Tuesday, 8 December 2009

FUNDING FOR PH.D. in “Architectural Robotics”

Colleagues of mine from the Archibots workshop are currently looking for a new PhD student in architectural robotics to start in Clemson University (USA) in August 2010. So spread the word among your architects'friends:

Individuals trained in Architecture and/or the allied Design disciplines and interested in pursuing a Ph.D. focusing on design research may apply now for one or more funded openings, with August 2010 entry, to Clemson University. Full funding and living stipend will be awarded to a qualified applicant interested in engaging in research being undertaken within the research group IMSA (Intelligent Materials and Systems for Architecture) under the direction of Keith Evan Green. The successful candidate(s) will be expected to focus on the design, prototyping and evaluation of “architectural robotics” or, more broadly, computation embedded in the built environment at any scale. All IMSA research projects are collaborative, developed in partnership with faculty and students in Electrical and Computing Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering and Human Factors Psychology. The degree of Ph.D. will be granted by Clemson’s Ph.D. Program in PDB&E (Planning, Design & the Built Environment). Clemson is a top-25 U.S. public research university located between Atlanta and Charlotte. For consideration, applicants must complete the on-line application forms and forward official GRE and (for non-US citizens) TOFEL scores to the Graduate School; and email a design portfolio (a pdf file of less than 5MB, please) and copies of GRE and TOFEL scores to Professor Green. For best consideration, please submit these materials by February 15, 2010.

Contacts and Links:

Professor Keith Evan Green, kegreen@clemson.edu

IMSA: www.IMSA-research.org

PH.D. PDBE Program Director Mickey Lauria, mlauria@clemson.edu

Ph.D. PDBE: http://virtual.clemson.edu/caah/pdbe/

Apply on-line: http://www.grad.clemson.edu/ProspectiveStudents.php

Monday, 7 December 2009

Fast Fashion & Co-Design: Working Together


I designed and facilitated a workshop last Friday for MA Textile students at Chelsea College of Art & Design. The workshop was part of a piece I am working on for TED'S Ever & Again publication on upcycling textiles. It is an outcome of an AHRC funded research project directed by Rebecca Earley .


The workshop was titled Fast Fashion & Co-Design: working together


I used co-design to "orchestrate creative conversations" a term coined by Leadbeater (2009) to inspire collaborative concepts. We borrowed IDEO 's 3 core concept of design thinking to structure the workshop... It was divided into 3 sections... empathy, prototyping and storytelling.


I really enjoyed working with the students to explore these concepts and they presented some really interesting ideas and exciting solutions.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Digital Architecture Event at Bartlett

As part of the Bartlett School of Architecture International Lecture Series there will be a FREE Digital Architecture Event this coming Wednesday.

Date:Wednesday 9th December, 2009 from 6.30 PM (GMT)
Open to public, arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Organiser of Digital Architecture London Conference, Ruairi Glynn has brought together some of London's most prolific recent graduates in a group presentation of innovative and inspiring projects examining the scope of 'digitally enabled' architecture. Presenters include this years' President's Silver Medal Winner, Nicholas Szczepaniak, the Bartlett's Christian Kerrigan and Ric Lipson, AA's Adam Nathaniel Furman, AA DRL's 'Shampoo' Group and RCA's Jordan Hodgson.

To place this in context: from the first generative algorithms of John Frazer, to Cedric Price and Gordon Pask's proposed interactive buildings, to the technologically inspired hinterlands of Archigram's walking, reconfigurable, and instant cities, London has long been a provocateur of digitally enabled architecture.

This spirit of speculation and provocation continues in a young generation of designers who slip with ease between computational algorithms and hand drawings, paper models and robotic manufacturing. In November 2009 Ruairi Glynn and Sara Shafiei co-authored and published 'Digital Architecture: Passages Through Hinterlands' which went further than the exhibition, revealing the processes behind leading graduate work alongside interviews with young practices including Amanda Levete Architects, Plasma Studio, JDS Architects, sixteen* (makers), and marcosandmarjan - discussing how the these innovative explorations have begun to make their mark on the built environment. Following the lecture, there will be a book launch of 'Digital Architecture: Passages Through Hinterlands' at the Bartlett. It can also be previewed online at

www.passagesthroughhinterlands.com

Friday, 4 December 2009

What is Textile Design Research? - Call for contribution

Research for textiles is broad and far reaching. Historical, theoretical, technical, scientific, commercial and aesthetic strands interweave to create a complex and interdisciplinary field of investigation and invention. The intention of the first call for submissions to DUCK is to explore the nature and significance of current Textile Design research and establish a platform for future discourse. Submissions are invited which address or cover one or more of the following themes:

