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PhD: A Beginning

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

Fashion design was something I never intended to set out to do, instead I completely fell into it. I was not one to spend time looking at the latest vogues or searching up designers, still today much to my ignorance I don't know the latest or most influential designers. I fell in love with fashion because of the craftsmanship, and the art of making and problem solving an artefact. Early in my career as a designer I was introduced to a documentary called "Eco Fashion: Is green the new black?" this documentary although seriously dated was a pivotal point within my design practice, the thought that what I Ioved doing was causing so much damage to the environment really changed my perspective on the industry.

Like most of my Bachelor of Design (Fashion) studnets I too wanted to create my own fashion brand after graduating from school. Little did I know that I would be competing with the giant fast fashion companies who are producing designer looks fast and cheaper than I ever could. Gone are the days of going to the house of couture and getting measured to have a custom piece made for your to keep and pass down generations. Originally on my PhD journey I set out to research fashion education and how industry 4.0 technologies could change our local fashion systems. On this journey I discovered that regardless of the changes we make to our fashion systems we are always going to have an environmental sustainability problem. Consumers are always going to buy at a rate in which will outpace the original source. Designers are are the key stakeholders in the direction our industry takes, this is here where my PhD research should begin. How can my design practice with the use of technology employ a local micro manufacturing system to reconnect with the consumer. To have a design practice that produce clothes that have meaningful connections with the participants involved.

Climate change poses a serious risk to humanity, the level in which the temperature rises is dependent on our current and future levels of consumption, production, technological development and land management (IPCC, 2019). The Anthropocene is a period stated by ecologist in which humans started to make a major impact on the earth (Payne, 2019).

When I first started thinking of methodology to undertake this research with I drew this circular research system. When I reflect on the circular in which we teach the future leaders of our industry, we base our key knowledge and performance criteria from what industries current practices are. Therefore to make change to fashion circular you must make change to fashion practice. Making change to a practice within industry influences how we create curricular, so while this research is in fashion practice it's intended research outcome is made to influence fashion education. The methodology I intent to employ to answer my research aims and questions is an exploratory sequential mixed methods approach.

This blog throughout the research will be used as an ethnographic instrument to self reflect on my design practice and on going research.

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