A learning game to navigate the challenges in fashion branding and communication education
Fashion branding and communication education requires us as educators to balance seemingly competing priorities: binaries like ‘marketing vs ethics’ or ‘environment vs fashion’ aim to be discussed, unpacked and held in creative tension.
Over the last two years globally-relevant issues have become even more pressing. Environmental degradation caused by overconsumption (WRAP, 2017), systemic racism (Legesse, 2020) and unjust and unhealthy labour (Loscialpo and Mongelli, 2021) are perpetuated and expressed in fashion branding and communication industries, while higher education itself has been called to reckon with a history of colonialism (Hack, 2020).
As students become increasingly aware of and embedded in these global issues, their narratives reflect the lived experience of navigating these contradictions while training for professional settings.
With these experiences at the heart of our pedagogy, how will we continue to teach and promote our discipline? How can we handle these frictions and conceptual strain? We propose creating a problem-based learning game to explore answers to these questions.
Participants will be given a purposefully ambiguous scenario grounded in this dissonance; an irregular problem which does not offer a single trajectory or rationalised answers (Simone, 2014; Grigg and Lewis, 2017) but rather will encourage them to consider alternatives from their own experience or from radical re-imaginings of their profession.
The purpose of the game is 1) to generate ideas on moving forward with fashion marketing education in a time of significant systemic upheaval; 2) to trigger the reframing of teaching practice paradigms in participants’ minds.