The contexts for textile design research The role of interdisciplinarity in textile design research The distinction between research related to processes and that related to outcomes The tensions between the demands of commercial enterprise and the academic domain The methodologies that might be appropriate for textile design research The impact of new materials and/or technologies on directions and approaches in textile design research The influence of craft methods/approaches in textile design research The interaction between craft and scientific method in textile design research Historical and theoretical perspectives within textile design research Relationships between theory and practice in textile design research The benefit of textile design research to the designer Forms of application and dissemination of textile design research

Deadline for submissions: 22nd January 2010 Authors will be informed of the outcome of their submission by the end of April 2010.

Submission Instructions:Contributions may take the form of written texts (maximum 5,000 words), visual essays, a series of images relating to methods (sketchbook style), visual diaries or other methods deemed appropriate.

Duck does not advise a particular format for written submissions although we ask that contributors present their ideas in an accessible format for Duck's diverse readership of researchers, educators, artists and designers. For written texts the Harvard System of referencing is preferred.

Images should be 300dpi where possible, RGB format and submitted as TIFF or JPEG files. Text should be provided in MS Word (.doc), rich text (.rtf) or pdf format.

Please provide your name, affiliation, email address, a title for your submission and a short summary of your contribution.

Please send submissions by email to: L.R.Moriarty@lboro.ac.uk This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

(Maximum file size: 5mb). Alternatively, please send on disk (CD or DVD) to:

DUCK Journal - Textiles Research Group

Loughborough University School of Art and Design

Loughborough

Leicestershire

LE11 3TU

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Climate & Architecture - towards an atmospheric architecture


In correlation with the Climate & Architecture exhibition, the Royal Academy of Fines Arts, School of Architecture, Copenhagen is hosting a promising seminar embracing the idea of an atmospheric architecture.

Date: 10.12.09 - 10.12.09
Location: The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture
The Exhibtion Hall
Danneskiold-Samsøes Allé 51
Holmen
Time: 13.00
Event holder: The Nantes School of Art & The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture

Today the climate has become the main aim of architects and architectural practice changes in order to integrate the goal of safeguarding the climate. But as the balance with climate and its protection becomes the goal of architecture, it is also possible that climate becomes the ressources and tools of architecture.

Thus weather vocabulary used to describe atmospheric phenomena (convection, pressure, depressions, temperature, heat, relative humidity, reveberation, for example) becomes an architectural language.

The Nantes symposium of Copenhagen 2009 "Climate & Architecture - towards an atmospheric architecture" seeks to integrate the climate mission of architecture not only as the purpose of the contemporary architecture, but also as the process.

The full programme can be downloaded here.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Climate & Architecture

Climate and Architecture is an exhibition organized by the Royal Academy of Fines Arts, School of Architecture, Copenahgen to address the challenges related to climate change in the field of Architecture. Beyond direct challenges and immediate solutions, the exhibition is embracing the complexity of the question by addessing issues related to ‘human interrelations with physical design, technology, resources & the surrounding climate’. The exhibition presents two major pieces: New Olduvai Gorges by Philippe Rahm and the Sargasso Cloud, the outcome of the CITA (Centre for IT & Architecture) Summer School by Philip Beesley & Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen. The first one is an installation, emblematic of Philippe Rahm's approach, exploring how concepts such as cold, warmth and daylight can determine a new type of meteorological architecture engaging the five senses rather than limitating itself to pure visual experience. The Sargasso Cloud, -an interactive sculpture where two architectural layers, a forest-like ceiling and a geo-textile structure made out of silk and bamboo interlacing, start to interact and exchange energy as well as responding to human behaviours- investigates how concepts of interactivity and responsiveness can suggest new relationships between buildings and environments.

But enough talking, you should go and see for real these poetic installations not only because I took part in the design and making of the Sargasso but especially because the secret resides in experiencing these experimental architectures with the five senses . The show will be on till the 20th of december 2009 and will be with a symposium on atmospheric architecture on the 10th of december. Soon more about it!

Details
Royal Academy of Fines Arts, School of Architecture
Philip de Langes allé 10, Copenhagen 1435
12h-20h


Thursday, 26 November 2009

Gucci Group sponsor a Ph.D. Scholarship


In response to 21st Century concerns and the rapidly evolving luxury market, the Gucci Group will sponsor a Ph.D. Scholarship that will explore the potential of new technology in answering the call for sustainability in the challenging context of fashion and textiles.


