For two years I have been working with Fashioning Circuits students through independent study. I’m pleased to announce that in Fall 2013 I have the opportunity to offer it as a formal course in our undergraduate curriculum. This will part of the class EMAC 4372, Topics in Emerging Media and Communication. I anticipate some changes based on scaling up the number of participants, but what will definitely remain are the core emphases on critical thinking and a supportive environment that encourages critical making by students with various kinds of experience. I will post a draft of the syllabus soon, but for now, here is the course description:
Fashion and emerging media have more in common than one might think. Both are constantly in flux and looking forward. Both are sites to negotiate and express identity. Both value originality, but also thrive on collaboration and appropriation. The two are explicitly combined in the realm of wearable media, which will be the main focus of this course. We will begin with a brief look at the history of fashion and its historical intersections with media and technology. We will then explore more contemporary areas of intersection centered on issues of identity and globalization. The final portion of the semester will be devoted to “learning by doing” in the production of socially-engaged and critically-informed wearable media projects. No sewing, electronics or coding experience is necessary.
In this course, students will:
- Become familiar with the basic social and ethical issues that connect fashion and emerging media.
- Write critical analysis of fashion and media theories and practices.
- Become familiar with the basic concepts of electronic circuitry, wearable arduino hardware, and the arduino programming language.
- Produce two wearable media objects. No prior sewing, electronics, or coding experience required.