Textile Design Lab

Collaboration for Pattern Designers

In this course you will learn the importance of working alongside other designers whether they be peers or clients, how to handle conflicts when they arise and how collaboration will enrich your design process. You will identify your strengths and what challenges you when working with others, and practice your new-found skills giving you the confidence to put them into action.


Welcome to our ten-day e-course, Collaboration for Pattern Designers! This course works best when taken during our annual group-study (May 16-27, 2022: SIGN UP HERE,) but you are also welcome to take it as a self-study at any point during the year.

For as long as I can remember collaboration has been something that has fascinated and inspired me—from being an elementary schooler passing a notebook back and forth with two friends to collaboratively pen a “novel,” to my time in college as a dance major when my most treasured choreography projects were ones I worked on in collaboration with fellow students, and later attending school for textile design when I found that same passion carried over to 2D design, and really all creative pursuits! I am so excited to share what I’ve learned about working in this way, and hope it will inspire you to open yourself up to these sorts of opportunities.


What to expect:

This course consists of ten lessons. At the end of the lessons, you will find small tasks. We will ask you to share some of these tasks on the “Collaboration for Pattern Designers” forum for feedback and discussion. We will also be working through two larger assignments which should be posted to the forum by the end of each week. The assignments can be downloaded from our course Dropbox folder (link provided in Lesson One.) Throughout the week, feel free to share your progress on these assignments if you would like additional feedback from your classmates.


We are going to touch on a number of BIG questions, such as:

“How do I handle conflicts when they arise?”

“How can I clearly communicate my ideas when working with someone long-distance?”

“What are my strengths when working with others and what do I struggle with?”

If you’ve never worked collaboratively, or you’re not a fan of working this way, it can be a bit scary and overwhelming. But the benefits of working with others far outweigh the negatives. You will grow as a designer by opening your mind to other perspectives, you will develop important communication skills, and you will make connections that could become key industry contacts down the road!


Our course schedule:


Lesson One: Introducing collaboration

Lesson Two: Keeping everyone on the same page

Lesson Three: Communicating at a distance

Lesson Four: Benefits and challenges of collaboration

Lesson Five: Handling criticism and giving feedback

Assignment #1 due by Sunday night


Lesson Six: Looking inward

Lesson Seven: Who do I want to work with?

Lesson Eight: Fighting for your ideas

Lesson Nine: When to call it “finished”

Lesson Ten: Resources & putting this all into practice

Assignment #2 due by Sunday night

Course Reviews

  1. My First Course
    Thanks for this. Thank God there were only two assignments in two weeks. Very thoughtful. Great insight every day. I’d take this course 20 times. Appreciate it.

  2. 1+1=3 Collaboration
    A well presented course that explores working WITH others to produce work greater than either could on their own. Practical and informative, a rewarding course.

  3. Olivia says:

    Great course! It covers an aspect of design I’d never considered and provides concrete advice valuable to both beginners and established designers. Specific, clearly communicated, and enjoyable, plus it offers the opportunity to co-create, exchange feedback, and get to know fellow lab members. Thanks for another top-notch course!

  4. Jacqueline says:

    Collaboration Group Study
    This course has impressed and surprised me. I am getting used to the high quality courses on the Textile Design Lab, but this class was an eyeopener for me. The class has great content with practical and real advise from people actually working in textile design. It points out the pro and cons of working together and how to deal with several issues you may encounter. The surprise factor for me was in the personal discoveries thanks to the specific assigments of the class. Making connections with other groupmembers and actually collaborating with them was a huge bonus and learning opportunity!

  5. Arwen says:

    Great for getting into a collaborative state of mind!
    Another great class!

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