Yes. I mean it.
We don’t need BFAs or MFAs to design. A formalized education does warrant the status of designer.
Although Ekhaus Latta were RISD graduates and earned their respective BFAs in Sculpture and Textiles, they were quick to announce before the beginning of their talk that they only admired clothes and did not receive any formal instruction to design and construction. This truth, married to Otto Von Busch’s point saying everyone is a designer because everyone designs their own world is the biggest take away point of the entire Fashion Cultures course.

Previously, I would have believed that a BFA/MFA is required to effectively call one’s a self a designer. Now I see a different understanding. From what I’ve observed and listened to, one needs to have the eye and the passion. Both are not taught. Though often strengthened through professional and academic instruction. And it seems this is a final point for a few in this program, as well. Which makes me wonder how differently the future systems of fashion of will appear now that it’s become, at least seemingly, more inclusive to those who did not receive the formal education. I wonder if most of the current tensions the industry is experiencing is related to the one track single mindedness of the journey. Perhaps with more room at the table with industry professionals like Ekhaus Latta and Teflar, I wonder if new solutions and scenarios will be conceived because, whether we like it or not, the industry is becoming DIY and self-made. I’m really inspired by this tipping point and I think that we are entering the industry at such an amazing time. 03_eckhauslatta_wht-2

2 responses to “EVERYONE IS A DESIGNER

  1. I like this statement about everyone being a designer.  I find it true too.  
    Designing is one of the ways to materialise ideas, to communicate in a visual manner one’s thoughts, which enables to share outwardly one’s own world.   In a way, designing can be compared to a language. It’s like an alternative tongue, which helps to say what can’t be expressed in other ways.
    Perhaps self-expression, through design or otherwise, is a DIY concept anyway. It is about finding a way to share your vision and ideas – creating your own language.  And so, in a way, one can argue that today some education programs already engage the “DIY” aspect in their approach to teaching students design.
    Although, learning practical skills for a trade of one’s choosing is an important part of formal education, however in today’s industries the opportunities are so broad that there are not many strictly defines trades remain. I feel the most successful education is one that encourages student’s particular interests and strength and teaches to define one’s own voice, rather than teaching to speak a general “language”.  

  2. Everyone can be a designer, it depends on how we define it. Also, I agree to survive in the fashion industry seems not necessary elated to professional training or formal education. However, to a designer whose purpose is to delivery an extraordinary design which can pass the test of time and provide customers with well-considered designs instead of making money or attracting public’s attention, the basic skills he got is a foundation of his design. It does not necessary means one should attend fashion schools, one can also gain these knowledge from practicing in the fashion industry. However without these foundations, designs are more flat and immature.

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