‘Everyone can be a designer’: Amateurs in Contemporary Fashion Culture

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article offers an analytical perspective on the implications of recent media evolutions for the conventional roles of the designer, with a particular emphasis on the changing relation between amateur and professional design in fashion culture. The article builds on the recent media studies literature on the intensification of media communications in the early 21st century and how it involves deeper transformations — mediatizations — of many areas in business and society. There are already extensive literatures on the mediatization of finance, politics, food, and religion, for instance, but how is the process playing out in fashion? And what are the implications of this process for designers and design education? The article argues that media have become a key context for understanding the changing dynamics between professionals and amateurs and the evolution of more distributed forms of design creativity. The article is a conceptual paper that begins by situating the evolution of amateur design in theories of media and modernity to offer a contemporary theorization of amateur design and to establish an analytical perspective from which core aspects of the changing amateur/industry divide are illustrated through influential examples in the analytical sections of the article. Among the examples are the online platform Etsy and T-shirt company Threadless. The conclusion puts the findings of the case studies into perspective and points to a future where new generations of designers and design educators approach and strategically manage these new relationships and distributed forms of creativity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArtifact
Volume3
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)6.1-6.10
Number of pages10
ISSN1749-3463
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Keywords

  • amateur
  • fashion culture
  • mediation
  • crowd funding

Artistic research

  • No

Cite this

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title = "‘Everyone can be a designer’: Amateurs in Contemporary Fashion Culture",
abstract = "This article offers an analytical perspective on the implications of recent media evolutions for the conventional roles of the designer, with a particular emphasis on the changing relation between amateur and professional design in fashion culture. The article builds on the recent media studies literature on the intensification of media communications in the early 21st century and how it involves deeper transformations — mediatizations — of many areas in business and society. There are already extensive literatures on the mediatization of finance, politics, food, and religion, for instance, but how is the process playing out in fashion? And what are the implications of this process for designers and design education? The article argues that media have become a key context for understanding the changing dynamics between professionals and amateurs and the evolution of more distributed forms of design creativity. The article is a conceptual paper that begins by situating the evolution of amateur design in theories of media and modernity to offer a contemporary theorization of amateur design and to establish an analytical perspective from which core aspects of the changing amateur/industry divide are illustrated through influential examples in the analytical sections of the article. Among the examples are the online platform Etsy and T-shirt company Threadless. The conclusion puts the findings of the case studies into perspective and points to a future where new generations of designers and design educators approach and strategically manage these new relationships and distributed forms of creativity.",
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‘Everyone can be a designer’: Amateurs in Contemporary Fashion Culture. / Mackinney-Valentin, Maria; Holt, Fabian.

In: Artifact, Vol. 3, No. 4, 07.2015, p. 6.1-6.10.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AB - This article offers an analytical perspective on the implications of recent media evolutions for the conventional roles of the designer, with a particular emphasis on the changing relation between amateur and professional design in fashion culture. The article builds on the recent media studies literature on the intensification of media communications in the early 21st century and how it involves deeper transformations — mediatizations — of many areas in business and society. There are already extensive literatures on the mediatization of finance, politics, food, and religion, for instance, but how is the process playing out in fashion? And what are the implications of this process for designers and design education? The article argues that media have become a key context for understanding the changing dynamics between professionals and amateurs and the evolution of more distributed forms of design creativity. The article is a conceptual paper that begins by situating the evolution of amateur design in theories of media and modernity to offer a contemporary theorization of amateur design and to establish an analytical perspective from which core aspects of the changing amateur/industry divide are illustrated through influential examples in the analytical sections of the article. Among the examples are the online platform Etsy and T-shirt company Threadless. The conclusion puts the findings of the case studies into perspective and points to a future where new generations of designers and design educators approach and strategically manage these new relationships and distributed forms of creativity.

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