The First ‘Gucci Group Ph.D Scholarship' is aimed at promoting creativity and innovation to define what future luxury may be in a fashion and textile context, with sustainability in its core.


Gucci Group believe that cutting edge design, science and material innovation hold the key to developing new methods and processes that will assist in defining the future of craft and manufacturing, and help ensure the future for luxury brands that will take into account environmental concerns and climate change.


The Ph.D. Scholarship will be hosted by Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and supported by the Textile Futures Research Group (TFRG) at the University of the Arts London (UAL).


Linked to TFRG, the Ph.D. Scholar will join a community of research students (http://textilefuturesphd.blogspot.com/) and specialist researchers and practitioners with internationally recognised expertise in wide ranging and related projects. For more information on the research studentship / PhD application process : www.tfrg.org.uk/studentships


The seminar for MA students aims to explore a few of these established projects and working processes that incorporate new design methods and sustainability at their core.



Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Warp factor - Textile Futures exhibition


Opening in Tokyo on the 13th October 2009 Warp Factor ‘09 celebrates the innovation and future thinking of textiles researchers and designers from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. Presenting textiles of tomorrow the exhibition and accompanying catalogue explore potential solutions to aspects of some of the key agendas facing us all, such as Health and Wellbeing; Sustainability; Conservation and Visualisation and the re-wiring and re-branding of craft traditions.

From 16th of november till 18th of december 200)
www.warpfactor09.com
Lethaby Gallery
Central St Martins, College of Art and Design
Southampton Row, Holborn, London

M-F 10-18h
Sat. 10-16h

Cherish Your Wardrobe - Event Report



I attended the 'Cherish your Wardrobe' event at Central Saint Martins yesterday, an event hosting a range of speakers who tackle sustainability from different angles. 

Designers from Gieves and HawkesFrom somewherePachacuti and TRAID presented their work and design journey. Their 'sustainable stories' connected them and really animated the cause. It was inspiring that every designer began with a limitation and designed this into their process and practice.

If innovation can be inspired from limitation: how can we push the boundaries and challenge the fashion industry? Over consumption is a huge problem and how do we make sense of an industry that has somehow lost control?

The designers urged the audience and consumers to emotionally engage with their clothing, to invest in fashion that will be cherished and loved. Quality was also an important issue, for clothing to be durable and with stand the test of time it needs to be well crafted and really beautiful. But are we as consumers willing to pay more?


Over consumption was addressed and TRAID stated that the average fashion consumer buys 35 garments per year. But if we explore fast fashion culture that teenagers are buying into, the number of annual garments consumed is significantly more. They asked the audience to think about how much they consume per year... how much do you consume?

So where do the answers lie? 
The Q & A session was really animated and the audience challenged sustainable fashion from their perspective. 

  • How do you convince consumers to buy into ethical fashion if it costs more?
  • How do we influence the fashion industry at mass?
  • Are trends important? Should we be buying into trend-less fashion?
  • Is fast fashion necessarily a bad thing? It's democratic and allows everyone to participate...
  • Do the answers lie in current sustainable business models... can we explore, reflect and expand upon?

One audience member flagged up that she loves how everyone can express themselves through fast fashion... She felt that DIY fashion puts pressure on woman to return to the sewing machine and the whole stitch and bitch concept is possibly a step backwards? 

There was also a lot of discussion about the onus being put onto the consumer... the speakers responded that is because the power of the purse has a significant impact! Do retailers supply to meet demand? The urge for Government support for local production was also stressed as an important issue... new legislation and initiatives are required to urge designers, suppliers and businesses to work towards sustainable standards.

I think consideration needs to be applied to all viewpoints... its a complicated area and there is no complete solution or answer which will resolve everything. But lots of work has already been done and this can be expanded upon... 

The stereo-type of sustainable fashion is changing, new materials and process are delivering a better aesthetic and this could enable us to work towards challenging preconceptions. 

Monday, 23 November 2009

Cherish Your Wardrobe


Connecting luxury and quality to sustainability in fashion

Chaired by Caryn Franklin
Speakers:
Frederik Williems, Head Designer Gieves and Hawkes
Orsola de Castro, From Somewhere
Carry Somers, Pachacuti
Lyla Patel, Traid

5pm, 23 November 2009

The Innovation Centre
Central Saint Martins
Southampton Row
London WC1B 4AP

Friday, 20 November 2009

Global Sourcing Marketplace: Making Producing Sustainable Fashion Collections Easy








THE ANNUAL INDUSTRY MARKETPLACE FOR SUPPLIERS OF SUSTAINABLE FABRICS, COMPONENTS AND MANUFACTURERS TO THE FASHION INDUSTRY

20th-21st NOVEMBER, CHELSEA COLLEGE, LONDON

As a culmination of 2009’s Spotlight on Sourcing event series, the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) will be holding a two-day Ethical Sourcing Marketplace in London. The marketplace will bring together representatives of brands and retailers with manufacturers, suppliers and cooperatives working to high ethical standards.

