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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JEN BALLIE is a post-doctoral researcher in the Design in Action unit of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Knowledge Exchange hub in Swinton, England. Her work explores social, interaction, and sustainable design for fashion, furthering the design process through service design. Her doctoral research combines textile design processes with social media to develop design interventions for citizen engagement. These projects have produced a series of service design concepts and speculative new business models for fashion and textile design with consideration to sustainability. Workshops have been delivered at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Marks and Spencer’s Shwop Lab, and online fashion retailer ASOS.


MARIANO BRECCIA grew up in the western suburbs of Buenos Aires. During his childhood, the distant figure of his uncle (the comic strip writer Alberto Breccia) inspired him. He studied law and communication, and worked at a radio station for 10 years. These experiences, his time as a garbage collector while in his teens, his passion for vintage clothing, and the technical development he acquired through working with different brands in the textile industry, all contribute to the artistic textile recycling project 12-n, developed with his partner Mechi Martinez.


MIRIAM DYM is an artist whose work addresses themes of resource extraction, manufacturing, consumption and waste. Her current work includes live manufacturing performances. Under the corporate name Dym Products, Dym mingles art, design, materials handling and supply chain services. Years of searching for ways to transform her own household’s trash production and disposal led Dym to reframe her art practice, turning it into a functioning business whose products and services attempt to re-order the generation, consumption and discarding of material goods. Dym has exhibited her work at museums and galleries in the US and abroad, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, SFMOMA, and the Weatherspoon Museum. Residencies include The Watermill (Long Island, New York), Cité des Arts (Paris), and Stanford University Digital Art Center.


ALESSANDRO ESCULAPIO is a student in the MA Fashion Studies program at Parsons The New School for Design. His thesis focuses on wabi-sabi in fashion, with specific attention to its role in sustainable practices. He co-edited BIAS: Journal of Dress Practice, and contributed to Just Fashion: Critical Cases on Social Justice in Fashion and The Fashion Condition, both published by SelfPassage. Esculapio has worked as an assistant to fashion historian Emily Spivack on her projects “Worn Stories” and “Sentimental Value.” His interests include alternative fashion practices, conceptual fashion, and fashion in fiction.


KATE FLETCHER’s work is both rooted in nature’s principles and engaged with the cultural and creative forces of fashion and design. Over the last two decades, her original thinking and progressive outlook have infused the field of fashion, textiles and sustainability with design thinking. Fletcher’s pioneering work ranges from developing “slow fashion” ideas and practices to directional sustainability projects, including Local Wisdom, which has engaged thousands of people worldwide with “craft of use” and “post-growth” fashion. Fletcher has over 50 scholarly and popular publications, including Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys (2008, 2nd ed 2014). She is also co-author of Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change (2012). Fletcher is Professor of Sustainability, Design, Fashion at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, where she has a broad remit spanning enterprise, education and research. Her strategic leadership within the Centre includes spearheading its role as co-secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion at the House of Lords.


PASCALE GATZEN is an artist, educator and fashion designer based in New York. Within her art and design practice, Gatzen produces and facilitates large collaborative projects using clothing as her main medium. The focus both of her teaching and of her artistic practice is on relational aspects of fashion, and on developing reciprocal models of production and exchange. She is an Associate Professor of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design, where she has developed and implemented an alternative fashion curriculum within the BFA Integrated Design program. Website: www.pascalegatzen.net.


GIANA PILAR GONZÁLEZ is a designer and consultant who works and plays with brands, technology and cultural systems. She researches, analyzes and (re)maps brand codes and structures to create new user experiences, engagements and products. Within her practice, González blurs the lines between art and commerce, digital and analog, and couture and popular fashion. She integrates methods including hand processes (sketching, prototyping, illustration, book-making), ethnographic research (participant-observation, interviewing), user experience and interaction design. González has led and designed user experience projects for brands including Moleskine, Google, Benjamin Moore, AOL, Nokia and Coca-Cola. She also develops maps that document and open-source the codes behind fashion labels such as Chanel, Burberry and Versace. Her artwork has been featured in exhibits at Eyebeam and Garanti Gallery, and in publications such as WiredUK, Hurriyet, and Fashion Practice. González holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. and a Master’s Degree in Interactive Telecommunications from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. She currently lives and works in New York City, and is the founder and creative director of TEOSANTOS Inc., a brand and interaction design consultancy.


