Aalto University and Parsons The New School pilot Fashion Studies Summer School
A pilot summer school on “Fashion – Places & Spaces” was organized during 3-14 June 2019 in Aalto. The Summer School is a successful outcome of the steadily developing collaboration between Annamari Vänskä, Professor of Fashion Research in Aalto and Hazel Clark, Professor of Design Studies and Fashion Studies from Parsons School of Design.
The Summer School focused on the definitions and practices of fashion through the study of places and spaces in the twenty-first century. Through readings, discussions and field trips to Helsinki-based fashion brands, retail spaces and museums, it helped the students to develop an understanding of fashion, culture and identity in Helsinki. The students participated in the course were from universities in Belgium, Finland, Holland, Italy and the United Kingdom. The students explored concepts and discourses introduced on the course in the context of Helsinki and created academic posters as the final outcome of their research work. In the perspective of Professor Vänskä “the summer school offered a unique platform bringing international students, researchers and professionals working in the field together, and enhance knowledge about Finnish fashion”.
The cooperation between Professors Vänskä and Clark currently involves joint thesis supervision and joint proposals for research funding. The professors are planning to develop both research and teaching on fashion studies between Aalto University and Parsons School of Design in the future. So far, Parsons School of Design does not offer PhD-degrees which opens a unique possibility for developing a joint international exchange program between Aalto University and Parsons School of Design.