I find it hard to write about school sometimes, because we use certain phrases in the curriculum that I find hard to translate accurately. One of these is "Designverständnis". It's one of 5 general "fields of study" we're taught during what is called the "forum". Every semester consists of a forum, which are made up of the 5 different (mostly weekly) courses, and a project we work on on our own (what I shared in my last post). The courses are:
"Designverständnis", which can be translated to design understanding. So far we've delved into the impact every stage of a piece of clothing has on the environment; methods for designing besides drawing, like life-size collages, stylings with objects; texts on subcultures, fashion and gender etc.
"Körperverständnis", which I guess would be understanding of the body, or "bodily awareness". We work with a Feldenkrais practitioner for this. Here's a bit about Feldenkrais from wikipedia: "The Feldenkrais Method, often referred to simply as "Feldenkrais", is a somatic educational system designed by Moshé Feldenkrais (1904–1984). Feldenkrais aims to reduce pain or limitations in movement, to improve physical function, and to promote general wellbeing by increasing students' awareness of themselves and by expanding students' movement repertoire. [...] The Feldenkrais Method is therefore a movement pedagogy, similar to the Alexander Technique in being educational and not a form of manipulative therapy." Since clothing is something we wear on our bodies (duh), my school feels it's important to be aware of your own. We also use how our bodies feel after the Feldenkrais work as design inspiration (for example, if my legs feel super heavy, my partner will try to interpret that in some way with paper or tapes or fabric, that's how the first image in this post came to be)
"Kollektion & Fläche": collection & surface, where we learn a lot of technical skills like patternmaking & sewing techniques, but also delve deeper into the design process (fabrics!! that's the "surface" part :), but also quickly developing silhouettes, ideas for colors and accessories)
"Präsentation & Kommunikation": presentation & communication, pretty self explanatory I think. We learn about photography, graphic design, performance... basically all the ways you can present your work. And it's not just about the skills, it's also about developing an idea of how you would like to present your work and finding your own visual language/doing things differently than the ads that might be printed in Vogue (unless you totally dig those). It's also about finding efficient ways of testing ideas in this area, and doing things on a tight budget.
"Konzept & Prozess": concept and process. This one I personally find very exhausting. Very important, but exhausting. It's basically about figuring out your "vision". What you want to do, why you want to do it, how it might be relevant, for whom you want to do it, where and with which materials, what you don't want to do, what you want to change and how... All those big questions. They don't expect us to find something right from the start and forever stick to it, but it's important to them (and I think that's good) that we ask ourselves these questions, and figure out in which direction we'd like to go. On a smaller scale it's also about how to gather inspiration, and formulate a concept for a project based on it, and how to go about further research (primary research where we test methods and design ideas ourselves, and secondary research where we looks for images / texts that help/inspire us).