Summer 2022

  1. This internship will provide apparel students an opportunity to experience the apparel industry for a minimum of five weeks of professional practice. At the completion of the work experience, interns are required to writie a report about their experience and sponsors are required to complete a student evaluation. Student can earn a maximum of 6 internship credits. Estimated cost of living expenses: $2,000.00 Permission of Instructor required. ***Off-Campus Study***

Fall 2022

  1. A Collaborative Study Project (CSP) allows two students to work collaboratively to complete a faculty supervised project of independent study. Usually, a CSP is supervised by two faculty members, but with approval it may be supervised by one faculty member. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses, though it is not a substitute for a course if that course is regularly offered. Permission of Instructor required and GPA of 3.0 or higher. Register by completing the Collaborative Study Registration Form available on the Registrar's website.
  2. Concept to Clothing is an elective course for graduate and undergraduate students who seek to learn the technical curriculum covering the fundamental principles of garment development, construction and design. This is a critical making studio which will focus on basic garment making for prototypes as well as supporting individual graduate level projects to be worn on the body. Students are expected to show evidence of physical making throughout this course while they are constantly challenged to develop a deeper relationship to making clothing. A professional studio practice will filter through skill building in the areas of construction, draping, pattern making, garment development, fitting, industrial machine skills, and hand sewing techniques. The development process will include conceptualization, creating specifications, fabricating iterative prototypes, conducting supplier and material research to support the students thesis of study. Prior sewing experience is required. Students are expected to have a project in mind to work on. Estimated Materials Cost: $350.00 Permission of instructor required.
  3. This class examines fashion in Europe and America from the eighteenth century to the present, covering the industrial revolution through the development of couture and postmodern fashion. It analyzes clothing as a social and cultural artifact, central to the construction of group and individual identity. Lectures and readings explore the production, consumption, use and meanings of dress, and will be supplemented by visits to the RISD museum. Course work will be comprised of group and independent research, written papers, and oral presentations. Major requirement; Apparel Design sophomores Art History credit for Apparel Design majors Liberal Arts elective credit for non-majors pending seat availability and permission of Instructor. Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  4. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses. Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration.
  5. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses. Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration.
  6. Students concentrate on designing with 'cut and sew' knit fabric. Through draping with knit fabrics on the form, students learn to utilize the inherent properties of knits. Instruction in 'cut and sew' construction is combined with pattern making techniques, enabling students to execute their concepts as finished garments. Estimated Materials Cost: $250.00 Major requirement; Apparel Design majors only Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  7. This course is an introduction to the creative and technical possibilities of the knitting machine. Through the development of knit swatches, the course will cover the following essentials of sweater knit design including graphing, calculating gauge and tension, shaping of a knit body, exploration of a diverse range of knit stitches, professional finishing of a knit garment, and how to select the best yarn to execute your final garment. Students will also develop unique trims and finishes to enhance their designs. Estimated Materials Cost: $250.00 Major requirement; Apparel Design majors only Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  8. In Design/Draw II, Junior students focus on designing for knitwear, experimenting three-dimensionally as they explore the unique properties of knit fabrics. Color, texture, yard, and stitch variations are examined as students also design using the diverse properties of machine knitwear. Students build on self-expression and visual communication to place their creative voices firmly at the center of their design. Estimated Materials Cost: $200.00 Major requirement; Apparel Design majors only Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  9. This internship will provide apparel students an opportunity to experience the apparel industry for a minimum of five weeks of professional practice. At the completion of the work experience, interns are required to writie a report about their experience and sponsors are required to complete a student evaluation. Student can earn a maximum of 6 internship credits. Estimated cost of living expenses: $2,000.00 Permission of Instructor required. ***Off-Campus Study***
