Being in the Integrated Design Fashion major I often get the question, “What does that even mean?” Well, it’s kind of one of those unicorn majors not many people know about, but I for one am so glad I chose it! I liked my freshman year in Design and Management but I wanted a major that offered more freedom for me to be able to take classes in different departments and really explore my own design aesthetic including my likes and dislikes. A friend of mine who took the leap with me into IDC was Benji Peng.
A current junior like myself Benji is interested primarily in menswear design and feels that being in IDC allows him to not only explore this but other areas of design he is interested in as well. I chatted with Benji about his experience in IDC, his time abroad this past semester in London and also took a look into his process book and portfolio!
Lauren Davis: Hey Benji! Let’s enlighten our audience on the awesomeness that is IDC, why did you choose this major?
Benji Peng: I liked the idea of incorporating elements of different creative fileds in my work and research. I’ve always been interested in fashion design but I wanted more freedom to explore and really inject different creative elements rather than confining myself to just one thing.
LD: What inspires you creatively? What’s your design process like?
BP: I start by looking at things I wouldn’t be attracted to. I like to find things I don’t like and make it into something I do. I don’t believe in looking at beautiful things for inspiration. I believe by looking at untraditional things you are able to find your own view of it and who knows, the outcome could be beauty.
LD: What designers are you following right now?
LD: You did a study abroad this past semester at Central Saint Martins, what was that experience like?
BP: I think it’s great to get a fresh view on your creative work and CSM gave me that. There approach to concept developing and research is quite different than Parsons, it’s great to see different perspectives and also meet new people! I really enjoyed the experience and also being in London!
LD: What are your plans for the future?
BP: Hopefully I’ll still be designing. I’m very open-minded and although I’ve been studying menswear because that has been my first sewing experience I’m definitely not opposed to womenswear either. At some point I would even like to go back to London because I really loved that city!
Thanks to Benji for sharing some of his work and experiences!