Digital printing experts Heather Ujiie and her husband Hitoshi Ujiie will come to Iowa State University this week as part of a weeklong fashion and textile design workshop funded in part by a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Contributed photos.

International designers to lead weeklong workshop at Iowa State

Two internationally renowned guest designers will come to Iowa State University this week as part of a weeklong fashion and textile design workshop funded in part by a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

Digital printing experts Heather Ujiie, an assistant professor at the Moore College of Art and Design, and her husband Hitoshi Ujiie, a professor at the Philadelphia University School of Design and Engineering, will lead the hands-on workshops.

The event — “New Configurations in Fashion: Innovative Forms Meet Engineered Textile Printing” — will be held June 15 to 21 in LeBaron and MacKay halls. It is another example of Iowa State’s leadership in creative design as a form of scholarship.

“Iowa State has established itself as a leader in creative scholarship by having one of the largest numbers of designs accepted to juried exhibitions at the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) annual meeting and the Costume Society of America,” said Eulanda Sanders, the Donna R. Danielson Professor in Textiles and Clothing.

“Over the last four years, Iowa State has received the most awards at ITAA for creative scholarship,” Sanders said. “This workshop continues to demonstrate Iowa State’s dedication to supporting diverse avenues of scholarly inquiry and contributions to a variety of disciplines.”

Digital printing with experimental patternmaking

Faculty members and graduate students from across the country will participate in the Iowa State workshop.

They will learn “engineered” digital textile design, which are prints designed and applied to particular pattern pieces, as well as subtraction cutting and pattern making techniques. They will create and construct a wearable art piece or garment design. And they will complete mentoring and exhibition plans for their program of creative scholarship and artistry.

“The combination of textile digital printing with experimental patternmaking is a unique aspect of the workshop,” said Ellen McKinney, an Iowa State assistant professor in apparel, events, and hospitality management. “These two creative garment design techniques have not been previously offered in a workshop. It is our hope that the combination will lead to some innovative garments created by the participants.”

McKinney will lead participants in “subtraction cutting,” an experimental method of hollow construction developed and taught in more than 25 countries by Julian Roberts, a mixed-media textile tutor, fashion designer, cutter, and filmmaker at the Royal College of Art in London. The technique essentially involves cutting holes in patterns to create cool-looking garments.

In addition, Fatma Baytar, an assistant professor in apparel, events, and hospitality management, will lead participants in digitizing garment patterns into an Optitex CAD patternmaking software and exploring how 3-D digital garment modeling can be used in conjunction with the creative garment designs to visualize print placement before actually printing designs on fabrics.

As part of the event, Hitoshi and Heather Ujiie will deliver a lecture called “Dual Artist Careers,” 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 19 in the LeBaron Auditorium.

“The purpose behind holding this workshop is to provide opportunities for junior faculty to advance their skill set for creative scholarship and to have a dedicated time and space to complete creative scholarship,” McKinney said. “Eulanda Sanders, who has more than 68 designs accepted into juried exhibitions, will individually mentor the participants.”

Rare recipient of Art Works grant

Organizers of the workshop include McKinney, Baytar, Sanders, and graduate assistant Ashney Williams, whose work was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts grant.

“It is significant that we received an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts,” McKinney said. “Historically, very few apparel-related grants are awarded grants through this program.”

Iowa State University is internationally recognized as a high-impact research leader in apparel, events, and hospitality management. Iowa State’s apparel, merchandising, and design program is one of few such programs in the nation where undergraduates have access to technologies including a digital textile printer, 3-D body scanner, laser cutter, and computerized embroidery equipment.

The Research: Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts supports research that investigates the impact of the arts on individuals and groups.