At the event you can:

  • Meet a range of suppliers, see and feel products and discuss your needs face to face
  • Gain access to detailed information on exhibitors through the Supplier Directory -quickly identify exhibitors compatible with your work
  • Attend the series of short seminars during both days, introducing new products and exemplary supply systems
  • Access one to one advice from leading ethical fashion support organisations and initiatives
  • Network with other visitors and learn from others experience, share ideas and make key contacts
Tickets are available on site and student discount is available for £10 access saturday 21st  between 1030 - 1300 ... bring your student ID with you.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Co-Everything: Defining Co-design for Fashion and Textiles’


Friday 6th November ‘09

3.30pm – 5pm

Lecture Theatre, Chelsea Millbank

 TFRG / PhD Student Jen Ballie presents:‘Co-Everything: Defining Co-design for Fashion and Textiles’

Co-design is an all-encompassing term to describe participatory action, but how does it fit fashion? This presentation will explore a series of co-design terms and define them within a fashion context, to offer a series of solutions for designers for discussion with the audience.

If you are a undergraduate/ postgraduate student from the University of the Arts, London and have an interest in this area please come along or contact me or more info.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Eco-Home

Aurélie Mossé's Constellation Wallpaper, prototype 2

The Geffrye Museum's Eco Home exhibition is now on until 7th Feb 2009. 'This exhibition hopes to address, without preaching, widespread and increasing concerns about ecology and the state of the planet and how this links to our homes and the way we use, decorate and inhabit them.'' A series of currently available eco-products for the home are on show alongside with few more prospective artefacts such as my Constellation Wallpaper. Jo Angell from Puff and Flock is also displaying her Bittern Wallpaper.
One more good reason to visit the Geffrye Museum which is a charming place to visit anyway !




Friday, 16 October 2009

Future Textiles Denmark


I have been kindly invited by the Centre for Textile Research, Copenhagen to present my work during a research day dedicated to Future Textiles, where I will be presenting alongside with designers and researchers such as Mette Ramsgaard, Linda Worbin or Vibeke Riisberg and many others. Please have a look on the program which sounds really exciting !

If you wish to join us, the event will be hold at:
Multi salen, Københavns Universitet, bygn. 21, lok. 21.0.54,
Karen Blixens Vej 1, 2300 København S and you can already book tickets at this address: mebr@hum.ku.dk, entrance fees is of 100dkk.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Archibots workshop | Ubicomp 2009 | Orlando


Taking part within the larger community of Ubicomp,I recently attended Archibots, a workshop organized by Keith Green and Mark D.Gross dedicated to architectural robotics. The workshop aimed to identify opportunities and challenges in research and education in the emerging area of “Architectural Robotics” - intelligent and adaptable physical environments at all scales, and gathered specialists in the field, from architects to roboticists including designers dealing with interactivity.

From papers review to debates and video-sketching, it was a really enriching day where we have been envisioning what the future of architectural robotics may become in 2019. I was particularly interested in the emerging idea of soft robotics (Omar Khan), what Michael Fox states as the end of Architectural robotics towards the idea of ‘biological robotics’ (Michael Fox). You can catch a glimpse on the extended abstracts of the papers presented as well as the video sketches produced during this productive day. My own paper will be the object of another post.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Hacking Design: Folly, theft or a new democratic dawn?



The RSA will be hosting an event exploring the notion of "design-hacking" a term used to offer alternatives to traditional design, production and partcipation. This event will be chaired by Scott Burnham (author of the RSA Design & Society pamphlet on design-hacking) and invites Dr Otto von Busch "haute-couture heretic and DIY- demangogue".

Dr Otto Von Busch
recently completed a PhD which combined a series of projects and experiments to explore fashion activism. His approach invites participants to actively engage in the fashion system and he has created a digital platform called >self_passage< which offers open source projects and proposed solutions. This is an excellent resource for designers practitioners, researchers and fashion DIY enthusiast's.