  10. During three integrated studios, students learn professional collections from concept to presentation. Portfolio assignments are aimed at strengthening students' established styles and experimentation in new areas. Studios build on their draping, drafting and construction skills through individual instruction as they complete a collection for final presentation to the visiting critics. During studio, students explore varied means of presentation and capturing of their process. Estimated Materials Cost: $1,000.00 Major requirement; Apparel Design majors only Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  11. This class builds over two semesters, and works in concert with "Senior Collection Development". As students begin to develop their thesis Collection, they will uncover what motivates them, what they aspire to in the context of their work and creative practice, as well as what they stand for in the world. The class fosters research, invests in the emotional experience of clothing: how it makes the wearer feel, where it comes from, who it serves. Communication is at the heart of the process, and moves between the visual, written, and the spoken word. Writing prompts are used to bridge thinking and making and students learn to articulate their creative process while developing a distinctive design language and identity. As students explore approaches to fashion/clothing as an embodied discipline, they investigate the sense orientated potential for their designs. Classes are navigated through group work, tutorial-based sessions, cross-disciplinary prompts and critiques. Major requirement; Apparel Design majors only. Registration by Apparel Design Department, courses not available via web registration.
  12. This introductory course lays the foundation for the design process through draping, pattern drafting and construction. Students make basic patterns and proceed with variations to develop pattern making skills and design concepts. Weekly textile seminars introduce students to fibers and yarns, fabric types, properties and uses. Estimated Materials Cost: $100.00 Major requirement; Apparel Design majors only Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  13. This course introduces technical and conceptual grounding in the aesthetics of identity projection through apparel and personal ornamentation. In addition to offering an intersectional lens through which to investigate both individual and social identity, students will learn foundational and interdisciplinary skills for design and construction: from presentation plates to effectively communicate the visual language of their design intentions to digital embroidery, laser cutting, UV printing, etc. to explore novel material and construction strategies. Research, discussions, and collaborative activities investigate how clothing might assume responses for both the wearer and the audience in the context of identity informed by gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, religion, and more; both classic and experimental production techniques empower students to more fully realize their concepts of identity representation and projection. Estimated Materials Cost: $250.00 Major requirement; Apparel Design majors. only Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  14. This studio-elective course will follow a series of twelve lectures given at the South Kensington Museum as published in P.L. Simmonds, Animal Products. This seminal work served as a compilation of the trade exhibition collections from the 1851 Crystal Palace exposition that eventually served as the seed for the collections of the South Kensington Museum and finally the Branch Museum of the Department at Bethnal Green. These collections laid the foundation for much of the Victoria and Albert Museum collections (V&A) that in turn influenced the creation of RISD and the RISD Museum in 1877. This course will examine design and fashion, naturalist journals, and literature as a means to develop the students design vocabulary and materials palate. Students will compare the tastes and techniques of the Victorian era to contemporary design practices, with case studies of designers utilizing the natural world as a resource and source for design. Weekly lectures will introduce students to artists and designers of the 19th century and compare them to contemporary artists and designers. These introductory lectures will be paired each week with a specific material examination and hand-on exploration via materials demonstrations and a sample notebook. We will engage in readings, group discussions, critique of student "Naturalist Journals," materials demonstrations, and examine historic and contemporary Museum objects within each theme material. Field trips to the RISD Museum will be augmented by visits to the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab, RISD Materials library, The Providence Athenaeum, The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University, The New Bedford Whaling Museum, and The Museum of Natural History, Roger Williams Park. Estimated Materials Cost: $20.00 Open to Apparel Design majors only; sophomore and above Open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of Instructor.

