Fall 2021

  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. The Design Folio class will challenge your understanding and preconceptions about how to design clothing. The Portfolio unit runs throughout the course and culminates in a physical or digital portfolio that you can use to apply for competitions, internships, graduate study, employment, or personal development. The class promotes discursive learning and engagement with topics and issues that do not always have clear-cut answers. In combination with developing unique presentational skills, you will focus on visual research, experimentation, and ideas. Seeking inspiration in unexpected places, you will work both independently and collaboratively. Each student will receive weekly one-on-one tutorials, which will assist in identifying individual strengths and weaknesses, while developing the resilience necessary to overcome limitations. You will have the option to work independently or within a structured project brief, depending upon your prior knowledge and future course of study. The faculty will also assist you in selecting materials that accurately reflect your practices and contextual awareness. Open to Apparel Design majors only; sophomores and above. Open to non-majors pending seat availability and permission of instructor.
  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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. NASA's Artemis 2024 Lunar mission aims to return U.S. astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972 - when the Apollo 17 mission first landed there. This time it will not be only men making the journey, as NASA has promised a lunar moondust walk for the first women and the first person of color. Eighteen astronauts (nine women and nine men) are currently training for humanities return to the moon. NASA's goal is to go to the moon sustainably, to learn how to live and work in another world. What articles of clothing would be functional, aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, sustainable, breathable, cleanable, and able to endure a mission to the moon? This interdisciplinary course welcomes students from all departments to learn CLO3D, a disruptive fashion design software specializing in 'true-to-life' 3D garment simulation, enabling users to visualize the design, material, color, and graphic variations and modifications in real-time. They will gain a working knowledge of the whole architecture of garment-making, navigate decisions on the spot, and simulate various fabrics to assess fit and function. Students will then design a gender-neutral capsule collection for astronauts to wear while researching the Orion Spacecraft. CLO3D allows users to visualize 3D garments on avatars from 2D patterns used to make the physical sample. Extreme environments require technically sound fabrications, consideration to mobility without gravity, a shift in the hierarchy of exterminates, and a "stellar" state of mind. Students will use critical design methodologies, research, and a simulated first-hand experience of this environment to traverse their collection. This course will delve into the metaverse to experience space in virtual reality using Oculus Quest 2 headsets. Students will spend time performing tasks on the International Space Station and explore the cosmos from the lens of the Hubble Telescope. Habitats designed by former RISD students during their enrollment in "Design for Extreme Environments" and "Designing for Life Off Planet" will also be explored in VR. Students will import their Artemis Apparel into this virtual environment and capture video as part of a final presentation made to NASA at the end of the semester. Open to sophomores and above.
  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 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 2022

  1. 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.

Spring 2022

  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 Apparel Design juniors and seniors only.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. NASA's Artemis 2024 Lunar mission aims to return U.S. astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972 - when the Apollo 17 mission first landed there. This time it will not be only men making the journey, as NASA has promised a lunar moondust walk for the first women and the first person of color. Eighteen astronauts (nine women and nine men) are currently training for humanities return to the moon. NASA's goal is to go to the moon sustainably, to learn how to live and work in another world. What articles of clothing would be functional, aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, sustainable, breathable, cleanable, and able to endure a mission to the moon? This interdisciplinary course welcomes students from all departments to learn CLO3D, a disruptive fashion design software specializing in 'true-to-life' 3D garment simulation, enabling users to visualize the design, material, color, and graphic variations and modifications in real-time. They will gain a working knowledge of the whole architecture of garment-making, navigate decisions on the spot, and simulate various fabrics to assess fit and function. Students will then design a gender-neutral capsule collection for astronauts to wear while researching the Orion Spacecraft. CLO3D allows users to visualize 3D garments on avatars from 2D patterns used to make the physical sample. Extreme environments require technically sound fabrications, consideration to mobility without gravity, a shift in the hierarchy of exterminates, and a "stellar" state of mind. Students will use critical design methodologies, research, and a simulated first-hand experience of this environment to traverse their collection. This course will delve into the metaverse to experience space in virtual reality using Oculus Quest 2 headsets. Students will spend time performing tasks on the International Space Station and explore the cosmos from the lens of the Hubble Telescope. Habitats designed by former RISD students during their enrollment in "Design for Extreme Environments" and "Designing for Life Off Planet" will also be explored in VR. Students will import their Artemis Apparel into this virtual environment and capture video as part of a final presentation made to NASA at the end of the semester. Open to sophomores and above.
  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, and students 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" complements the design history survey, "History of Dress." ("History of Dress" is not a prerequisite). This seminar will introduce students to theoretical debates in fashion theory, responding to scholars who define fashion as the cultural construction of embodied identity. Through the manipulation of the visual and tactile symbols of clothing (cut, cloth, texture and color) fashion expresses, however imprecisely, a configuration of individual attributes and attitudes that persons seek to communicate. But fashion most likely productively draws upon "recurrent instabilities" in collective social identities, argues Fred Davis, including masculinity versus femininity, androgyny versus singularity, license versus restraint and conformity versus rebellion. Fashion can do so because social identities are rarely the stable amalgams we take them to be: they 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, we will explore clothing's role in marking, or alternately containing, deflecting or sublimating, those aspects of identity linked to gender, sexuality, class, race, religion and nation. Noting that leading designers use the catwalk to present experimental clothes that often communicate brand values and the designer's identity, we will explore the extent to which fashion is currently formulating effective social commentary. The class integrates reading and reading responses with discussion and visual analysis of clothing and fashion across the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Reading responses will help students develop four short written projects that assess and analyze debates encountered in class discussion and readings. Class time will include in-class writing and peer review. Open to Apparel majors only; sophomore and above Open to non-majors by permission of Instructor.