Anette Millington is a research-based artist, designer, and educator. She investigates creative making strategies and systems that embed materials with meaning. Her particular focus as an artist and designer is textile embellishment, considering relationships between natural growth systems, language and ornamentation. As an educator, Anette specializes in art and design pedagogy that links making and thinking, craft and technology. Anette is Assistant Professor of Fashion Systems and Materiality at Parsons School of Design. She is also the Director of Parsons First Year Program.
Where or what, for you, are the most exciting areas of overlap and intersection between the courses that you teach and your own practice?
My art practice is deeply interconnected with my teaching. Teaching is for me less about delivering knowledge than it is building knowledge. This active exchange continuously inspired and shifts my practice. For example, John Roach and Shari Diamond assigned me to a course called “Pattern, Symmetry and Color”, based on what they saw in my work at the time- which was highly patterned painting. Teaching that course was a revelation for my own work and the beginning of my current exploration of textile embellishment.
What is particular about “learning through teaching”, is that the teacher must not only research new ideas, but must inhabit the new content- unpack the central questions and then figure out what types of material learning will place the student into this mindset. And when “learning through teaching” you must always think about building- the scaffold that will allow the whole class to not just receive the new idea or tool, but to build it on their own. Teaching is for me inherently creative- and a way for me to make a profession of my own curiosity.