Theses Doctoral

Fashioning the Moral Aesthetic: An Ethnographic Study of the Socialization of Antwerp Trained Fashion Designers

Nicewonger, Todd Evans

This dissertation examines the acquisition of design techniques among Antwerp trained avant-garde fashion designers by focusing on the aesthetic, communicative, and moral aspects of creativity in design. This required drawing on 15 months of fieldwork in design classes and studio workspaces where student designers are socialized into particular ways of conceptualizing, translating, and constructing design forms. In analyzing these exchanges this dissertation develops methodological and analytical frameworks for ethnographically investigating the practice of design, itself. As such, this thesis develops a number of conceptual tools for describing how designers organize sociality through material and aesthetically designed forms. Thus, this dissertation offers new ways of understanding how the social effects of design forms are linked to the cultural theories and practices that produce them, while also describing the social life of Antwerp trained fashion designers.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Anthropology
Thesis Advisors
Comitas, Lambros
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
December 12, 2017