Morrill Hall features grad’s creativity

Carlie Howard

Ling Zhang, graduate student in apparel, events and hospitality management, has an exhibit in Morrill Hall featuring all of the garments she accomplished within the past four years of her doctoral research. 

It opened March 28 and will be up until Saturday. Her work is featured in the textile science museum room 1015. The exhibit is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“I want to show students how to do creative design research,” Zhang said about her research goals.

Her creative research incorporated a variety of hand-crafted techniques and technology. Digital printing, laser cutting, digital embroidery and 3D printing were all used in her wearable art designs.

Most of Zhang’s apparel focuses on stainable apparel design.

“After my first semester, I found my interest,” she said.

Stainable apparel inspired most of her designs. The garments are nearly 90 percent silk, cotton and wool, all biodegradable textiles. Zhang used Chinese ink as a natural die, as well as upcycled second-hand materials. 

A major challenge for Zhang was finding the right textiles.

“Being a student in the Midwest, there are not a lot of fabric sources,” Zhang said.

To overcome this obstacle she created her own crafted techniques to create her own fabrics. Ling designed her own images for digital printing and embroidery as well as used laser cutting to embellish a leather jacket.

Overall, Ling was thankful for the faculty she worked with.

“They were very supportive, give a lot of freedom to do the research and help us achieve the goal,” she said.

Ling focused her research on the design process for wearable art and worked on developing an evaluation method for apparel designers. Ling is collecting data for her final dissertation collection. Her dissertation will be the first creative dissertation from Iowa State. 

Anyone can stop by Morrill Hall before Saturday to see Zhang’s work.