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Remote Teaching with Design

Jaeyoon Jeong in home studio

April 23, 2020

The Department of Design includes Westphal’s programs in Fashion Design(undergraduate and graduate), Design & Merchandising (D&M), Retail & Merchandising, Graphic Design, Photography, and Product Design. The Department is making good use of its strong relationships with industry and other Drexel departments to implement exciting solutions to current limitations while finding ways to stay connected to each other and their students.

Beth Quinn teaching remote class
Adjunct professor Beth Quinn shares overhead demonstration with Fashion Design students.

A multidisciplinary collaboration with Cinema & Television’s Tom Quinn and Fashion Design provided tips, techniques and tricks to help faculty prepare to deliver remote learning from their homes. Tom taught faculty about camera angles and lighting to best show sewing demonstrations, to ensure student learning was focused, and, of course, so that faculty looked great on camera. Beth Quinn and master tailor Jaeyoon Jeong then employed unique camera set ups for Zoom-ready demonstrations. Meanwhile, Beth has partnered with Urban Outfitters’ Nuuly team to upcycle garments set to be retired from Urban’s subscription service. These garments are being used in her Sustainable Sportswear class, and students taking Designing in the Virtual Space will utilize Clo 3D Fashion Design software to visualize the deconstruction of the garments and simulate them on avatars who will walk virtual runways.

MS in Retail & Merchandising students may not be able to visit retail brick-and-mortar space in person, but adjunct instructor Nicole Carter, in conjunction with the Drexel University Online’s Kristian Reid, created a virtual tool to experience retail store space during the Spring/Summer 2019 and Fall/Winter 2019 selling seasons. This tool allow students to see firsthand how a store is merchandised during two distinct selling seasons.

Teaching Professor Beth Phillips, in partnership with sorority Delta Gamma Eta Upsilon and D&M junior Avery Klondar developed a timely infographic titled Protect Your Eyesight [PDF], which offers advice for faculty, staff, and students on how to best manage their increased time spent staring at computer and device screens and to lessen the impact on our eyes.

Graphic Design Teaching Professor Mark Willie is leading an effort to support high school students who have lost access to art and design classes. Mark is developing a webinar about image montage for high school students to help build out their portfolios. Through a series of exercises, Mark and the workshop’s participants will explore visual language, storytelling, word and image, through various aspects of montage with found imagery, objects, drawing and original photography using techniques both analog and digital such as cutting and pasting, layering and manipulation.

PPE created by westphal faculty
Assistant Teaching Professor Erik Sundquist 3D prints headbands for protective face shields for first responders in the Hybrid Making Lab (left); Associate Professor Sandy Stewart sews PPE for administrative and non-critical care givers (right).

Over the past few months, Department of Design faculty have been instrumental in Drexel University efforts to support essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis. In response to the growing need for personal protective equipment (PPE) among healthcare workers, Professor Genevieve Dion, Professor of Fashion Design and Director of both the Center for Functional Fabrics and the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Lab, shifted 3D knitting machines from a Department of Defense project to the challenge of rapidly developing masks and respirators. Learn more about Professor Dion and her team’s efforts to tackle this challenge in this feature from The Philadelphia Inquirer. Assistant Teaching Professor and Hybrid Making Lab Director Erik Sundquist is collaborating with Amy Throckmorton from the School of Biomedical Engineering to 3D print headbands for protective face shields for first responders. This project is supported by Westphal’s Product Design and Design Research programs. Meanwhile, Teaching Professor Beth Phillips, Associate Professor Sandy Stewart, and adjunct instructor Beth Quinn have all manufactured face masks and PPE for essential and non-essential workers.