Pedagogy and Professional Development

Breaking the Barriers of Disability With Cotton Performance Technologies: An Experiential Learning Opportunity for Technical Design and Omnichannel Retailing Students

Authors
  • Kristen Deanne Morris (Colorado State University)
  • Li Zhao (University of Missouri)
  • Kerri McBee-Black (University of Missouri)

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to provide students in a Technical Design (TD) course and an Omnichannel Retailing (OCR) course with an opportunity to explore innovative materials and design approaches as mechanisms to reduce apparel-related barriers for people living with disabilities (PLWD). This project, funded through a competitive grant from the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated, was developed as an impetus for students to apply, and promote cotton innovations for adaptive apparel products that have performance and aesthetic value for PLWD. The instructors approached the project from a holistic product development perspective where cross-functional TD teams cooperated with OCR teams throughout the 16-week semester through a real-life case study of an adaptive apparel retailer. The instructors of both courses reframed the delivery of the course learning objectives so that each course objective directly related to the case study. Throughout the semester, TD teams developed cotton-rich adaptive apparel products and twelve OCR teams analyzed the adaptive apparel market to produce mock websites and social media content promoting cotton as a barrier-breaking fiber for adaptive apparel. This project provides educators with an example of how to project like this into their courses to engage students in discussions about adaptive apparel, material innovation, and omnichannel promotion strategies to ensure that apparel is meeting the demands of the market.

Keywords: case study, user-centered design

How to Cite:

Morris, K. D., Zhao, L. & McBee-Black, K., (2019) “Breaking the Barriers of Disability With Cotton Performance Technologies: An Experiential Learning Opportunity for Technical Design and Omnichannel Retailing Students”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 76(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/itaa.9548

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Published on
15 Dec 2019