Independence and Flexibility: A Case Study on a Small-Scale Creative Producer and Its Potential for Rethinking Pedagogical Models Within Higher Education in Fashion Design
In the paper that the session draws upon, a case study on a small-scale creative producer in fashion design in Gothenburg, Sweden was conducted which led to conclusions relating to fashion design education.
The session acknowledges that with the common outsourcing of production, there is a division between ideation and production processes in fashion. Conversely, at small-scale creative producers the two phases are intertwined, constituting a melting pot for innovative forms and ideas for new organizations and creative leadership. In turn, this facilitates sustainable approaches within the design as well as economic processes. This case study was conducted through interviews with the founder, designer and creative director of industry, Rickard Lindqvist, where three main areas were looked into; new organizational forms and innovative leadership that have been generated within this local small-scale creative producer, the challenges of new organizational forms and innovative leadership that this small-scale creative business had to face, and the meeting of economic sustainability and design skills within the business.
The interviews highlighted several key elements in how to form a sustainable small scale creative production with innovation and development in focus. Key elements were identified; synced team building, development of business models as part of the design process, collaborations, openness to new craft approaches, digitalization, open source and self-leadership. Rather than as a separate process, the production process is here viewed as a source for ideation. A division between ideation and production risks overlooking possibilities for conscious sustainable design decisions embedded in the production process.
Independence and flexibility were emphasized in this case study as being of main importance for resilience in the challenges of future innovative developments, on organizational, design and production level, but evenly on a creative director’s level. In the context of higher education in fashion design, the talk will conclude that there’s a need to further develop and strengthen above core values - independence and flexibility- through pedagogic strategies and principles within course syllabi, aiming to facilitate the forming of innovative and economically sustainable design organizations.