MARC HERBST is an artist, writer, and co-editor of the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest (www.joaap.org). He is interested in the expansive field at the intersection of the environment, livability, and what people make of it—that is, culture. His work is based on an appreciation of political activism in a cultural context. Herbst has edited or contributed to 10 books, including authoring a comic book series focusing on what might eventually constitute a post-capitalist and post-global-warming style of dress, and a small zine on pre-World War 2 German youth groups. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the Goldsmiths Center for Cultural Studies at the University of London.


AMY TWIGGER HOLROYD is a designer, maker and researcher, working at the intersection of fashion, making, design and sustainability. While pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies in fashion and textiles at Manchester Metropolitan University and Winchester School of Art, Holroyd developed a sustainable fashion philosophy based around craft, longevity and versatility. In 2004, she launched her experimental knitwear label, Keep & Share, to explore these ideas further. In addition to creating collections of knitwear as well as individual items on commission, Holroyd runs workshops and participatory knitting projects in a variety of settings. She also creates conceptual one-off pieces which investigate issues of authorship and ownership. Holroyd sees her practice as a type of research, generating new knowledge that can be shared with others, and potentially influencing future fashion and design activity. Between 2010 and 2013, she undertook full-time PhD study at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design. Her research explores amateur fashion making—which she describes as “folk fashion”—as a strategy for sustainability. More specifically, the study investigates the practice of re-knitting: the use of knitting techniques to rework existing knitted garments. In 2014 Holroyd joined the University of Leeds as Research Fellow in the School of Design, working on a 3-year Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project investigating the role of design in revitalizing traditional craft processes and place-related products and patterns. Holroyd’s work has been featured in many publications, from Vogue to Fashion Theory, and in books including Sustainable Fashion and Textiles by Kate Fletcher, The Culture of Knitting by Jo Turney, and Knitting: Fashion, Industry, Craft by Sandy Black.


Rachel Kinnard is Assistant to the Chair of Fashion Design at Pratt Institute. She holds her BFA in Fashion Design and MA in Fashion Studies. Rachel’s research interests explore the boundaries between fashion and body, specifically within technology and medicine. She is a regular contributor to Apparel Insiders and co-founder of BIAS Journal of Dress Practice. Website: www.rachel-kinnard.com.


MECHI MARTINEZ was born in Buenos Aires, and has been involved in making clothes since childhood. By the age of 18, she was working independently, making all types of garments. In 2004, she began the recycled textile art practice 12-n in partnership with Mariano Breccia, a practice that she continues to this day.


ELIZABETH ORIA is a Chilean journalist, based in Stockholm since 2003. She studied garment design in Chile. In 2007, she founded Prendas Públicas (www.prendaspublicas.com), a fashion blog focused on Scandinavian fashion design. In 2011, she was a panelist at the conference, Jornadas Blogs de Moda, hosted by the Museo del Traje in Madrid. She has worked for newspapers and magazines, including NEO2 (www.neo2.es), Tendencias Fashionmag (www.tendenciasfashionmag.com), VANIDAD (www.vanidad.es) and CACAO Magazine (www.cacaomag.com Taiwan/Sweden), and a variety of Spanish-language blogs. She is currently fashion editor for IT Fashion - Barcelona Style Magazine (www.itfashion.com) and content editor for the international project Fashion Revolution (www.fashionrevolution.org), specifically developing content for Fashion Revolution Chile.


LAUREN DOWNING PETERS is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Fashion Studies at Stockholm University. She was in the inaugural class of the MA Fashion Studies program at Parsons The New School for Design, graduating with honors in May 2012. Her current work emerges from her Master’s thesis, and explores the discourse of plus-size fashion and the function of clothing in “fat activism.” Her dissertation is tentatively entitled “At the Margins: Plus-Size Fashion, Fashion Systems, and Stigma,” and is scheduled to be completed in 2018. Peters has recently published articles in the peer-reviewed journals Fashion Theory, The Journal of Curatorial Studies, Canadian Review of American Studies, BIAS: Journal of Dress Practice, and Cuaderno 48, as well as a co-authored chapter in a forthcoming volume entitled Global Fashion Brands: Style, Luxury and History.


J. MORGAN PUETT is the founder of Mildred’s Lane, a combination hand-crafted clothing line and social practice. Her work has been exhibited at renowned institutions worldwide, most recently at the MoMA, New York City, and has been featured in New York Magazine, W, Harpers Bazaar, Art Forum, Art in America, World of Interiors, I.D. and The New York Times, among other media outlets. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, and was named a Fellow of United States Artists in December, 2011.