Wintersession 2023

  1. This global travel course offers a unique opportunity to experience craft as practiced at the highest level on location in Jaipur, India, with its long tradition and rich diversity of artisan culture, and to explore how digital technologies which pervade contemporary art and design education can act in collaboration. Hosted by DirectCreate, a network of and digital marketplace for Indian artisans, students will have first-hand exposure to the artisan's environment and to observe the production of work hewn by place-based considerations such as regional climate, culture and infrastructure. Guided by project-based prompts and engaging in making activities together, this course invites a conversation about the nature of collaborative practices integrating craft while exploring new potential approaches to advanced technology. There has been an emergence of global interest in craft (DIY practices, revival of sewing and knitting clubs) catalyzed by pandemic-era isolation and disseminated through mediated technologies. This boom in amateur craft stands in stark contrast to the devastation of many professional hand-based craft industries which saw their markets all but disappear and little know-how or access to digital markets. Such paradoxes and the pandemic-era decline of travel and devaluation of live settings in education, act as fitting backdrops for students in this course to become fully immersed within the shifting boundaries between art, design and craft and to foreground questions like "How can traditional craft meaningfully engage tools like 3d modeling or 3d printing" or "What is the role of the hand in the metaverse?" Applications open in September. Registration begins in October at a time to be announced. All students are required to remain in good academic standing in order to participate in the WS travel course/studio. A minimum GPA of 2.50 is required. Failure to remain in good academic standing can lead to removal from the course, either before or during the course. Also in cases where WS travel courses and studios do not reach student capacity, the course may be cancelled after the last day of Wintersession travel course registration. As such, all students are advised not to purchase flights for participation in Wintersession travel courses until the course is confirmed to run, which happens within the week after the final Wintersession travel course registration period. Permission of Instructor required. Also offered as TEXT-1550; Register in the course for which credit is desired. Open to first year students with approval from the Dean of Experimental & Foundation Studies. 2023WS Estimated Travel Cost: TBD ***Off-Campus Study***
  2. What makes wool an amazing material? What makes some sheep endangered? How did sheep end up in Iceland, Labrador, the Americas, and Australia? In this course we will explore these questions via case studies and hands on explorations. We will learn about the movement of sheep as they traveled with settler colonizers, the "big farm" movement of monoculture, to the current resurgence of heritage breed farming and TEK (traditional ecological knowledge). Skills you will learn include fiber identification, animal husbandry, the processing of a fleece-from picking, washing, carding, and spinning, to the impact of non-native species on the land and responsive regenerative land stewardship. We explore the historical context of environmental matters via object visits to the RISD museum, readings, field trips, guest lectures, and materials exploration. Best of all? You will learn the wonders of lanolin this winter -- no more chapped hands! Estimated Materials Cost: $20.00
  3. Dressed bodies, is a course conceived to expose students from external departments across RISD campus to a variety of making practices stemming from traditional apparel design practices. Students are expected to bring their current skill set and their apparel related curiosity with the aims of developing a personal project or enhancing apparel related skills. Clothing development, brand, soft-goods development, principles for creating 3 dimensional works around the body from 2 dimensional sketches and patterns as well as basic sewing skills will be covered throughout the body of this course. Principles learned here may be applied to a variety of fine arts processes as well as product design. Students will be encouraged to develop a better understanding of materials and construction techniques while exploring deeper relationships between 2D shape and 3D form. This dynamic, technical and creative class; supports students further understanding of sewing construction and how it directly relates to- and impacts any creative or technical project, ultimately broadening the students understanding of both material properties and essential technical components of fabric construction. *Components of this class are seminar and self-directed.
  4. The professional Internship provides valuable exposure to a professional setting, enabling students to better establish a career path and define practical aspirations. Internship proposals are carefully vetted to determine legitimacy and must meet the contact hour requirements listed in the RISD Course Announcement.
  5. Divas and Divos to the Runway Please! The Category Is? - an multi-disciplinary studio that merges the three most instrumental elements of popular culture: Architecture, Apparel and the Ballroom Industry. This course will explore the elements of wearable architecture design at the it's most effective scale; the figure. Each student will have the responsibility to investigate prominent categories and performers of the Black and Brown LGBTQIA+ Ballroom Community, interpret these figures, and create a wearable that invokes the specific category that the figure walks at a Ball. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of the Ballroom community and wearable architecture throughout the duration of 3 iterative projects over a 6 week period; WHAT'S THE CATEGORY GIVING?! Group project - (Research of Ballroom Categories) HOLD THAT POSE FOR ME! Investigate and Draw (Graphic Timeline/ Representation) BRING IT AS! - Architectural wearable presentation in traditional ball form. DJ Pump the beat! The Category starts in 5...4...3...2...1! Estimated Materials Cost: $50.00-$300.00

