4.322 / 4.323
Introduction to Three-Dimensional Art Work — Culture Fabric: Art, Fashion, Identity

Permission of instructor
UG: 4.322, G: 4.323 — limited to 20

Design wearable art to foster an understanding between cultures! Learn how to embrace elements of your own identity to make connections with other cultures. Focusing on the notion of “fabric” both as a medium and as a framework to explore the complex cultural histories, meanings and functions of clothing, this course is an artistic exploration of transcultural aesthetics. We will investigate how textiles, clothing, wearable art and technologies can link ideas and people across physical and psychological borders, thereby creating shared forms of future heritage to promote cross-cultural empathy. You will be expected to work on two studio-based projects. First, you will be designing a Transcultural Suit, by investigating and reinterpreting specific cultural traditions into in creative applications of clothing and wearable technologies. The second project w! ill be a group project called Resonator, which will consist of the students' individual designs for wearable acoustic elements, which can be connected into a collective structure. These elements will be designed by recording sound samples from different religions, cultural traditions and belief systems, which will be translated into patterns, materials and forms.

Methodologically, this studio course introduces experimentation with three-dimensional forms including installation, environment, site context fabrication, and the object’s relation to the body. We will be working with a variety of materials and techniques, with an emphasis on silk-screening and textiles. Sewing skills are beneficial but not pre-required for the class; sewing tutorials, machines and basic sewing equipment/ textiles will be provided. Lectures, readings, screenings and field trips supplement studio practice. Studio projects are informed by research and discussions in relation to the class themes. Selected readings from the fields of art history, anthropology, and cultural theory, will provide us with different perspectives on how clothing and wearable art and architecture can be a medium for identity politics and communication.

The class meets twice a week. Tuesday is the discussion session; Thursday is focused on fabrication tutorials and hands on studio production. Students from all disciplines are encouraged and welcome to enroll.