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Crafting Communities of Care

My purpose throughout Capstone I and II has been to listen and learn how we might develop a dynamic and inclusive approach to improving the livelihoods of all people through freedom of creativity.


Juliana Bakumenko


The overarching focus of my capstone work has been on understanding how the modern prioritization of financial profit over human wellbeing and freedom of imagination influences our creative ideation and output, initially primarily within the field of fashion. My primary and secondary research throughout Capstone I was guided by these two questions:
Does capitalism, a system which prioritizes profit and increasing output, stifle creativity and creative expression?
How could personal relationships with fashion creation and expression exist beyond a system that demands profit and productivity?


I had an experience at my internship that prompted me to seriously consider introducing an open creativity workshop at Carolina Herrera, a well established fashion company with a rather small, close-knit team. I pitched a workshop proposal to my HR coordinator, and was met with great support and encouragement. I've placed a lot of pressure on having one big, final workshop to close out the semester, and this suddenly felt like the perfect one, reaching those both in creative and non-creative pathways. This workshop that I proposed at Carolina Herrera would've been an ideal ending, bringing a creative workshop, a push back against profit and productivity, into the workplace itself. However, I had to adhere to their timeline, which shifted my plans for a final intervention. I had to rework how to end the semester in a way that I was proud of.


Community is at the heart of my work in this project, and by aligning people through these workshops, I am proud to say I have been successful in encouraging open-mindedness in others and encouraging creative exploration as well as community engagement. I’ve been lucky enough to further connect with those around me, and my workshops have created communities of change within themselves. This project also stemmed from my personal loss of hope, direction, and sense of self - my internal struggle with believing in my designs and creations enough to be able to consider making a profit and a career out of them. With this project, I’ve personally been able to rethink my priorities, what I genuinely want out of my life and what my design work can be. My Capstone II project has been a success as I’ve encouraged creativity in others, but I’ve also learned so much from those around me during these workshops to uncover greater creative possibilities within myself.

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