3 Questions with Hazel Clark
Design historian and theorist Hazel Clark on keeping focused, evaluating work, and taking alternate paths.
3 QUESTIONS is series of brief, three-question interviews with PNCA’s visiting artists and lecturers. Each year, PNCA attracts innovative, thoughtful, and creative makers and thinkers who share our belief in the transformative power of creativity. In three short answers to three short questions, these artists offer perspectives on career, motivation, and transformation. When available, we include links to audio recordings, transcripts, slideshows, or video.
“In the end,
you are responsible
for making decisions.”
What advice would you offer current students about to embark on a career in the arts?
Keep focused and have confidence in your ideas and your abilities. Seek criticism from those you respect and accept it graciously, but know that in the end, you are responsible for making decisions. Take opportunities as they come along; even the unexpected can provide exciting opportunities if you let it.
How do you maintain your creative practice? What keeps you motivated and engaged?
I am motivated by work that I feel is worthwhile.
Could you describe a moment or experience that profoundly changed the nature of your work?
Having been accepted to a graduate program in art history and theory, rather than in fine arts (after completing my undergrad in fine arts) led to a different form of output. But I suspect that the ideas would have been fairly consistent, whatever the formal practice.
Dr. Hazel Clark is Research Chair of Fashion at Parsons the New School for Design, and former head of the Swire School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic. She is also on the faculty of the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons, where she previously served as Dean. Clark was one of the first graduates in Britain to be awarded a PhD in the history of design, and has since published and taught internationally, with a particular interest in design and cultural identity and a focus on fashion and textiles. Clark considers the study of history and theory critical for those who intend to become design and art practitioners as well as for individuals pursuing focused interdisciplinary scholarship in those fields. She initiated the MA Fashion Studies program, which Parsons began offering in fall 2010, and worked with colleagues on the MA Design Studies program. Her publications include The Cheongsam (Oxford University Press, 2000), an edited issue of Design Issues on design in Hong Kong (MIT Press, Spring 2003), and “Design in a Global Context,” co-edited with Karen Fiss, in Design Issues (MIT Press, Summer 2009). Other publications include Old Clothes, New Looks: Second Hand Fashion (Berg, 2005), co-edited with Alexandra Palmer; The Fabric of Cultures: Fashion, Identity and Globalization (Routledge, 2009), co-edited with Eugenia Paulicelli; and Design Studies: A Reader (Berg, 2009) co-edited with David Brody. She is currently working with Professor Cheryl Buckley on Fashion and Everyday Life in Britain and America, c1890-2010 (working title).