Pride Month 2021 is over, but the topic of gender and diversity remains highly topical. Students from the second semester of the Design and Product Management programme approached this broad topic from a special perspective: 10 groups designed T-shirts and worked on topics ranging from sexism, racism, equality and sign language to the taboo topic of mental illness.
For many years, the practical project "Design your own Label" has been led by Senior Lecturer Dominik Walcher as part of the basic subject Online and Social Media Marketing on the Design & Product Management degree programme. The students' task is not only to design T-shirts, but also to set up a shop and the associated social media marketing. This year, the students approached him with a particularly socio-political wish as a topic for the course: to work on the topic of gender & diversity in the T-shirt workshop.
"The aim of the practical project every year is to teach the students the basics in online product management through 'learning by doing'. This year's shirt project did more than that: it made us all aware of the important 'Big 8 issues', both for professional and personal life. A big thank you goes to student Sophie Ostler, who initiated the cooperation with the Gender & Diversity Department of the FH Salzburg," Dominik Walcher summarises this year's project.
The project was initiated by Sophia Ostler, who herself completed the project two years ago, is now about to graduate and is actively involved in the ÖH of the FH Salzburg: "In conversation with the student representative, Julia Brunhuber, we both noticed that diversity and the commitment to it do not seem relevant to many. We thought about how we could educate students and raise their awareness. Then I got in touch with Dominik Walcher and contacted the Gender & Diversity Team at the FH Salzburg - and the project was born!"
Gerhard Buchegger, a graduate of the programme who works as a freelance illustrator (www.muehle-design.com), intensively supervised the students in the development of their projects: "The high level at which the students independently develop such a complex and tense topic is impressive. It reassures me that a generation of designers is emerging here who are not afraid to speak their minds and, on top of that, package their message in an appealing, contemporary design by means of illustrations, photographs and videos."
The content of the course was accompanied and supported by the Gender & Diversity Team of the FH Salzburg, Katharina Lorenz and Christoph Meinhart. They provided an introduction to the topic and were also available to answer students' questions. "The important teaching and learning goal was achieved with this course: creating awareness! All participants have learned a lot for their path as designers in a diverse society. The different approaches show how broad, relevant and highly topical the subject is," summarises Christoph Meinhart.
Shop the look - fair and sustainable
This year, another graduate joined us. Michaela Gahleitner (graduated in 2017) was an active student in the first year of the shirt project in 2015, took on the role of 'Head of Design' at the Upper Austrian clothing manufacturer 'Vresh' (www.vresh-clothing.com) after graduation and is co-founder of the merchandise start-up 'DasMerch' (www.dasmerch.com). Most of this year's online shops run on her system, and all textiles are also produced fairly and sustainably.
Surprising, provocative, colourful, thoughtful, critical: the projects
All garments are available online
- Break the Silence: https://www.instagram.com/breakthesilence_clothes/
- DNA Clothing Brand: https://www.instagram.com/dna.clothingbrand/
- Eend official: https://www.instagram.com/eendofficial/
- Ei8ht Clothing: https://www.instagram.com/ei8ht_clothing/
- Holy fut clothing: https://www.instagram.com/holyfutclothing/
- On point brand: https://www.instagram.com/onpointbrand1/
- Owe no brand: https://www.instagram.com/owe.no.brand/
- Re.clothing: https://www.instagram.com/re._clothing/
- Schani clothing: https://www.instagram.com/schani.clothing/
- Unsichtbar clothing: https://www.instagram.com/unsichtbar.clothing/