Fashioning Micro Utopias

University Liberal Arts: University Lecture Program

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students

Fashioning Micro Utopias

Fall 2018

Taught By: Timo Rissanen

Section: L

CRN: 5353


This lecture course introduces students to Wood’s (2007) notion of ecological metadesign. Through examples the course examines design for micro-utopias and futuring (Fry 2009) as design tools for creating sustainability in fashion systems. The course suits students with a broad interest in futures strategies and fashion, however prior knowledge of either is not necessary, as this course considers all its participants fashion users and citizens. Through strategies such as forecasting (Tham 2015) fashion habitually imagines new realities in the near future in order to market and sell products. This course examines how fashion’s tools and activities can be reconfigured, to imagine attainable micro-utopias in which unsustainabilities of the present reality have been addressed and eliminated. Max-Neef’s (1992) theory of fundamental human needs provides the framework for examining utopias. The course asks: what would fashion be like as a system, if its rationale were the fulfillment of fundamental human needs? For example, the scope of fashion design could expand to include creating opportunities for participation, or the primary motivation for fashion communications could be wisdom building. Through critical analysis various methodologies for testing designed micro-utopias will be examined. This course has a bold goal: to empower and enable students to imagine unthinkable yet actionable futures, as creators, as users and as citizens.

College: University Liberal Arts (UL)

Department: University Lecture Program (ULIB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Lecture (L)

Max Enrollment: 50

Enrollment Status: Closed*

*Enrollment status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:00am 2/18/2019