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The University of Southampton

ARTD1094 Contemporary Issues for Fashion and Textile Design

Module Overview

This module brings together wider art and design perspectives, to give you the opportunity to engage in analysis and to give you a foundation of references and context, underpinning the area of Fashion & Textile Design in a challenging and creative setting.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• to introduce you to the ways in which the contemporary context and theory inform art and design practice focusing on Fashion & Textile Design; • to introduce the ways in which artists and designers engage with ideas; • to encourage you to explore your own work through critical reflection on the debates and practices of art and design and see the applicability of these to your own discipline.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • aspects of contemporary issues in practice and theory of fashion and textiles;
  • a research informed broad based appreciation of design practice, including the work of contemporary national and international practitioners and how they represent different professional, cultural and technological contexts to a basic level;
  • a basic understanding of innovative practices, concepts and debates and how the professional, cultural and technological changes taking place in this field impact on fashion, textiles and related practices;
  • a basic understanding of fashion, knitwear or textile design, informed by recent research, including the professional, cultural and technological innovations evolving in this field.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • generate ideas through enquiry, analysis and critical reflection;
  • inform your practice by analysing and critically reflecting on contemporary issues;
  • develop your ideas by applying thinking and concepts informed by a context of recent approaches to the practice and theory of your discipline.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify, select and draw upon subject specific, printed and electronic sources to inform and challenge your thinking;
  • study independently and produce work to set deadlines;
  • reflect on your own work and learn from experience;
  • manage your time effectively, work to deadlines;
  • use effectively subject specific, library and digital resources, including the internet to a basic level.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • gather and organise information to inform and challenge the practical development of your work and practice.


Contemporary Issues is a core Part 1 module. It has been designed to facilitate your development of skills necessary for the critical development of well-informed contemporary art and design with a focus on fashion and textiles. The perspectives and context provided by this module can also offer a career orientation for the next stages in studying your programme. In this module, we will explore how practice is informed by context and theory. In lectures, seminars and practical workshops, we will look critically at art and design objects and events with their relevant texts. We will discuss major concepts and key positions and evaluate the relevance and significance of differing perspectives in art and design, and you will apply them accordingly to your programme of study. Through this work we will encourage you to explore practically how the current developments in art and design can inform your own fashion and textiles work. Lectures will be used to convey representations and information on the contemporary scene of art and design, focusing on fashion and textiles. Seminars and group discussions will allow more detailed examination of particular themes and sources. You will be encouraged to attend a study visit but it is understood that as you will have to self-finance it, it may not be possible for all students to attend for financial or other reasons, i.e. personal commitments or circumstances. An alternative comparable study visit will be suggested. You will be encouraged to access what material is available in the library and online to assist in gaining a wide perspective of the art and design context relevant to fashion and textiles.

Special Features

When study trips are arranged, they are optional and students with special needs may be able to participate dependent on destination. There will be an equivalent experience arranged by the Programme.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • project briefings • lectures • tutorials • group critiques Learning activities include: • project briefings • lectures • seminars • tutorials • group critiques • peer group learning • self-evaluation Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes In this module learning and teaching activities focus on helping you to investigate, question and analyse the nature of contemporary art and design contexts, its theory and how this influences discipline-specific practice, including Fashion & Textile Design. Feedback on your progress and development will be given through group discussions and seminars. Informal feedback will provide opportunities for peer group learning and self- evaluation. The summative assessment will be by way of an illustrated 2,000-word essay. This module’s learning and teaching methods are designed to help you broaden your understanding of contemporary issues within art and design and explore practical creative possibilities. By studying independently you will learn how to manage your time effectively outside the taught sessions.

Independent Study110
External visits10
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Danto, Arthur C (1998). The wake of art: criticism, philosophy, and the ends of taste. 

Davis, Fred (1992). Fashion, Culture and Identity. 

Bruzzi, Stella and Church Gibson, Pamela (2000). Fashion Cultures: Theories, Explorations and Analysis. 

Palmer, Alexandra (2004). Old Clothes, New Looks: Second Hand Fashion. 

Marí B and Schaeffer Jean-Marie Eds (1998). Think art: theory and practice in the art of today. 

McEvilley t (1996). Capacity: history, the world, and the self in contemporary art criticism. 

Fletcher, Kate (2008). Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys. 

Pavitt, Jane (2008). Fear and Fashion in the Cold War. 

Shinkle, Eugenie (2008). Fashion as Photograph: Viewing and Reviewing Images of Fashion. 

Carroll D, Ed (1990). The States of theory: history, art and critical discourse. 

Kocur (Z) & Leung (S). Eds. (2004). Theory in contemporary art: from 1985 to the present. 

Barnard, Malcolm (2002). Fashion as Communication. 

Benhabib Sevla (1992). Situating the self: gender, community and postmodernism in contemporary ethics. 

Lury, Celia (2011). Consumer Culture. 

Wood P edited by Harrison C (1992). Art in theory 1900-2000: an anthology of changing ideas. 

Tungate, Mark (2005). Fashion Brands: Branding Style from Armani to Zara. 

Gray C & Malins J (2004). Visualising Research. A Guide for Postgraduate Students in Art and Design. 

Agins, Terri (2000). The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  ( words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  ( words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  ( words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Study Trips

Costs usually associated with study trips are travel to and from the destination, lunch and venue entrance fees.


The books and texts included in the Reading Lists are available from the library as hardcopies and some as additional e-copies. You may wish to purchase some key texts, as they will be useful references in other Fashion & Textile Design modules and Option modules.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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