Pedagogy and Professional Development

Circular Design Challenge: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Sustainable Development in STEAD Disciplines

  • Barbara Cottrell Trippeer (University of North Texas)
  • Maryann Cairns (Southern Methodist University)
  • Myles Ethan Lascity (Southern Methodist University)
  • Eric Godat (Southern Methodist University)
  • Guillermo Vasquez (Southern Methodist University)


As part of a partnership between two U.S.-based academic institutions, this study interrogated misconceptions regarding sustainable product development through an interdisciplinary STEAD-based project with students in fashion design, engineering, and environmental anthropology. Students who participated in this study embarked upon a collaborative learning project which explored various modes of critical making, public engagement, and sustainable development using the circular design processes. The project, titled the Circular Design Challenge, tested the hypothesis that participation in creating sustainable clothing encourages students to consider political, social, and interpretive sustainability expectations, regardless of background or discipline. Additionally, this Circular Design Challenge experience explored how interdisciplinary collaborations at the university level can a) support general awareness regarding waste and environmental impacts of the apparel and textile industry and b) encourage in-depth approaches to circular design and other sustainable strategies. The findings from this project prompted discussion regarding the relationship between consumer and apparel industry practices.

Keywords: Fashion, apparel, sustainability, circular, environment, STEAD, fashion, Circular

How to Cite:

Trippeer, B. C., Cairns, M., Lascity, M. E., Godat, E. & Vasquez, G., (2022) “Circular Design Challenge: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Sustainable Development in STEAD Disciplines”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 79(1). doi:

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Published on
31 Dec 2022
Peer Reviewed