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    The Global Artisan Project: A collaborative, co-creation project connecting fashion undergraduates and Indian artisans

    Gupta, Shalini, Kealy-Morris, Elizabeth ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2843-1916 and Srivastava, Ishi (2023) The Global Artisan Project: A collaborative, co-creation project connecting fashion undergraduates and Indian artisans. In: The Future of International Fashion Design Education, 29 September 2022, Virtual. (In Press)

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    Education is not merely a component of culture, it is also the carrier of culture (NIOS, 1989). Expanding the boundaries of human community, our culture, and our consciousness is important from a social perspective. This paper will advocate encouraging our students to change the way they see the world, and their place within it. We suggest that this requires listening, empathy, dialogue, and collaboration through experiential project-based education (Hickel, 2020; Kolb, 2015; James, 2007). We will discuss the tasks and outcomes such as fashion films, and brand books through collaborative online international learning (COIL) projects, which were designed to bring together fashion and styling students from the UK and India to collaborate with rural craft artisans in India. These collaborative projects were developed and delivered in May 2021 and 2022, between students of Pearl Academy, India and Manchester Fashion Institute (MFI), MMU, Manchester, UK. The collaboration between educational institutes and Indian artisans across these two years has created a community of practice (Wenger, 1998) for upskilling, and an exchange of knowledge promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. The projects were run online using multiple web conferencing and knowledge sharing collaboration platforms. With students and teachers from two very diverse cultures and backgrounds, both social and economic, these varied perspectives were fundamental to creating globally apposite outputs. It was based on new pedagogical approaches, holistic thinking, use of digital technologies, and collaboration between design and fashion institutes for social storytelling. The pedagogical structures were planned to ensure a variety of learning opportunities, from integrative to reflective activities and beyond. The projects also provided insight into the need for innovation, sensitivity, empathy, problem solving, collaboration, and inclusivity as the foundations to design education. This paper will show that the collaborative and co-creation aspects of these projects nurtured a socially driven mindset among young fashion communication and styling graduates that has led to an increased sensitivity and interest in collaboration between the formally trained and the traditionally trained.

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