Skip to Main Content

Fashion and Play Symposium: Call for Abstracts

12 Apr 2024 @ 9:00am BST
13 Apr 2024 @ 5:00pm BST


Symposium Dates: April 12-13, 2024

Symposium Host: Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN US


Important dates

Abstract submission: October 15, 2023 – January 10, 2024

Notice of acceptance: January 15 - January 20, 2024

Online registration closes: March 8, 2024

See for updates.

If fashion is a modern essential, play is a basic human need. The National Institute for Play considers play extremely important for a healthy life. Each person feels playful in their own unique way. How we play may change as we mature from children to adults, and the current fashion in popular play changes over time. While we might enjoy music over our lifetime, the way we interact with instruments and vocals might range from sing-alongs to electric instruments to digital synthesizers. While dolls have been a quintessential toy of childhood, today’s dolls present multiple ethnicities, body shapes, and genders that are very different from traditional collectible dolls. Similarly, the way we play with fashion reflects and constructs evolving societal tastes and values. Both the play of fashion and the fashion of play are fascinating topics to explore.

The neurons in our brain light up when we encounter something playful. It alters our state of mind when we are enjoying an activity that allows us to forget about time. An individual involved in play can take on many roles including collector, competitor, creator, designer, director, explorer, joker, kinesthete, consumer, and storyteller.

Submissions may be related to broad definitions of fashion/design and play. Topics may include (but are not limited) to the following:

            Dress and role playing

            Play Therapy

            Sports apparel


Design for play

Toy Design

Costume Design

Children’s clothing

Adult Play

Interior Design for play (children and adults)

Creativity connections

            Designing games and gaming

Theoretical and conceptual approaches/frameworks

Technologies driving play

            Play systems

Submission Categories

Scholars and practitioners are invited to submit abstracts that are original, completed at the time of submission, not submitted to another journal, and/or presented at another conference in the following categories:

  • Research – includes submissions related to research studies and scholarship grounded in different fashion and play theories/approaches/philosophies.
  • Teaching – includes submissions that advance the scholarship of teaching, curriculum, and pedagogy related to fashion and play and related fields.
  • Concept – includes submissions related to a broad view of the field that may be position papers, emerging philosophies/schools of thought, practitioner or role-playing, systematic literature reviews, bibliometric analyses, and integration of research and practice. Submissions in this category must be supported by thorough synthesis and analyses of diverse and reliable sources of information to inform future scholarship and actions.
  • Creative Design – Submissions in this category include original design work focused on play.

If accepted, the study/design must be presented/displayed by at least one of the original abstract authors in an oral/poster/display format. The presenting author must register for the symposium by March 8, 2024, to allow the organizing committee time to prepare and disseminate the Symposium Program.
2024 Symposium Co-Chairs: Drs. Elizabeth (Missy) Bye and Juanjuan Wu College of Design, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN, USA

Contact information: Email: or

Main Office Ph: +1 612-624-9700

12 Apr 2024 @ 9:00am BST
13 Apr 2024 @ 5:00pm BST

Google Calendar

  • St Paul, MN, USA