Event Description
As brave designers embrace this new frontier spirit. Design jam sessions of professional and amateur in cities and festivals all over the developed world unlock a creative energy that has, in fact, been ever-present in favelas and rural villages where necessity has always been the mother of invention.

Is design-hacking merely another post-modern phase in the history of design, or does it reveal a civic ingenuity and resourcefulness that a century and a half of industrially-fed consumerism has masked?

I have just booked tickets and really look forward to attending this event. I will update a new posting to summarise the proceedings.

Book Tickets or Further Information

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Constellation Wallpaper at Eco-Home exhibition

9th of october till 7th of february

At the occasion of the Eco-Home exhibition organized by the Geffrye Museum, I will have the opportunity to present my Constellation Wallpaper, an energy-storing wallpaper concept.

The show itself will address widespread and increasing interest in the way that climate change and the state of the planet affects our homes and the way we use, decorate and inhabit them.It is supported by John Lewis.

Eco Home will examine current ideas around eco living in an informative and timely way. The climate change agenda is having an impact on almost every area of life and the home is no exception.Recycling and saving energy have, for some, been part of daily life for generations, and is today enjoying a resurgence as well as new significance and urgency.The mantra ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ is prompting us to rethink our habits and behaviour. This exhibition will offer visitors food for thought on what they can do to make small but important eco changes in their homes.

We are now being encouraged to think about saving resources like water and electricity and turning to renewable sources.People are also beginning to consider the impact of industrial production methods and responsible sourcing. Eco Home will investigate how so-called ‘green’ issues have entered our domestic spaces, using both products that are already well established in the marketplace as well as futuristic prototypes.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Fashioning an Ethical Industry International Conference 2010: Call for Papers


Call for Academic/Research Papers and Student Projects

Fashioning an Ethical Industry International Conference: Fast Forward

Supported by the Northumbria University School of Design
2nd and 3rd March 2010
London

Fashion both reflects and influences social change. In a time when we are increasingly concerned with the impact of the industry on people and the planet, students need to be equipped with the tools to design the way we make and consume fashion differently. Fashioning an Ethical Industry (an EU funded project taking place in the UK, Netherlands, Austria and Poland) is part of a growing global movement within fashion education that is addressing how the business of fashion impacts on garment workers. This two day international conference will build upon the success of previous national events and the publication of the Sustainable Fashion: A Handbook for Educators. It will bring together educators, industry experts, academics and selected students to explore how fashion can be taught to inspire responsibility for the rights of the workers making our clothes.

Alongside their set programme of speakers with expertise in the industry, we will provide the opportunity for the presentation of academic research papers and for students to present their project or dissertation work at the conference. Each paper will be presented in a 30 minute session. Double sessions of one hour are available. All of the papers and projects will be presented in a workshop setting and the presenter should allow time for participants to comment and contribute to the session.

Academic/Research Papers:
Papers are welcomed that address the following or related themes:
Social responsibility in the garment industry (with an emphasis on garment workers’ rights)
Teaching ethics within fashion education
Approaches to education for sustainable development relevant to fashion education
Student Presentations:
Students are invited to apply for the opportunity to showcase their project, design or dissertation work which addresses social responsibility in the garment industry. If you are a tutor please encourage your students to make a submission.

Procedure:
Academics and students interested in participating in this event should submit an abstract by 30th October 2009 of 500‐700 words to liz@fashioninganethicalindustry.org. For further details on submission please see the attached PDF.

Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by a committee chaired by Doug Miller Inditex/ITGLWF Professor in Ethical Fashion at University of Northumbria. Final papers should be 5-6000 words long. The papers will be published online on the Fashioning an Ethical Industry website under a creative commons license and may be published more formally.

Important Dates:
Abstract submission deadline: 30th October 2009
Feedback on submissions: 29th November 2009
Final paper/project submission deadline: 30th January 2010
Final Conference: 2nd/3rd March 2010

For more information visit their website.

Service Design Conference 2009


The Service Design Conference will take place on 26th - 27th Octiber 2008 in Madeira, Portugal. The Conference will host a series of talks around service design innovations and is entitled "Beyond Basics"

Speakers include: Lavrans Lovile and Ben Reason (live|work), Mark Jones (IDEO), Shelleu Evenson (Microsoft) Lucy Kimbell (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford), Andreas Sommerwerk and Julia Leihener (Creation Center, Deutsche Telekom AG) and many more inspiration speakers Im sorry I haven't posted the list but visit the website for full speaker information and bio's.

The full agenda can be viewed here.

