Several TED members are included in a new publication, Re-make It: Home by Henrietta Thompson (Thames & Hudson) of Wallpaper* magazine.

Kate Goldsworthy, Emma Neuberg and Clara Vuletich's work all appear in the book as examples of designers exploring recycling.

The book is a stylish 'how-to' which gives examples from designers such as Marcel Wanders and Jasper Morrison.


textile collective 'pop up' project space

bricolage, the textile collective made up of five Chelsea graduates, including TED member Clara Vuletich, has moved in to their temporary project space for December and January. The group will be selling some of their hand made pieces and also running workshops in January.
Clara will also be running a workshop for MA students there on the new ways that textile designers are retailing and marketing their work.
The space is in Brixton Market and is part of a scheme to offer rent-free spaces to creative enterprises to regenerate the market.


Chelsea graduates shortlisted for Sustainable Fashion competition

Clothes made from recycled cotton paper, exquisite design that need less laundering, hand crafted luxurious hemp satin pieces and hand-knitted pieces that are fastened onto basic wardrobe staples to create a completely adjustable wardrobe to cherish. These are just some of the winning ideas from this year’s Fashioning the Future Awards, organised by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion.

Several Chelsea/TED graduates were shortlisted in the competition including Lauren Palmer (MA 2009) a finalist in the 'Water - the Right for all Citizens' award and Julia Roebuck (BA 2008), a finalist in the 'Role of Materials in a Sustainable Fashion Industry' award.


TED hosts ethical textile trade fair

TED was the host to the largest ethical fabric trade fair seen in London, organised by the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF). The EFF brought together over thirty suppliers of sustainable and ethical textiles from around the world including Zameen Cotton from India, Made By and HEBA, a training and enterprise organisation in east London.The event took place in the Triangle Gallery at Chelsea and in a marquee on the Parade Ground.
The event was attended by over two hundred designers, students and large retailers and brands including Marks & Spencer, Ted Baker and Topshop.
Traditionally, designers and students have found it very difficult to source ethical fabrics, often because suppliers require large orders or because many of the suppliers are based in countries where communication and an understanding of designers' needs, is difficult.
TED was delighted to be able to offer the space to link these suppliers with designers and students and it seems that some productive and worthwhile dialogue was begun which will lead to some new future working partnerships.
The event was covered by Treehugger and several other ethical fashion blogs/websites.


Conversations on Slow Textiles

The audio from the TED members day out on a barge, 'Conversations on (a) Slow Craft' as mentioned in a previous post, is available for listening now online.

It was recorded by artist Russell Martin and documents several TED members discussion about the idea of 'slow' in their practice as textile designers.


Thrifty approaches to textile reuse in Japan and UK

Becky Earley has been up in York presenting at the Japanese Sashiko textiles conference which coincides with a major exhibition of sashiko textiles at York Art Gallery. Becky presented her Top 100 upcycled polyester shirt project, which is currently on show at the Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution exhibition in Birmingham.

The word 'sashiko' means small stitches and the curator of the exhibition Michele Walker, had studied English quilting techniques and saw the similarities - both techniques had arisen out of necessity and had involved women who were creating new garments from old clothes and textiles, mostly cotton workwear. As Michele Walker explains, "Sashiko evolved from a need
to conserve and repair garments at a time when cloth was a precious commodity".

Becky's pioneering work re-using polyester blouses is set in a completely different historical and cultural context to Japanese sashiko, however the same motivations apply - how to reuse textile waste and to conserve resources. However, Becky has taken on one of the hardest challenges for a designer in the current context - how to re-use the excessive amounts of polysters which exist in the UK, as over 50% of the world's fibre production is petroleum based.

Becky's Top 100 work has also been made into a 'digital book' which is currently showing alongside the pieces in Birmingham, and the book will be available online shortly.


TED's MA workshops

The new MA Textile group has started here at Chelsea and they have already been introduced to some aspects of TED's work. Several TED members have been running workshops with the students including Kate Goldsworthy who presented a talk on ‘Borrowing Materials, Technology and Time’ and then ran a workshop.
Another workshop was led by Hayley Newman, Fine Art Research Fellow who is taking her three-woman performance piece 'Cafe Carbon and the Gluts' to the Copenhagen Climate Change events in December. The MA students were asked to come up with some upcycled outfits for the performers.

