In Fall 2010, I joined the Fashion Design and Merchandising department at Kent State University not only as an Assistant Professor in Fashion Design but also in the capacity of the Fashion Technologist. The courses I teach are technology-centric and require the assessment of individual skillsets. I chose to structure my courses with in-class exercises that build towards homework projects designed to test these skillsets. In my upper level TechStyleLAB courses, I introduce technology structured within investigations and case studies leading towards a final project synthesizing what has been learned during the semester. In the graduate level TechStyleLAB courses, the discourse of design thinking and research is created through complementary critical readings on a variety of topics. I am a firm believer in bringing interdisciplinary thinking into the coursework and I try to bring my interdisciplinary creative research into my courses when cohesive with the topics covered. This task is easier in the TechStyleLAB courses where my work directly relates to some of the topics covered in class. In the current Introduction to Fashion Technology course, I teach students the basics of data visualization and coding for surface design via the software tool Processing.
My experience of teaching has shifted through the years at KSU. I find that teaching (and teaching related duties such as course preps and grading) take up the majority of my time. This is due to the restructuring of the courses in the new curriculum, specifically the lecture and lab structuring of the Introduction to Fashion Technology course.I started teaching between 50/60 students per semester in my first year at Kent and now I teach between 276 and 389 a semester. During my five years here, I have been fortunate to touch the lives 1,915 students through teaching. Below I lay out by academic year the highlights in teaching for each respective year.
In 2010-2011 I taught multiple sections of Special Topics: Illustrator and Photoshop as well as the Computer Aided Design for Fashion Applications.
My second year, 2011-2012, I taught the revamped version of Special Topics: Illustrator and Photoshop, the Special Topics: Fashion Technology course, which was redeveloped with the aim to serve as a bootstrapping course for the digital core competencies that the industry requires from our students. Computer Aided Design for Fashion Applications (CAD) was also reworked to use the current version of Lectra’s Kaledo Print, Weave and Knit (previously taught with Lectra’s U4ia). During Fall 2011, Spring 2012, and Summer 2012, I had a chance to connect with students individually during my time as the Internship Coordinator. I had my first “Individual Investigation” student, Carl Belfiore, during Spring 2012. He was originally a student in my CAD textiles course who continued his research into textile print design via software and screen-printing.
2012-2013 brought the new experience of teaching the large format lecture of our technology-bootstrapping course, Introduction to Fashion Technology, in our auditorium. The curriculum was streamlined and offered to incoming freshman and transfer students to introduce them to Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Excel and even some data visualization software. Computer Integrated Textile Design for Fashion Applications (CITD), which is formerly Computer Aided Design for Fashion Applications, was also restructured to include not just Lectra’s Kaledo Suite (Print, Knit, and Weave) but also some basic Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator skills.
In 2013-2014, I focused on refining the Introduction to Fashion Technology Course. We had the pleasure of hosting visiting artists Cait and Casey Reas who led a workshop on Processing at the TechStyleLAB in conjunction with the Shifting Paradigms Exhibition. Students were so enthusiastic about learning to code for surface design that we dedicated a day in our course to learning the basics of coding on the open source software Processing. We have been teaching Processing in our intro course now as of Spring 2014 and it has generated some interesting textile designs. CITD also had a new course assignment that involves the laser cutter. Learning how to design for new tools is very important and gives the students a problem they need to solve via using design thinking.
In 2014 – 2015, I taught the 2 lectures and 3 labs Introduction to Fashion Technology and am proud to continue to serve as the lead faculty member in charge of the curriculum development for this lecture/lab course. I am very passionate about the subject matter and the implementation of technology at an early level during the college experience and am grateful I have the opportunity to lead this course. I also had one section of Computer Integrated Textile Design in the Fall Semester. I was thrilled to be able to teach a new graduate level course titled TechStyleLAB: Digital Design and New Media in Fashion Culture. It is a new technology-intensive course that explores the intersection of New Media and Fashion. It includes research into analog design methods and digital systems of production and supply chain management. Various research and design topics covered in the course are: mass-customization, co-creation, material ecology, digital craft and future craft practices. The course teaches students how to utilize technologies housed in our TechStyleLAB such as digital textile printing, laser-cutting, 3D printing, body scanning, and basic wearable computing concepts. Some of the concepts that were taught were basic coding, basic 3D modeling, CAD/CAM machining techniques and terminology, projection mapping, and augmented reality. In the Spring, I was able to teach the undergraduate version of this course, TechStyleLAB: Fashion Technology, which focused on the TechStyleLAB technology and case studies directly relating to two of my research areas: OLED integration into soft products/garments and Liquid Crystal Textiles.
- 1,915 students taught at KSU
- Taught 43 courses