Reflection on an experiential learning platform: Concept to retail at Praxes Studio

IFFTI 2019

Paper 32

Feng-Yu Hsu
& Yong Xue Hsieh

Shih Chien University, Taiwan

Reflection on an experiential learning platform: Concept to retail at Praxes Studio

This study evaluates the efficiency of using Praxes, an actual operating fashion brand incubated by the department, as an experiential learning platform for master’s degree students. Does identifying with the school’s brand and doing practical research and work aimed at the current market improve on the stagnant teaching methods of our elders?

Instructors work along with the students in the Praxes design studio to create fashion merchandise, from concept to retail, that conform to the brand identity. Students are challenged not only to expand their range and depth of knowledge, but also to harness their courage in order to successfully participate, thus cultivating innovative and entrepreneurial fashion activists. Using surveys completed by the students, and interviews with the teachers, we refine the teaching system in pursuit of successfully preparing our students for the industry whilst actually running a successful fashion brand.

Education is transformed from an academic tower to a communication platform that enters the industry by exploring real world problems and proposing workable solutions to put into practice. Travelling to China to source fabrics, or to a trade show in the US to market products is all part of the process, and managed by students with the respective backgrounds. They are enabled to move parallel towards the workplace and look into the future.

This research is based on qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys. We explored the teacher and student opinions and attitudes towards the Praxes experiential learning platform, as well as the overall performance of the brand, and then looked at the effect of this method on the overall academic development of the department. We see how creating a fashion brand with its own unique identity creates a sense of community amongst our students, transforms the way the students approach their education, and brings our department closer to the needs of the industry.


Associate Professor Feng-Yu Hsu

Associate Professor Feng-Yu Hsu is the Head of the Fashion Design Department at Shih Chien University, Taiwan. She is also the CEO of PRAXES. She graduated from the Department of Fashion Design at the University of Northumbria. Feng-Yu Hsu and her colleagues actively develop an education strategy for fashion design, refine curriculum models and, implement effective instructional evaluation in a quest to raise the standards of fashion education at her institute.

Her main research focuses on fashion education, fashion creation and Anthropometric measurement. Apart from teaching the MA program in Fashion Design, International Fashion Marketing and Practice (Praxes), she also takes charge of a review committee for projects from a national institution, and runs an industry-academia collaboration program.


Associate Professor Grace Hsieh

Associate Professor Grace Hsieh graduated from Central Saint Martins, having studied MA Textile Design, and currently teaches design fundamentals, printed textiles, dyes and textiles testing at Shih Chien University, Taiwan. She has been taking Taiwanese students to workshops in Europe on a regular basis and established many international links with other institutes as well as facilitating work placements abroad for Shih Chien students. She runs many projects that give her students exposure to the industry, and is also exploring fashion for the elderly and infirm. Recently she has been collaborating with Clive Rundle in South Africa, contributing her colorful print designs.