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Systemic Social Change


Systemic Social Change explores society as an aggregate of communities and ecologies deeply impacted by how we relate to fashion today, in terms of ideation, production, consumption and politics. The main focus is to promote systemic changes in fashion by promoting collective action and design activism, critically addressing issues close to the fashion system, such as social justice, decolonising design, gender pluralism, societal empowerment, human rights, consumer behaviour, etc.

This approach challenges mindsets to promote equality, justice and sustainability in fashion. Students will be requested to develop critical thinking and adopt a strategic and systemic approach to design, to face the current social challenges in fashion and to identify stakeholders and communities to be involved in the different stages of the change process. Moreover, students are encouraged to focus on design activism methods, which they will use throughout their design process. With this it is expected that students achieve innovative, scalable and sustainable design processes for a socially responsible fashion system. It is recommended that they explore technology in a creative and catalyst manner as well as explore the resourcefulness of research informed design. The acquired knowledge will allow students to operate within their chosen framework: a path among public entities, companies, communities and/or individuals.

  • Behavioural change

  • Critical design

  • Fashion design activism

  • Systemic change

  • Social justice

Student’s Pre-Requisite Skills and Knowledge

Knowledge on social sustainability; systemic design; collaboration skills

Learning Goals


Understand the complexity of social challenges, practice design activism


Social sustainability, change of prospective, strategic action, systemic thinking, facilitator, cooperation.

Pedagogical Approaches

Learning through making, critical thinking, systemic thinking, informed decision making

Key Resources
  • von Busch, O. (ed) (2012) Just Fashion: Critical Cases on Social Justice in Fashion, New York: Selfpassage

  • Hirscher, A.-L.; Niinimäki, K. Fashion Activism through Participatory Design. In Proceedings of the Crafting the Future, 10th European Academy of Design Conference, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden,17–19 April 2013

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