2012 IMPERATIVE TEACH-IN


The Victoria and Albert Musuem will host the 2012 IMPERATIVE TEACH-IN on the 12th October followed by participating institutions on the 13th October.

This event will broadcast live online and speakers include Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation, John Thackara of the Doors of Perception, Richard Hawkins and Christian Hunt from the PIRC, Ben Gill from BioRegional, designers Jonathan Crinion (Crinion Associates) and Stephanie Hankey (Tactical Technology Collective).

he 2012 Imperative aims to embed ecological and sustainability literacy in design education by 2012. There is a social network to support new connections and conversations.

Visit their website for further information on booking tickets or where to watch the broadcast live.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Making futures - 17th & 18th September 2009


This sounds like a not to be missed conference organized in Plymouth:

'The purpose of ‘Making Futures' is to improve understanding of the ways in which the contemporary crafts are practiced in relation to significant and new emerging agendas relating to global environmental and sustainability issues.

The objectives include trying to understand whether these ‘agendas’ offer opportunities for the crafts to redefine and reconstitute themselves as less marginalised, more centrally productive forces in society, through new formulations and/or re-articulations of practices, identities, positions and markets, in ways that might engage more closely with contemporary social and cultural needs.

‘Making Futures: the crafts in the context of emerging global sustainability agendas’ aims to bring together an international cast of academics, practitioners, curators, campaigners, activists, and representatives from associated organisations and agencies, to develop and explore the conference theme. The conference seeks to incorprate a diverse range of practice-based case studies with approaches rooted in historical and cultural modelling encompassing social, technological, critical-theoretical, and economic and political perspectives. Throughout, the intention will be to advance understanding and debate of this important area where practice and aesthetics confront contemporary social and political imepratives.

The conference invites submissions from practitioners, curators, historians, theorists, campaigners, activists, and representatives of public and private agencies with an interest in the relationship between the contemporary crafts and sustainability issues.'

Check out the programme and so on, on the conference website

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Puff & Flock at London Design Festival

Come and check out new works by future textile collective Puff & Flock will be exhibiting at Designersblock for this years London Design Festival. Puff & Flock are also part of the Mix magazine seminar program at 100% Design, both taking place at Earls Court, 24th - 27th September.

Don't forget to register for both tickets and visit it Puff & Flock in stand B20 for inflatable wonders, magnetic magic and glowing fabrics set amongst the Puff & Flock hub of textile dreams and inspiration.

VeryDesignersBlock & 100percentdesign

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Explaining textile design ...


The world of textiles is complexe to apprehend. We, as textile designers, are often confronted to the difficulty to explain what our work is about as it emcompasses many dimensions, depending on which context we are working, from trend forecasting to research, from industry to art etc not to mention the diversity of applications involving textiles from clothing to aerospace engineering.The V&A website proposes a straightforward application to understand in a playful way the basics of textile design. Textiles means obviously much more than that to us than drawing lovely flowers, you will certainly have noticed through this blog, but for once, let's come back to the basics ...

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Ice-fern wins the Gecko Think Forward Competition



I am delighted to announce that Ice-fern, CITA's proposal - designed by Karin Bech, Aurélie Mossé and Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen- for the Gecko Think Forward competition organized by Création Baumann has been awarded with the first prize in the Aesthetics categories.

Ice-fern explores the poetics of the window and how textiles can become an integral part of this ultra-thin architectural space. This transformable window geometry is a window-sculpture evolving over time.Pushing the boundaries between curtain and wall, Ice-fern is playfully drawn from one to the other. As Ice-fern is reconfigured excess parts of the curtain are shed creating a conversation between the two. As the lizard can loose its tail, Ice-fern leaves traces of presence across the space of inhabitation.
Ice-fern is three dimensional. Consolidated scales heat pressed into the gecko fabric give the fabric an integral structure. The resident can shape this three dimensionality by loosening parts of the pattern from the window surface. Changing the sculptures three dimensional configuration shifts the diffusion of light and translucency.

Ice-fern is bought in parts and combined at will depending on the size of window and the degree of privacy wished for. The parts combine in multiple ways creating new patterns and configurations. .

Ahrens Grabenhors Architekten from Hannover with „Etz Chaim“ and Trix Barmettler from Zürich with „GECKO goes kids“ were also respectively awarded in the functionality and innovation categories. The three winning projects can be discovered in the show-room of the company in Langenthal, Switzerland till the end of october.

Monday, 24 August 2009

ISEA 09


I am off to Belfast, Ireland this week to  the International Symposium of Electronic Art 09 where I will be presenting my first academic paper! 

The ISEA is a non profit organisation promoting interdisciplinaritythrough academic discourse and promoting a dialogue through the disciplines of art, design, science and emerging technologies.

I will be presenting in the third Interactive Textiles category which explores collaboration, cross-disciplinarity and consumption. My paper reviews participatory design methods for fashion support by digital media and sustainability will be a central theme throughout my presentation.

I'm really excited to be attending this event as they have some really amazing key note speakers lined up.  Clive van Heerden , the Senior Director of Design-Led Innovation at Philips and responsible for leading the Philips Design Probes program will be presenting on Wednesday and Thursday will host  Moritz Waldemeyer, the engineer behind Hussein Chalayan's futuristic fashion creations. 

The are a series of Fashion and Textiles sessions exploring time and form, materiality and wearability and lastly, adoption and collaboration, cross disciplinarity and consumption.

And that's just a summary of the Textile categories, there are many more presentations and workshops within other disciplines. I cant wait to experience this action packed week!  

Running parallel to this digital exploration I am going to try out another digital experience  - twitter! I will try my hand at some micro blogging photos and comments live from ISEA09 for the duration of the week... visit my "considerate clothing blog' or sew considerate on twitter for updates.

Bye, bye and tweet to you later!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Fashioning Now


Fashioning Now, changing the way we make and use clothes is an exhibition and symposium at University of Technology, Sydney 28 July - 28 August 2009.

The exhibit features innovative research projects from Australian and International practitioners including three members of staff and research from LCF Prof Helen Storey MBE, Dr Kate Fletcher and Jennifer Shellard.

Fashioning Now addresses all stages of the clothing lifecycle exploring the production and use of garments and addressing how and why they become discarded. The work has been submitted in an array of different mediums from garments,textile objects, time based art, photography and fashion illustration. The designers have used upcycling techniques, zero waste production, slow fashion, bespoke services, traditional craft and many more methods to present a series of sustainable solutions and poise scenarios for further research and development.

The Fashioning Now website hosts information about the event, the exhibitors and their work. Case studies are available to download and the website will be updated regularly making is a valuable resource for those with in an interest in sustainable fashion and textiles.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Fashioning Felt - Cooper-Hewitt Museum

March 6th - September 7th, 2009

For the lucky ones on the other side of the ocean...

Current Exhibition hold at the Cooper-Hewitt museum in New York exploring the varied new uses of felt—an ancient material, believed to be one of the earliest techniques for making textiles. Made by matting together wool fibers with humidity and friction, felting requires little technological expertise and is an extremely versatile material. The exhibition will begin with historic examples of felts, showcase innovations in handmade felts, and feature contemporary uses of industrial felt in a range of fields, including product design, fashion, architecture, and home furnishings. The exhibition is being organized by Susan Brown, assistant curator, Textiles.

More on the Museum Website

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Micro-Sociology of Networks

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Thinking Visually

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Writing a thesis abstract: tips

A practice-based PhD is still very much about writing. I would like to share a little tip with you regarding how to write an abstract, in particular a thesis abstract. This link is just a good recap to make up your mind before kick starting writing ;)

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

LCF Schway Graduate Collection



As part of my PhD research project I am exploring how digital media can be used to engage with fashion to promote sustainability. I have been trying and testing current technology and exploring alternatives.

Schway is an interactive fashion website that allows you to mix and match clothing. The application is designed to allow users to create new looks, share with friends via facebook and email and purchase through facilitated links to subscribed retailers online shops.

I was really excited to hear about further developments... a collaboration with London College of Fashion! This partnership has allowed students to present their final collections to the digital world in an interactive format.

Dr Julia Wolny, Course Leader at LCF and online fashion marketing expert stated that Schway provided the students with an excellent online platform to showcase their talent. With the online fashion sales growth far exceeding that of the traditional stores, we are looking to provide a digital experience that lets consumers co-create their look from the beautiful pieces our students have created.

This online showcase will be live until 30Th September but the collaborative relationship between Schway and LCF is growing. The next project will involve the whole Part Time portfolio of courses, including Fashion Business and Fashion Media, showcasing a sustainable collection developed as part of a DEFRA initiative.

As digital media evolves our fashion experiences are changing and I think this is a really exciting way of exhibiting work in a non traditional format. I cant wait to see how the new project transforms.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Vivienne Westwood Promotes Climate Change


All Images Source via active resistance.co.uk


Dame Vivienne Westwood appeared on Jonathan Ross last Friday to make an impassioned plea about climate change. She modelled one of her own creations to demonstrating her DIY ethos using seven metres of dutchess satin to construct a dress without sewing,  it was held together with rope cord and a belt. The dress was accessorised  with a safety pin necklace and she layered it over boxer shorts.

