understanding of contentious issues, this module also aims to help prepare students to understand and partake in research for their academic studies at University.
This brief has been run with first year university students studying Product Design Technology and Fashion Communication. The Contentious Issues addressed by students have been wide ranging from current political, environmental, sustainability, and social issues impacting on different design disciplines.