I had the pleasure of working with a visiting faculty member in the Fashion department in the Spring of 2016. Our collaboration was rewarding, smooth, easy going and for the most part successful. We attempted to merge the content of the Fashion Project class with a project from Surface Research. Initiated by a suggestion from the Foundation Department Chair, Simone Muscolino, Melanie McClintock and I decided to collaborate because we believed that more overlap between our courses and more synergy between content and form might yield more engaged and prepared students. Along with that, we thought it would be great to work together.
It did require more time and more coordination but it was all enjoyable. Each of us learned from each other and the students benefited from our exchange. We were able to model a professional process and working relationship that was interdisciplinary within the arts and to show that collaborations across departments can and should happen.
In the Surface Research course, students produced collages, and then a digital layout on a tote bag pattern and were then printed on canvas. When students arrived in the project course in Fashion, they cut and sewed their bags into handbags according to the pattern.
The bag label was in reference to a Marina Abramovic quote from her performance druing her segment of Art 21. You can view a preview here. We began the semester by watching this whole video. Some of the students were really affected by it, and as a result the quote became kind of sticky. I decided it would be an interesting way to "label" the bags.