Pedagogy and Professional Development

Exploring Social Justice Issues Through Design in an Apparel Design Studio Course

  • kelly L. Redd-Best (Iowa State University)


Boden (2004) explained that one way to be creative is to make “unfamiliar combinations of familiar ideas'(p. 2). One familiar concept at a public institution set in an urban environment in the United States is social justice. The goal of this teaching technique was to engage students with social justice issues throughout the design process in an apparel design studio setting. This project was designed to infuse and encourage engagement with an important topic in a non-traditional fashion. The instructor defined social justice and equity, and then provided several examples of inequalities present in our society. Students were required to identify a social injustice and research the topic by examining news, journals, or other outlets. Students were encouraged to utilize visual representation in the design or utilize emotions associated with the injustice in the construction and elements throughout the design process and execution. Students utilized a variety of social justice inspiration sources such as racial inequity, sexism, colorism, classism, and abelism. During presentations, students exhibited strong emotion and connection to their results.

How to Cite:

Redd-Best, k. L., (2016) “Exploring Social Justice Issues Through Design in an Apparel Design Studio Course”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 73(1).

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Published on
09 Nov 2016
Peer Reviewed