University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

Style Swap at the University of Utah

Students: Anastasiya Bobrova, Justin Chen, Brooke Ericksen, Henrique Friaca, Jessica Frye, Pisti Gamvroulas, Madison Garriott, Christian Hartshorn, Sarah Hogg, Jessica Huynh, Carly Larson, Noelle Olsen, Kyra Ott, Hugh Tran, Omar Tsai. 

Faculty advisor: Carol Sogard

The University of Utah’s Sustainable Design Practice course teaches graphic design students about the environmental impacts of design and production practices and the ecological problems that arise from manufacturing, consumption, and disposal. Students learn how designers can make a positive impact on the world by applying this knowledge to the work they create through involvement in community-based research projects.

Carol Sogard works with the students to identify, plan, design, and execute a community-based project that addresses sustainable thinking and action. Through collaborative research with community members, they learn to implement human-centered design strategy into their design practice. The theme of the 2019 community-based project centered on clothing manufacturing, disposal, and the dangers of “fast fashion”. Through brainstorming sessions, the student designers identified their project premise. In the interest of diverting clothing waste from the landfill, they conceived of an event that offered participants an alternative to buying new clothing.

The Style Swap was an all-day event located at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library Auditorium. It engaged the campus community in addressing fashion waste through a free clothing exchange. Participants got the opportunity to exchange their unwanted clothing items with other donated pre-loved items while learning about a better way to shop via secondhand. All remaining clothing was donated to various local charity organizations after the event ended. Student designers were divided into teams to develop the event concept and name, brand identity and guidelines, public relations, advertising, event signage/design, and social media marketing. Most importantly, they educated participants about alternatives to buying new clothes.