Introduction to Fashion Design and Development aims to introduce you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent and collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course. This unit has three core purposes:
- to introduce you to your discipline in the context of study at a Higher Education level
- to introduce you to learning skills and the requirements of effective studentship at undergraduate level
- to orientate you within your course, the College and the University.
Emphasis is placed on the skills needed to locate, navigate and communicate information and ideas effectively and appropriately. You will be introduced to resources that support your studies. We will also discuss studentship, the importance of being an engaged and participatory member of the group and your own personal and professional development.
Product Technology, Creative Techniques will introduce you to core creative and technical skills required for the design, development and production of products within your specialised area of study. Workshop demonstrations and self-directed practice will help you learn about materials, definitions and terminology, along with research, initial ideas, design development and design selection. Principles and techniques of pattern cutting, construction methods, production techniques and prototyping skills will aid your understanding of creative product development. You will be inducted into health and safety requirements within the workshop. You will also be introduced to key consideration such as sustainability, ethics and inclusivity within design. Presentation and communication of your ideas is vital in this area, and you will develop both written and visual articulation and confidence throughout this unit. You will also be introduced to designing with consumers in mind.
Creative Product Development
A successful product designer understands the market they are designing for. In order to develop a truly desirable end product it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the industry, fashion trends, market levels, consumer behaviour, competitors and relevant ethical, social and environmental issues. This unit will consolidate and progress prior learning from Block 1. You will explore and practice skills through answering a complete research, design and development brief for your area of product specialism. In this unit, you will be introduced to team working and collaboration. Collaboration will encourage intercultural experiences, inform discussion through diverse perspectives and use the collective community knowledge as a learning resource.
London College of Fashion, UAL (LCF) is a leader in fashion design, media and business education. We have been nurturing creative talent for over a century, offering courses in all things fashion. We encourage students to examine the past and challenge the present. To have inventive, assertive ideas that challenge social and political agendas. We give students the skills, opportunities – and above all, the freedom – to put those ideas into practice. By leading the way in fashion design, business, and the media, we influence culture, economics and our society. This unit will provide you with a solid understanding of LCF’ core values and how they connect to your practice. As part of this unit you will explore diversity, social responsibility and sustainability, themes which you will then apply to a selected project. At this stage the emphasis is on how you apply your thinking across these important themes to your practice. Your thinking is more important than a finished piece of work at this point. Fashion can change lives. Through teaching, specialist research, and collaborative work, this unit will get you thinking differently. We want you to use fashion to examine the past, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live. That’s why we call this unit ‘Better Lives’.
Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies
This unit introduces you to key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion and its context in society and culture. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and do a significant amount of reading of academic texts in order to complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Completion of this unit will allow you to make an informed choice of subject for study in the second year Cultural and Historical Studies unit.
The Professional Practice Initiation unit acquaints you with the wider context of the fashion industry in relation to your design approach for a specified market, with a real and authentic industry challenge. You will explore areas that will affect the development of a product and give consideration to the environments in which the product will be consumed. You will further develop your critical thinking around more complex design and technology for your specialist area, which will allow you to engage within an industrial context, through forward thinking creative responses and outcomes to an industry-set project brief. You will expand ways of developing and originating research an+d methodologies for realising research relating to your subject specialism. Focusing on the globalisation of the industry and the diversity of the consumer and market, you will further develop your understanding of industry’s design and technical requirements.
You will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Further information on the options available will be provided during Year 1 of your studies.
The Industry Specialised Project will test and broaden your multi-disciplinary skillset and the ability to develop an effective outcome to the industry brief, through critical thinking and creative problem solving. This unit further develops creative, strategic and practical skills in order to professionally communicate strong visual and written responses. You will use critical judgement to develop appropriate solutions and evaluate and justify your actions throughout the development process. You will consolidate your understanding of research methodologies in relation to international industry-led challenges. This unit will see you fuse creative, practical, entrepreneurial and intellectual skills within an industry context, enhancing your knowledge and professional understanding of marketing and branding, alongside the design and product development process. You will have opportunities to explore and expand your awareness of financial considerations, to form an innovative individual response to the wider social, ethical and sustainability issues within the wider context of the fashion industry. Preparation and planning to enable a focused, professional presentation to summarise your findings will further enhance your skills.
Fashion Production Future Technologies will expand your awareness of the wider ethical and sustainable issues facing the industry through various workshops, engagement with LCF resources and practical demonstrations. You will engage with a globalised view of your practice relative to different markets, consumers and consideration of the footprint of products. Engagement with new developments and technology resources will enhance your learning strategies and unit outcomes. This is designed to develop skills and further embed knowledge in new alternatives to current production methods and footprints, such as: sustainable approaches (such as zero waste), digital design and 3D rendering, resources such as the Specialist Machine Room, consideration to the efficiency of the supply chain and innovative manufacturing techniques for clothing through pattern cutting approaches. This also will engage with modern technologies as a way of presenting and communicating work to either peers or Industry Partners.
The work throughout the second year is focused on live projects with national and international companies and brands, and you may have the opportunity to participate in suitable competitions.
Diploma in Professional Studies (optional professional placement year)
The Diploma in Professional Studies (the Diploma) is a University of the Arts London Award for a period of professional placement of at least 30 weeks duration. The placement is undertaken after successful completion of stage 2 of the four-year Bachelor’s degree or a five-year integrated Master’s degree. The 30 weeks must be completed in full.
The Diploma in Professional Studies aims to:
- develop an appreciation of the culture and practice of the work place;
- put course content and study into perspective;
- develop transferable skills;
- enhance students' opportunities for career or academic progression.
There is flexibility to combine a placement in industry either in the United Kingdom or overseas (of at least 20 weeks) with a period of studying abroad (of at least 10 weeks). It is recommended that the placement in industry be with one organisation for a minimum of 30 weeks (if you are not undertaking a period of studying abroad) to benefit fully from your placement experience. In exceptional circumstances more than one placement in industry can occur to meet the minimum requirements for the award of the Diploma. During the placement, your academic studies continue through the compilation of a written report and reflection, which focuses on the opportunities and challenges relating to the professional placement. This not only continues the development of your study skills but also allows the ongoing development of your research, analytical and evaluative skills.
To begin you will undertake the Concept Development unit. Your creative vision will provide a platform from which you will be able to formulate an innovative and enterprising, self-initiated concept and strategy to underpin the rest of your final year of study. This will enable you to embody knowledge, creative thinking and experience gained; and present a major piece of product design and development work which is intellectually explored, a viable industry proposition, and informed by appropriate theory, research and development.
Contextualising Your Practice allows you to build on your historical and theoretical understanding of fashion through a research-led extended essay. You will identify a topic, related to your field of practice, that you will investigate through design-led research methods and significant cultural and critical theories. It is an opportunity for you to undertake a substantial piece of structured research that examines fashion practice in context and it will build on the critical debates and concerns raised through your course.
The Product Design and Realisation unit will utilise concept development outcomes to inform, broaden and deepen your design and development opportunities within your specified market. The unit will enable you to identify research and develop your personal vision in the form of an extended project via an individually negotiated format. It will highlight the breadth and synthesis of innovative activities within the design and product development process. Your research and experimentation will result in the production of fully realised outcomes. This exploration should evidence full engagement with your responsibilities as a designer/product developer including the identification of your chosen progression. You will present your work using appropriate professional techniques.
Showing your work
All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCF and will last for up to 12 months after graduation. This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.