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!

Royal Academy of Fines Arts, School of Architecture
Philip de Langes allé 10, Copenhagen 1435

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 ( 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 :

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)
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
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



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.