about design dialogues

The Design Dialogues site houses all online publications from the School of Design Strategies at Parsons School of Design.

This site is funded by the Stephan Weiss Lecture Series on Business Strategy, Negotiation and Innovation. This lectureship was launched in 2002 to commemorate the life of the late artist and sculptor Stephan Weiss, husband and business partner of the fashion designer Donna Karan. Weiss co-founded Donna Karan International in 1984, and was instrumental in every significant venture the company undertook: launching and structuring new brands, most notably the Donna Karan Beauty company; signing new licenses; establishing in-house legal and creative departments; devising its computer design technology; orchestrating the company’s initial public offering in 1996; and negotiating its sale to the current owner LVMH Moet Hennessy – Louis Vuitton.

about the school of design strategies

The School of Design Strategies is an experimental educational environment. We advance innovative approaches in design, business and education. In the evolving context of cities, services and ecosystems, we explore design as a capability and a strategy in the environmentally conscious practices of individuals, groups, communities and organizations. For more about the School of Design Strategies, visit the SDS Magazine.

Journal of Design Strategies
Designing W/
The Integral City
New York, Phnom Pehn. Phnom Pehn, New York.
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Editorial Staff


Letter from the Dean

Joel Towers
I am pleased to present Volume 7 of The Journal of Design Strategies, on “Alternative Fashion Systems.” Fashion today plays a bigger role in more people’s lives than at any previous time in history. New designs move from catwalk to retail outlet with unprecedented rapidity, even as prices have fallen sharply. But this “democratization of style” can also impose its own costs, replacing a thoughtful and enduring relationship to one’s clothing with a regime of relentless consumption for its own sake.

The artists, designers, and thinkers whose work is collected in this volume share a commitment to exploring new types of fashionability, beyond those recommended by the mainstream fashion system. The various projects span
 an exceptionally wide range, some operating squarely within the parameters of commercial enterprise, others independent of the marketplace and its demands, still others sharply critical of the current system. Notably, none of the projects exhibited here represents an “anti-fashion” sensibility: on the contrary, all of the artists, designers, and theorists showcased in these pages have a serious and abiding interest in clothing and in the many meanings that clothing style can convey. Collectively, they reaffirm fashion as something worth reflecting on.

I want to thank the Karan-Weiss Foundation for its continued sponsorship 
of the Stephan Weiss Lecture Series as well as this Journal—support that allows us to continue to explore emerging developments at the intersection of design, business, and the wider culture we share.

Joel Towers, Dean
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