Teaching the Next Generation of Technical Designers About Cotton Performance Technologies Through a Problem-Based Learning Project

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2018-01-01
Authors
Morris, Kristen
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Abstract

The purpose of this project was to increase students' awareness of advancements by Cotton, Inc. to enhance the functional properties of cotton. In teams of two, students in a technical design course worked on a semester-long project that involved developing an innovative performance apparel ensemble for an underserved market using technologically enhanced cotton fabrics. Students created technical packages for each garment and submitted a comprehensive report documenting the entire design process and outcomes. Fabric and support was provided by Cotton, Inc.. The class was framed by a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) approach in which the students learned about cotton through the experience of solving an open-ended problem which was: How can cotton technologies add value and increase performance apparel end-users? Through this question, the author framed the delivery of technical design concepts (e.g., development of tech packs, fittings, sample development) as they related directly to the student's project.

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