UPDATE: All seats have been reserved for the in-person event. You can request to be placed on the waitlist by emailing Saylor Upah: upahsay@iastate.edu or view the livestream on the college’s YouTube channel.



AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University students in the College of Design’s first-year design studio will share their final projects in the “Nature in Excess: Wearables Design Show.”

The show will feature students modeling wearable designs created in the Design Studies 102 studio this spring semester. The event will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in the college’s Lyle E. and Anna Lightfoot Forum (atrium). Admission is free but seating is limited; tickets can be reserved online beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 1.

For those unable to attend in person, the show will be livestreamed on the College of Design’s YouTube channel.

Designs drawn from nature

More than 70 wearables from 16 different course sections will be showcased. Designs are inspired by music or sound; they also integrate elements of the outdoors in response to the  “Nature in Excess” theme, said Wearables Design Show director Nathan Edwards.

“How you might define it could be trees, vegetation, organic growth,” said Edwards, an associate teaching professor of art and visual culture.

Since the end of February, students in each studio section have worked in teams to construct wearables that explore the use of different materials, the kinetic movement of the human body and three-dimensional art.

Their designs will be crafted from cardboard, fabric, paper, soda cans and other materials and fitted to models, who will “perform” them in the April 20 Wearables Design Show.

Learning to collaborate

Studio instructor Nate Byro, a lecturer in landscape architecture, asked his class to pull inspiration for their wearables from nature sounds. One of Byro’s students, Evan Bode, said the project has been a creative challenge for his team.

“We weren’t sure where to start, but we’ve been able able to throw out ideas and then give feedback on them,” said Bode, a pre-architecture student from Minneapolis.

“So collaboratively, it’s been super cool seeing how we can take the different pieces from different people and turn them into this thing.”

Other instructors had students use music to drive their designs. Encouraging students to collaborate from the start of the project is one reason Reinaldo Correa asked groups in his studio to choose their own genres and songs.

“We are developing the skills of what a design process is,” said Correa, an assistant teaching professor of architecture and industrial design, who has been involved with the Wearables Design Show since its inception in spring 2019.

“Team members come from different backgrounds, so this is their first opportunity to work together with these diverse perspectives.”

Kylie Chestnut, a student in Correa’s class from Delhi, Iowa, said her group’s project is inspired by disco music.

“Our work will be based on the instrumental version of ‘Last Dance’ by Donna Summer,” the pre-graphic design student said. “A big concept of ours is wavy lines and bright colors.”

Live and in person!

The first Wearables Design Show was held in person in the College of Design in spring 2019. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the spring and fall 2020 and 2021 shows were all held virtually, and students captured their wearables in videos to be shared online.

For the spring 2022 show, students modeled their designs on a green screen set in the college’s King Pavilion during a livestreamed performance for an online audience. The show resumed in person last fall.


Nathan Edwards, Wearables Design Show Director, nedwards@iastate.edu
Saylor Upah, College of Design Event Planner, upahsay@iastate.edu
Lauren Johnson, College of Design Communications Specialist, laujohn2@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, College of Design Director of Strategic Communications, hsauer@iastate.edu