Partnering with a University Garden for a Non-traditional Materials Fashion Design Assignment: Collaboration, Creativity, and Community Engagement
The innovative teaching strategy was partnering with a University Garden to obtain non-traditional materials for advanced fashion design students' creative projects. Situated on a 17-acre site, the University Garden is a year-round attraction features distinct gardens both indoors and outdoors on a 17-acre campus, a Conservatory with seasonal displays, a 2,500-square-foot Butterfly Wing, and a Gift Shop. Benefits of this partnership included: (a) unique materials for students to work with, (b) improved cross-departmental relationships, and (b) opportunities for students to engage the local community with their creative work. The purpose of this teaching strategy was to find a new source of materials for students to work with for an existing non-traditional materials project in an upper-level Creative Design class for fashion design majors. The teaching strategy was effective in fostering the desired teaching/learning outcome of getting students to engage in innovative thinking about apparel design.