Gucci Group fund new sustainable fashion PhD

The Textile Futures Research Group (TFRG), which TED is part of along with researchers and academics from London College of Fashion and Central St Martins, have announced that the Gucci Group are to sponsor a new three-year fully funded PhD studentship in ‘Sustainable Technology for Future Luxury'.

There will be a seminar to introduce the studentship, for MA students, on Friday 27th November, 16.00-18.00, at the Innovation Centre, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. There will be some talks from academics including Rebecca Earley from TED who will talk on recycling polyester and Carole Collett from CSM will discuss biomimicry.

For more information on the seminar email Itamar Ferrer at tfrg@tfrg.org.uk

For more information in the studentship go to the TFRG website.


Craft and Slow exhibition opens with TED member work

What would a Slow fashion collection look like? Instead of the fast paced fast-fashion cycle of a new collection every three weeks, how can designers work against this system? Becky Earley has been working on a ten year fashion collection called Top 100, and the collection is now on show at the exhibition Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution at Birmingham City Gallery.
The work also features in a podcast interview of Carl Honore, the author of the seminal book In Praise of Slow, who is reflecting on the exhibition and the theme of Slow and Craft.


TED Postcard from India

Clara Vuletich writes: I have been in India for a week now, working with TED colleague Lorna Bircham. We have come to Gujurat to spend a few days at a block print company which has been founded by an Indian textile designer who, in collaboration with her product designer husband, has created a sustainable print factory. Even though they use synthetic dyes (and they have some interesting arguments against natural dyes), all the waste water from the print and dye processes is sent through a water filtration system and re-used. 

The skill and craftsmanship of the wood block carvers and printers here is astonishing. The skills have been handed down through their families for generations. 

We are going to be working with this company on a project to create a series of textile designs which combine traditional block-printing with the latest digital print technology. The project is part of Creative Connexions, which aims to promote the benefits of using the UK's design talent in India and China.

More on this project will follow on the blog. 


Student Workshops in Hamburg

TED recently gave a presentation and led a design workshop for textile students at HAW college in Hamburg, as part of the Ever and Again: Rethinking Recycled Textiles research project, that Becky Earley has been leading.

Becky, Kate Goldsworthy and Clara Vuletich gave an evening presentation to students titled IMPACT: The Lifecycle of Textiles and the following day a workshop which explored the design themes being explored in Ever & Again, including Upcycling, Ethical Production, Short/Long life, Systems and Services Design and New Technologies.

Students worked towards developing an idea for a 'real-world 'concept, or new business model, which combined some or all of these design strategies.


TED goes to China

TED member Professor Kay Politowicz was in China last week presenting a paper at 'Design for Tomorrow's Customers Today: ', a conference organised by Creative Connexions, who aim to promote the benefits of using the UK's creative talent to China.

Co-written with Rebecca Earley, the presentation was titled Sustainability and Enterprise:Testing the Theories with Design and explores several 'sustainability design stories' that TED has developed.


Crafting Mass Production

Bridget Harvey wrote: One of the highlights of the London Design Festival last week for us here at TED, were the events being organised at the Design Council called Greengaged . One of the days we attended was 'Crafting Mass Production', which proposed to look at "how craft sensibilities and values can be brought to a mass production scale". Basically, they argued that craft is bringing the love back into design!

One of the best speakers was Kresse Weslin of E&KO who make beautiful, upcycled bags from dis-used fire hoses, produced by a combination of craft techniques and a larger production model. An inspirational speaker, Kresse spoke about her passion for diverting waste from landfill and that she sees herself as a problem solver rather than a designer.

She ended her talk by paraphrasing Michael Braungart who says "if you've got something good, do it big" - which is exactly what she is doing with her innovative, successful company.

