100 Years of Design Graduate Education

100 Years of Graduate Education

Fashion And... The Future of Design Symposium

Thursday, September 27–Friday, September 28, 2018
University of Minnesota College of Design
McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108

View full symposium schedule and presentations

About the symposium:

In the future, design will depend upon our conceptual framework of how broadly we think about design for not only apparel, but for graphics, interiors, and other consumer products. Fashion evolution and the shifting paradigms of local/global, luxury/sustainable, crafted/mass produced, and past/present, allow us to ponder what could happen in the next 100 years. Design in this symposium will be writ large to include design across products, disciplines, and cultures.

Design is influenced by its past. Design in the 19th and 20th centuries experienced an amazing transformation. In the 19th century, William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement’s revival of hand-made techniques collided with the Industrial Revolution and mass production. In the 20th century manufacturing moved off shore; however, design, merchandising, and the attendant changes this created in user experience was addressed locally. Today the story of design quality as a function of design quantity is told repeatedly, e.g., in the democratization of fashion through technology and mass production. More is available at cheaper prices—are we reaching the goal of design available for all? If so, what does this do to the user experience and our need to include the user in the product life cycle?

In the 21st century, new technologies and the marketing of products online is flourishing and fashion includes lifestyle choices of housing, interiors, and leisure activities. The question of global and local design venues needs to be addressed. There is also a need to underestand other cultures and traditions in our export of design. Fast and slow fashion coincide: interiors are redesigned with a start-over mentality for fashionable goods and services creating conflicts in people who may regret the action amid a simultaneous plea for sustainable use of resources plus environmental, social, and economic reform. The glut of fast fashion/products has brought about the concept that clothing and consumer products, so easily and cheaply mass produced in countries where labor is abundant, can be purchased to wear once or use briefly and then disposed of, or bundled and sent to a third world country for reuse. Reuse markets in the U.S.A. flourish. This means rethinking the designer and user in extending the life cycle of designed products—even past discard to reuse. The complexities of issues facing design in all areas of life in the future abound.


  • Abstract submissions due: Thursday, February 15, 2018 (Send to mdelong@umn.edu)
  • Participant notification: Monday, April 2, 2018
  • Registration for Symposium: Opens late fall 2017.
  • Symposium: Thursday, September 27–Friday, September 28, 2018

About the Call for Papers Submission Process

Contact Marilyn DeLong, mdelong@umn.edu
University of Minnesota College of Design
ATTN: Marilyn Delong
32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108