This hands-on studio class was carried out in collaboration with three French companies whose expertise, products and services were based in traditional savoir-faire: a small embroidery studio specializing in luxurious linens for extremely wealthy clients; a highly specialized model making shop working in the cosmetics industry; a traditional fan-making company proposing original creations as couture accessories and novelty gifts.
The students researched the role played by historical and cultural factors in the MAKING process. They discovered the fascinating world of craft-making and its relationship to regional differences and resources. They came to appreciate the personal investment required to build the necessary skills to create quality products.
Their objective was to assess opportunities for evolving the company’s BRANDING options. They explore ways to maximize its performance in today’s marketplace. The final proposals included launching a special edition collection of contemporary embroideries by avant-garde designers; turning a small retail shop into a gallery; redesigning the lobby, hallways and conference room of the model maker office; shooting short videos presenting fans as expressive accessories for club performers and “voguing” dancers.
The motivating factor for students was interacting with actual clients and coming up with solutions that were reality-based. Most challenging to them was collaborating with their peers and members of their small group, negotiating between different points of views, and facilitating the process rather than trying to have the last word!

Parsons Paris / Spring 2016
Instructor: Véronique Vienne