Autumn leaves, flannel, knitted sweaters and flared jeans litter the hallways of the Applied Technology Building at Ball State University as students decorate mannequins in glass displays.
Diana Saiki’s students have been putting together displays for their Fashion 245, visual merchandising, class. These displays are spread across the building’s hallways.
Saiki has been teaching this class for a long time and the class itself was around long before her too. She explained the benefits of this project for her students and what they are learning.
“They use the SCAMPER model in this [exhibit], as well as the Bell model of creativity. So it's focused on ideation generation,” Saiki said.
According to the Interaction Design Foundation, “SCAMPER refers to a series of thought sparkers or provocations which help you to innovate on an existing product, service or situation by looking through different lenses. There are seven provocation lenses in the SCAMPER method.”
The seven lenses are Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify (also Magnify and Minify), Put to another Use, Eliminate and Rearrange.
Saiki said the students will build on concepts throughout the semester, helping the students gain multiple types of experience.
“They get experience dealing with limitations,” Saiki said. “You have this idea, but can you really execute it with the mannequins or the clothing that you actually had? It is really a hands-on experience.
“It's a lot of fun to watch them play around with what's available and then select which window they want to do. It's always fun to see what they come up with.”
Saiki said the students' displays become more complex and very well-done projects by the end of the semester.
The theme students were given for the most recent displays was Autumn; One student group decided to go for a vintage fall vibe.
“We really emphasized more earth[y] tones for the vintage theme,” fourth-year fashion industry major Mikal Melton said.
He said the sweaters used in the display were old-timey sweaters.
“We all had [the clothes] in our closets, to be honest,” Melton said. “We tried to not buy things as much as possible … but we all were just really into the older look. I think it's very fitting for fall.”
Melton said he liked that the project gave the students actual experience in implementation. He thinks it will help them in the real world where they will be making window displays for businesses.
This is the students’ first display, but Melton said the only struggle came with getting mannequins to fit where they wanted them in the tight window display.
“I feel like fashion is an ongoing thing,” Melton said. There's always demand for someone in the fashion industry, and it's always changing. It's really cool to be able to create those new looks and ones through the ages.”
Fourth-year fashion industry studies major Javona Freeman said her group drew inspiration from traditional fall colors. She said her group planned to add more decorations to their display to enhance the autumn aesthetic.
“Fashion is all about collaborative work,” Freeman said.
She said combining all of the group’s ideas was the only struggle in this project.
Fashion 245 is set to start its next display soon, a Halloween-themed project.
Those interested will be able to view the displays in the Applied Technology Building.