Also speaking was June Hill from the Schiffli Project, a textile research project based around the last remaining working Schiffli embroidery machine in the UK at Manchester Metropoliton University. The machine works by embroidering the marks and lines made by a hand-manipulated 'stylus' and was invented to quickly and efficently produce embroidery designs. The University were threatening to replace the machine with newer technology, but it was saved by staff members who developed the idea of an exhibition which saw over ten artists using the machine to make new work.


Textile Collective launches

TED member Clara Vuletich is part of a textile collective called bricolage which launched last week at Tent London, part of the London Design Festival. bricolage specialises in contemporary bespoke textiles products for interiors and their expertise covers a range of traditional and innovative textile skills including screen printed wallpapers and textiles; hand and machine knit; crochet and upcycled quilting.

The collective has been formed by five textile graduates from Chelsea, whose creative 'make-do' attitude has inspired them to join together to create unique and considerate textiles.

They are also passionate about passing on their textile skill and knowledge and are developing a series of 'pop-up' workshops.


TED member and Senior Lecturer in Digital Print at Chelsea, Melanie Bowles, has launched her blog, Make It Digital which explores the creative interaction between traditional textiles and digital technology within fashion, textiles, craft and 'do-it-yourself'.

Mel's recently published book Digital Textile Design, offers tutorials and step-by-step guides in designing digitally for textiles. Since the publication, Mel has started to develop an on-line network of readers and makers who are inspired by the book and are sharing their creations and expertise with her.


Conversations on (a) Slow Craft

The TED team recently took part in a small research project devised by Becky Earley, to coincide with the Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution exhibition which is opening at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in October.

The idea behind Conversations on (a) Slow Craft was to take a group of textile designers and send them on a barge trip along a canal, while they discussed Slow and what it means to them and their practice as textile designers. The TED group were also joined by wallpaper designer
Linda Florence, furniture maker David Gates and the whole conversation was audio recorded by artist Russell Martin.

The group were then led through a workshop in Japanese Sashiko embroidery by Emma Neuberg, which is part of her
Extended Life textile workshop series.

The idea is for the format to be repeated at the different cities where the Taking Time exhibit tours to. A group of jewellers may all travel together on a horse and cart and talk about Slow or a group of ceramicists on bikes.

The audio recordings and transcriptions of the conversation will be available soon. In the meantime, there are some previous audio recordings of conversations between artists about Slow on the
Taking Time website.


Garment Lifecycles

Following on from our profiles of recent BA graduates, the next graduate we will be profiling is Julia Roebuck. Julia presented a strong conceptual collection of garments based on her explorations into upcycling and zero waste fashion.

She developed several mini-research projects in the lead up to her final collection. Inspired by a pair of old jeans that her friend was throwing in the bin, Julia began to explore ways to deconstruct and then reconstruct old clothes. A classic Burberry trench was reconstructed every evening for five consecutive days, and Julia wore it each day as a new garment, always using all the fabric at each stage to ensure she followed her zero-waste policy.

Julia also developed a series of digital prints using the old pair of jeans, which were folded and scanned to create new pattern, taking 3D garments and turning them into 2D textile samples.

Julia's studio work was a practical exploration of the ideas covered in her dissertation project which was titled Upcycling: An Uphill Struggle? an exploration into the development of Upcycling as a Model for Sustainable Garment Production, which looked at the huge amounts of clothing waste caused by fast fashion and the lack of consumer awareness for the re-use potential of old clothes.

Julia will be taking these ideas further as she goes on to do the MA in Fashion & Environment at London College of Fashion.

Julia's blog


FEI Training Event

Jenny Cooper wrote: Last month I attended the Fashioning an Ethical Industry (FEI) training event for teachers and educators from all over the UK and Europe. The day was organised to offer practical tools and advice to tutors and teachers on how to embed sustainable issue into fashion and textile courses.

One of the most interesting points of the day was the Ethical Marketing workshop ran by Rosemary Varley from London College of Fashion. Rosemary ran the participants through ten key areas ranging from new marketing concepts such as social networking and viral marketing, to the importance of embedding ethical consciousness into young students. After a very vibrant brainstorming session and a super speedy evaluation, the question left on everyone's minds was -How ethical is marketing itself?