Spring 2023

  1. The course will focus on gaining advanced knitting technical skills and exploring social justice issues in fashion: sustainability and body image. Students will apply zero waste principles from design to construction while developing sustainable concepts that redefine body image. This interwoven approach will inspire students to become ethically, socially, and environmentally responsible designers. The course will emphasize the sustainable development of knit accessories, adornments, and garments as one simultaneous process based on craftsmanship and creative research. To realize this process, the course will introduce students to the double bed knitting machine, which allows greater versatility in creating rib structures. The course will also engage students with zero waste knitting, and guide them to develop sustainable design missions. Similarly, students will explore the social constructions of culture, history, age, gender, and identity in relation to how society influences body image. This will allow students to reinvent the concept of body image on their own terms in the "Knitting for Diverse Bodies" project. This project will empower students to redefine body image as it connects to their understanding of sustainability, aesthetics, and design identity/identities. To begin the "Knitting for Diverse Bodies" project, students will first be introduced to fully fashioned knit accessories and adornments such as body ornaments, head pieces, neck pieces, gloves, footwear, handbags, masks, etc. Second, students will explore how knit accessories and adornments can open up possibilities for creating new design identities in relation to our bodies. Third, students will create fully fashioned knit garments inspired by their personal research and understanding of body image and sustainability. In doing so, students will follow their original, innovative, creative, and sustainable design missions that integrate with their redefinition of body image/s. Students will be encouraged to engage with historical, social, and cultural movements for inspiration in developing their sustainable design missions and understanding of body image and body positivity. Each student will share their research to the class, and together will discuss as a group how sustainable design has impacted body image issues, and how students can continue to evolve sustainable design missions and address social and ethical concerns as a designer. Throughout the course, students will create a digital documentation of their creative process, suggestions, and ideas by the use of visual, written, and spoken words. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 Open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  2. The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly offered courses. Permission of Instructor and GPA of 3.0 or higher is required. Register by completing the Independent Study Application available on the Registrar's website; the course is not available via web registration.
  3. Students focus on tailoring techniques and the design of tailored apparel. Drafting and classic tailoring techniques are taught and students explore shape and structure through experimentation on the form and creative pattern making. During this process, students use these technical skills to design and execute a jacket and companion piece. Estimated Materials Cost: $400.00 Major requirement; Apparel Design majors only Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  4. The class explores fashion and gender representations and aims to emphasize content and context in students' design work. Students focus on silhouette, form and proportion as they explore the structural possibilities inherent in the art of tailoring. They will sculpt the torso with original shapes, by inventing either a bolero, a caraco, a coat, a jacket, a manteau, a suit, a tuxedo, or an hybridation, an extrapolation, or a re-invention of these classic tailored garments, thereby creating a piece that defies sartorial codes or costume classification. Estimated Materials Cost: $200.00 Major requirement; Apparel Design majors only Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  5. This senior level course focuses on the design of unique interpretation of apparel design. The senior collections are a culmination of their skills and an exploration of their design vision. Originality, problem solving, and an organized design process are defined as essential elements of a successful degree project collection. Seniors refine and build their portfolios. Projects are aimed at enabling students to express a diverse but cohesive design vision. Estimated Materials Cost: $1,000.00 Major requirement; Apparel Design majors only Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  6. Building upon the research, explorations and discourses that began during the fall, students are prepared to be resourceful, feeling thinkers who use fashion/clothing as a platform for diverse cultural dialogue. They refine and execute a series of works that demonstrate their philosophy, vision, and establishes their authentic design language and identity. As they develop the capacity to express their mission and concepts in their fullest form/s, they are better equipped to communicate their ideas to their intended audience, and potential collaborators. The two semesters culminate in a portfolio, lookbook, film short and written essay. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with International Flavors and Fragrances on the scent of their collection. Classes are navigated through group work, tutorial-based sessions, cross-disciplinary prompts and critiques. Major requirement: Apparel Design majors only. Registration by Apparel Design Department, courses not available via web registration.
  7. Building on basic techniques taught first semester, students proceed to more complex cuts for bodices, sleeves, skirts and pants through techniques of draping, drafting and construction. One finished garment is required Estimated Materials Cost: $125.00 Major requirement; Apparel Design majors only Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  8. The design course builds on design process skills from the first semester through assignments that focus on research and its application, conceptual development, and team dynamics. Varied facets of apparel design are explored through lectures, museum research, classroom discussion, and creative exploration. Estimated Materials Cost: $150.00 Major requirement; Apparel Design majors only Registration by Apparel Design Department, course not available via web registration.
  9. Topics in Fashion Theory introduces students to the ideas and debate that have enriched our understanding of fashion. Through the manipulation of the visual and tactile symbols of clothing (cut, cloth, texture, ornament, and color) fashion expresses individual, community and societal attributes and attitudes. Yet, as Fred Davis notes, social identities are "rarely the stable amalgams we take them to be." They can shift over the course of a lifetime and are prodded by social and technological change. Drawing on scholarship in a range of disciplines, including sociology, cultural studies, gender studies and queer theory, the class explores how clothing communicates aspects of identity linked to gender, sexuality, class, race, religion, and nation. We will examine the extent to which fashion is currently formulating effective social commentary, and consider questions, for example, that surround sustainable fashion and cultural appropriation. The class integrates reading and reading responses with discussion and visual analysis of clothing and fashion across the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Students will develop a final essay that assesses a debate of interest encountered in class discussion and readings. Open to Apparel majors only; sophomore and above Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor.