On Sept. 29, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hosted its first Descience Fashion Competition, where designers and scientists worked together to produce a garment that best communicated recent advances in science. Among the 61 selected fashion designers, eight students and alumni from Drexel University competed in this competition.
Students who participated in the competition included undergraduate student, Lela Thompson, and graduate students Nancy Volpe Beringer, Shih-Hui (Sherry) Chang, and Xiaozhu Li. The alumni members included Arielle Gogh, Katya Roelse, Amy Stolzsfus, and Autumn Kietponglert.
Descience aims to celebrate both the creative and innovative capabilities of fashion designers and extensive developments in science. Through “research on the runway,” both the science and fashion communities work together to open a new appreciation for both creative worlds.
“The marriage of science and design has been central to our fashion design program’s research interests in recent years, producing outcomes that address real-world problems and creating fashions that are both beautiful and useful,” Allen Sabinson, dean of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, told DrexelNow.
Each team consisted of one designer and one scientist, and the pair was determined based on their research and design background. Many of the designers are design students, professors or professionals, whereas many of the scientists come from either a chemical engineering or a biomedical imaging background.
The teams were announced earlier in the year, and the teams worked together for the remaining months on producing a garment that illustrated both team members’ inspiration. On the night of the competition, the teams presented their garments on the runway, and were judged by a panel of notable figures from both the fashion and science worlds. These individuals included professors from Harvard University and MIT, and a designer from widely renowned jewelry corporation Tiffany & Co. The final garments were judged on their innovation, technique, and research. The winner of the competition received a cash prize of $1,500.
Head of the Department of Design Roberta Gruber, was thrilled about the eight Drexel University members participating in this competition.
“Our students and alumni participating in Descience have been immersed in the process and loving every minute of it,” she said.