Her message was don’t spend money just wear what you can find, adopt DIY practice and use table clothes and curtains to create new looks. Buy less but choose well, if it’s dirty don’t wash it and over time it will look better.

Dame Westwood has been an advocate of action against climate change and has written a Manifesto, which promotes an active resistance to propaganda.  Urging the younger generation to become freedom fighters for her plight and to engage in art and culture.

website has been launched which hosts the manifesto,  photographs, past and present events, mini documentaries and VW's news blog and discussion forum.

Vivienne Westwood interviews Scientist James Lovelock in the current issue of Dazed and Confused. James Lovelock a scientist whose practice and research argues we are at a tipping point and direct action needs to be taken to prevent the horrific consequences of climate change…



co-designed dress with children of Nottingham


I watched Vivienne present her Manifesto at Dundee University last summer, where she was presented with an honorary degree. During a Q & A session she talked of a collaboration with school children (aged 7-8) from Nottingham who where were given a brief titled  “chaos point” which was communicated through narrative. They produced a collection of paintings inspired by the brief, which were then transferred as series of prints to Vivienne Westwood creations! I thought this was a lovely way to communicate climate change to a younger audience in an engaging, participative format. I think we all learn more by doing…

The website is an interesting resource and I enjoyed watching her interview with James Lovelock. In the documentary she urges people not to engage in passive experiences of consumer culture but instead dress up, walk tall and try to tackle the horrific opinions of the world… saying it can have a tremendous effect.


Designing Out Landfill



Just catching up on some events which I have attended.

 "Designing out Landfill" was an event organized by the Materials Knowledge Transfer Network. This free event was designed to increase knowledge in the field of sustainable clothing through focusing on new materials, processes and approaches. Through networking industry experts, designers and students they hope to raise awareness and reduce environmental impacts.

The event hosted a variety of speakers from design companies who are addressing sustainability to reduce/ reuse though their business model.

The first speaker Sophie Thomas co-founded greengaged a collaborative project through the design council and launched at The London Design Festival last year. 

Kresse Wesling from Eako Ltd talked about making eco-friendly lifestyle accessories from reclaimed waste. Eako have worked with the fire brigade to re-use discarded fire hoses, which reformed, into bags and belts. The belts are functionally and aesthetically desirable and Cameron Diaz models one in the June issue of US Vogue! Fifty percent of profits are returned to the fire brigade, which heavily relies on donations to support its service.

This talk demonstrated that discarded materials could be reused to produce desirable products. Kresse herself is an inspiration; she basically hangs out at landfill sites to identify new potential waste streams, which she will use if she can create a market or consumer story. 

Jonathan Petty from Patagonia talked about their brands journey to build a global empire based on environmental principles. They have employed sustainable practice and process for decades and the majority of their products are designed from organic or reclaimed materials.

Founded Yvon Chaunard was quoted saying “Every time I have done something for the environment, I have made a profit…”

For full information on the event visit the Material’s KTN website.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Measuring emotions


Premo seems like an interesting tool to learn from when dealing with emotions measurement.

Emotional responses elicited are difficult to measure because their nature is subtle (low intensity) and often mixed (more than one emotional response at the same time). However, scientific research at the Technical University of Delft by Dr. Pieter Desmet has resulted in an instrument, PrEmo, to measure emotions. Since then, PrEmo has been further developed by SusaGroup and TUDelft, resulting in a new and improved interface and character.

Discover all about it on Premo Website

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Research Network University of the Arts London (RNUAL)


Measuring where we are...


All first year PhD research students at the University of the Arts, London present their research at the end of their first year. We have to perform a 15 minute presentation followed by a 10 minute question and answer session to communicate our research and development. This provides us with an opportunity to introduce our research and source feedback from a multidisciplinary audience.

On Monday both Jane Scott and I presented our research. I found preparing the presentation a valuable exercise as it allowed me to reflect on my practice and research. Where does it sit within a fashion context? What are my future directions? How do I communicate my work? The questions and feedback identified new and current issues that require further consideration as we move our research forward through both theory and practice.

Its been hugely beneficial listening our my peers present...Connections can be made relating to their approach or process. We possibly sit within different research disciplines but are we applying a similar method or documenting our results in a similar format? I have found the presentation to be a valuable exercise and I am looking forward to watching the remaining presentations this week.