“No Concept”

  • Resilience
  • Capitalism
  • Negative Feedback
  • Sustainable aesthetic
  • Waste conscious lifestyle
  • Alternate uniformity

Throughout the course of absorbing, discussing and understanding various scholarly materials in Global Issues, my skeptic perspective on design practices have become clearer. Every object or product one creates has a meaning, a purpose that is deeper than serving its means of beauty, luxury and marketability. The one has a responsibility to see a problem in a larger context (globally, economically, culturally, socially and politically) and respond to the problem through its discipline. The one brings attention to the issues that are overlooked and encourages the society to participate in its creative process. However the one is challenged by the system of Capitalism, a succumbing monopoly of money and power that it cannot escape. The one yet learns to negotiate and intervene the imbalanced system; the positive feedback is adjusted by the negative feedback. It is a constant struggle and process that is to be reviewed, reflected and innovated.

Specifically Timo Rissanen encouraged me to question what it means to create a garment that is often followed by the vicious cycle of trend, and further what it means to design sustainable lifestyle. His studies in “designing endurance” helped me firmly to place myself in the field as a fashion design practitioner. In many ways his introductory concept of producing a zero-waste garment seemed idealistic and unreasonable; it is however a possibility. Such thought led me to revisit a project that had been left untouched since the day I completed.

It was a final project for my sophomore year which I designed a collection from a concept of having “no concept.” It was developed from a thought of why we need to base our designs from a redundant process: finding a source of inspiration, researching and gathering its information, and translating it into a final product. What is the value of creating a collection without conveying a larger conversation?

As I looked into current issues instead of following the norms from various articles and statistic facts, I found a pattern of chaos and confusion that the society was exposed to: ongoing war in the Middle East, economic recession, demand in “new,” and overwhelming brand choices. There was no need to design a full collection of twelve looks (which were required). Consumers did not need an extra brand (of mine) to shop but a set of uniformity. Thus I designed six “uniforms” that would be altered and worn in different forms. The overall idea was to limit the choices in silhouettes by offering different fabric options, and make the decision making more efficient.

The project touches upon the main points Timo raised during the lecture. However, there are more questions to be asked in terms of clarifying the concept and how it can be presented differently. Anne Balsamo discussed designing culture is not necessarily “inventing” something entirely new; it is examining and “innovating” what has already been invented. Julie Bargmann then shared designing urban landscape is a matter of understanding its history and culture, and rebuilding from its remainder.

Therefore, my global studio will not have a physical form of end result. It will rather focus more on the reflective process of how I reevaluate the work, see the problems and develop the ready-made work with more depth. The final  “paper” will be shown as a visual presentation of documented notes, analysis and images of the changes I have made. Conceptually the idea or statement will be more defined and have clearer connection to the larger issues. In terms of technical skills, chosen mood board images, design aesthetics and illustration styles will be rearticulated in order to draw a distinction between the old and “new.”

Celina Lee

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One Response to “No Concept”

  1. Karen says:

    I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website
    yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back
    as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thank you

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