Timo Rissanen

Fellowship Year: 


Project Title: 

Fashioning Things with Burnham (in Time)

In 2017, as part of Canada 150 celebrations the Veronika Gervers Research Fellowship  and The Social Science & Humanities Research Council of Canada generously supported the international conference , Cloth Cultures: Future Legacies of Dorothy K. Burnham.

This presentation explores Dorothy Burnham’s potential in fashion in the 21st century, with focus on sustainability. Burnham’s rigorous analysis of the thinking embedded in objects is highly relevant in the rapidly developing landscape of technology, and in our fast changing relationships with things and how we make them, how we fashion them. A key driver of Burnham’s inquiry – Why did someone make this like this? – is essential in understanding how to create sustainability and eliminate unsustainability in fashion in the 21st century. The presentation explores several practitioners whose work embodies Burnham's research, pointing towards time as layered, diverse and non-linear.

About the Fellow: 

Timo Rissanen is the Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons School of Design. He currently serves as the School Associate Dean of the School of Constructed Environments, and he is one of the Associate Directors of the Tishman Environment and Design Center. He was born in Finland and trained as a fashion designer at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in Australia. Rissanen completed a practice-based PhD on zero waste fashion design at UTS in 2013. As an artist he has focused on the (in)humanity of labour, politics and love through installation, performance and cross-stitched poetry. Rissanen co-curated Fashioning Now with Alison Gwilt in 2009 and Yield with Holly McQuillan in 2011, and he has co-published two books on fashion and sustainability, Shaping Sustainable Fashion with Gwilt in 2011 and Zero Waste Fashion Design with McQuillan in 2016.

Authored by: Kait Sykes

Authored by: Kait Sykes