JOKE ROBAARD is an artist, researcher and lecturer based at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Her work spans many fields including geography and cartography, photography and philosophy, and fashion theory. Robaard’s brochures and photographic works, videos, texts, lectures, student projects and archives are all aspects of an ongoing process of uncovering hidden or forgotten connections between people, clothing, words and society, and of how these things change over time. Selected recent exhibitions include: Endless Shirt, Reading Back and Forth (group exhibition), Stadtmuseum Graz, Austria, 2007; Opera Aperta, Dutch Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2011; Get Real/Real Self, Museum of Modern Art, Arnhem, Holland, 2011; Does it Work? How Does it Work? (group exhibition), Goldsmiths College and Slade School of Art, London, 2014. Website: www.jokerobaard.nl.


ZOE ROMANO lives in Milan and currently works on Digital Strategy and Wearables for the open-source electronics prototyping platform Arduino. She co-founded Openwear.org, the European pilot project around collaborative fashion and open-source branding, and Wefab.it, an initiative for the diffusion of open design and digital fabrication in Italy. Her media-based political activism has focused on issues of precarity, social production, and labor in the creative and service industries. She recently launched a Makerspace in Milan called Wemake.cc, focused on contemporary fashion and design practices. Websites: www.wemake.cc and www.zoescope.wordpress.com.


STEPHANIE SYJUCO is a sculpture and installation artist whose work often includes an active public component that invites viewers to directly participate as producers or distributors. Representative projects include starting an ongoing collaborative project with crochet crafters to counterfeit high-end consumer goods (2006-present); presenting a parasitic art counterfeiting event, COPYSTAND: An Autonomous Manufacturing Zone, for Frieze Projects, London (2009); and Shadowshop, an alternative vending outlet embedded at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art that explored ways in which artists today are navigating the production, consumption, and dissemination of their work (2010–11). She is currently collaborating with the FLACC Workplace for Visual Artists in Genk, Belgium, on a new body of works utilizing 3-D scanning of Belgian and Congolese antiquities to produce hybrid ceramic objects addressing the legacy of colonialism, empire, and trade routes. Syjuco received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and an MFA from Stanford University. Her work has been shown at major institutions nationally and internationally. A recipient of a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship Award, she is an Assistant Professor in Sculpture at the University of California, Berkeley, and lives and works in San Francisco. Website: www.stephaniesyjuco.com.


MARGREET SWEERTS trained as a theatre director and worked in theatre for many years in Holland and Belgium. In 2002, she founded SERA together with Ivo van Megen, specializing in site-specific theatre. With the fashion designer Saskia van Drimmelen and fashion student Jarwo Gibson, Sweerts co-founded the hybrid fashion collective Painted in 2006; since then, the group has explored new and alternative ways of making, presenting and distributing fashion, looking for reciprocal relationships in all phases of the process. The work of Painted has been displayed in various international exhibitions, and Sweerts and von Drimmelen are frequently invited to give lectures and workshops about their practice. Golden Joinery is the latest offspring of their body of work. Sweerts also has 25 years’ experiences as a performer and teacher of the Argentine tango.


OTTO VON BUSCH has faculty appointments at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Stockholm) and at Parsons The New School for Design (New York). He has a background in arts, craft, design and theory, and aims to seamlessly combine all these fields into one critical fashion practice. His research explores the emergence of a new “hacktivist” role in fashion design, in which the designer engages participants to reform fashion from an institution fraught with anxiety and fear into a collective experience of empowerment and liberation that helps people become more fashion-able. In recent years, Busch’s work has primarily engaged the politics of fashion, especially in his collaborations with the Parsons-based research group The Fashion Praxis Collective. Website: www.selfpassage.org.


JADE WHITSON-SMITH is a lecturer on textiles at the University of Huddersfield, UK. She is currently pursuing doctoral research that examines human/garment interactions. Whitson-Smith is interested in challenging post-purchase fashion behavior, and has delivered lectures and workshops for ReMade in Leeds exploring the practices of repair, exchange, and re-design. She sits on the board of Leeds Community Clothes Exchange, one of the biggest and most established clothes swaps in the UK. Whitson-Smith works closely with illustrator Simon Edgar Lord to visually communicate her adventures through the wardrobe.
Letter from the Editors
Pascale Gatzen and Otto von Busch


Letter from the Editors
Pascale Gatzen and Otto von Busch
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