Community Event at ArtEZ, June 5, 2019

Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion – the Parsons branch banner, made by the Fashion Praxis Lab at Parsons.

Yesterday I participated at the ‘Community Event’ of the ArtEZ Fashion Professorship and MA Fashion Held in Common, via Skype because I have chosen to no longer fly to give presentations and workshops. This decision was a direct result of the IPCC Special Report released in October. For years I have known the hypocrisy in my work – I have been flying a lot to talk – and I am taking it on now. This is not a judgment on anyone else; the choice works for me as my income does not depend on flying. Those of you who can, please do take this on: no more flying for holidays, and no more flying for work if your career doesn’t substantially rely on it.

My participation was a conversation with Judith ter Haar, founder of Jones in Arnhem. As a back up in case of Skype nightmares, I prerecorded responses to three questions from Judith. In the hope of taking these ideas to audiences who weren’t there, I am posting them here, with some links to further resources and readings that I mention in the recordings. I finish each response with a question to Judith; I will say that her responses were eloquent and deep, and she is a joy to speak with about fashion.

Question 1: You have written and talked about reimagining fashion as a system of fulfillment of fundamental human needs. What do you mean by that?

Kate Fletcher’s ‘Sustainable Fashion & Textiles. Design Journeys’.

Chapter by Manfred Max-Neef introducing fundamental human needs.

Kate Raworth’s ‘Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think like a 21st Century Economist’.

Question 2: Can you talk about the importance of imagination – being able to imagine new visions of fashion systems and fashion futures unburdened by our views of the past, while learning from the past.

John Wood’s ‘Design for Micro-Utopias. Making the Unthinkable Possible’.

The manifesto I wrote for Utopian Studies.

Question 3: You chose not to fly here. How do we balance refusal with quality of life?

I am still reflecting on the event. Skyping in is not the same as being there; I missed the physicality of being able to hug Kate, Pascale (Gatzen), Judith, Danielle (Bruggeman) and others. Nevertheless, we need to figure out how to make remote participation a vital part of our shared engagement, and in that yesterday was very helpful.

(For those interested, here are more images of Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion banner making by the Fashion Praxis Lab at Parsons School of Design.)



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