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.

http://sds.parsons.edu/designdialogues
Journal of Design Strategies
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The Integral City
New York, Phnom Pehn. Phnom Pehn, New York.
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Fashion Codes Hacked, Indexed, and Shared
Giana Pilar González

Section 2: Vignettes

Laundry Habits

Jade Whitson-Smith
In 2013, I decided to give up the use of my washing machine for one year. I wanted to challenge myself to question each act of laundering clothes.

Figure 1 shows my previous “normal” process, and Figure 2 my current “experimental” process. The experimental model has two process pathways, fast and slow. I have a laundry basket of underwear and basic items that I need on a fast rotation. Fast items come into the shower with me on a daily basis. They are washed in my shower water, wrung out and then hung up to dry. Slow items are separated from my fast items in a second laundry basket. When I have a free day, or the weather is good enough, I wash my slow items in the bathtub, squeeze out excess water with a mangle, and hang the clothes out to dry.
I wanted to open up the laundering process, experiment with it, and challenge myself by removing some of the tools on which I had become reliant.

Fast items are continually in my consciousness; I see, touch and clean them very often. I am aware of them. Slow items can disappear for months into my washing basket, only to reappear as if to fresh eyes. I remember why I love wearing a particular garment, and the laborious process of laundering it makes me value the wearing even more.

Since starting to wash garments by hand, I’ve noticed that I now question whether, for example, a once-worn blouse really does need a full wash, or whether it could just be “freshened up” by hanging it on the clothesline.

FIgure 1

Normal Laundry Process.

Figure 2

Experimental Laundry Process.

FIgure 1

Normal Laundry Process.


It has never been my goal to discard technological advances. Time-saving devices such as washing machines have allowed many people to enjoy leisure time that would otherwise be taken up by domestic drudgery. I merely wanted to open up the laundering process, experiment with it, and challenge myself by removing some of the tools on which I had become reliant. My year without a washing machine has enabled me to develop both new attitudes and new skills in regard to this universal domestic task. My hope is that this experiment may encourage others to challenge themselves, and lead to other alternative practices in the use and maintenance of garments.
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Golden Joinery: On Imperfect Beauty
Margreet Sweerts
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Fashion Codes Hacked, Indexed, and Shared
Giana Pilar González

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Golden Joinery: On Imperfect Beauty
Margreet Sweerts
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