Towards the end of the day, Liz and Hannah from FEI encouraged everyone to take part in an open discussion where eight subjects of debate were raised and the participants split into groups to discuss the topics. I followed Dan Godfrey to a table where he asked the question- Can we educate communities and consumers on ethical fashion concepts, not just fashion students?

Many people had comments to make. Rachel Hearson from the Fair Trade Foundation explained how they have actively educated people on fair trade cotton since 2005. Dan Godfrey told us that Dudley Council currently runs textiles workshops educating communities about sustainability and Emma Neuberg enlightened us with news about her exciting and increasingly popular Extended Life Textiles Workshops running through her Slow Textiles Group.

The day was also to launch the Sustainable Fashion: A Handbook for Educators, which includes a comprehensive reading list on sustainable fashion and textiles developed by Caryn Simonson, Course Director in Textiles at Chelsea, which is available via the FEI website.


The Uniform Project

Bridget Harvey wrote: Wearing one dress every day for a year is not a new idea (see brown dress project) but The Uniform Project has taken it to a new level.

In order to raise money for the Akanksha Foundation one New Yorker is wearing an identical dress for 365 days, making a statement against fast fashion and trends while also showing a commitment to dressing individually without having to own lots of different garments, shopping for and discarding items all the time.

She has 7 identical dresses (one for each day of the week) and donated, thrifted or pre-owned accessories to adorn herself with. The dress itself is a well thought out design. It is reversable and can be worn open or buttoned, the material has been chosen for its seasonal versatility and it is a fairly classic design enabling the dressing up or down for all occasions.

Although washing the dress after each wear is not the most eco-friendly idea the whole concept of the uniform project is a very interesting comment on consumerism and individuality from a sustainable perspective.


Grassroots Day

TED Research assistant Clara Vuletich and PhD student Jen Ballie, recently participated in a site-specific project called Grassroots, which was an event for all MA students at Chelsea, from fine art, graphics and textiles, exploring the theme of 'treading lightly' to coincide with the RSA's Arts & Ecology week of the same name in June.

Based at the wonderful Crystal Palace site in South London, the project organisers (including David Cross from Camberwell) hoped that spending several days in the park and camping overnight, would encourage participants to use the site as an impetus to think about sustainability in relation to art and design practice. The participants were to make on-site work which would be visited by everyone at the end of the two days.

The TED members met the rest of the group half way through the first day and we were taken on a walk around the park with a herbalist who specialised in making teas and herbal tonics using local English herbs and plants.

The TED team then delivered a workshop on 'your favourite garment', asking participants to reflect on a piece of clothing they were wearing and why they like it and if and how they repair/mend it.


Slow Down Fashion ?

The degree shows are all finished now here at Chelsea and it has been an outstanding year for textiles. There was a wide variety of work, including several students who are exploring sustainability issues. It is not compulsory that students incorporate sustainability into their work however they are introduced to eco textile ideas from their first year, and this continues through to many of them writing their final year dissertations on the topic as well as exploring it on their studio work.

We will be featuring a few of these graduates on the blog in the next few weeks.

First up is Ania Szyszkiewicz, who produced a collection of simple dress shapes using second hand fabrics that she has quilted into squares, creating pixellated images of faces and the slogan 'say no'.

Ania really engaged with fashion and sustainability issues and also wrote her final dissertation on the topic. It was titled Slow Down Fashion – Utopia or the Way to Reconnect with the Environment and Ourselves? and explores the negative impact of fast-fashion on the environment and society. She analyses human needs in order to determine the reasons for why customers buy, keep and discard their clothes and also looks at possible solutions such as the slow design movement and case studies an Internet community of bloggers who incorporate the slow ideologies into their activities.


Extended Life Textile Techniques Publications

Workshop 7, July 2009.

The Slow Textiles Group is a new textiles platform set up by TED member, Emma Neuberg. It aims to aid in the dissemination of textile methodologies that are sustaining as well as sustainable. It is open to all.

The group's ethos is based upon a Population Approach that elucidates the relationship between sustainable systems and societal well-being. Their forthcoming workshops are now listed on the SLOW TEXTILES website and publication of each workshop with its unique dissemination template of Practical, Symbolic, Sustainable and Immaterial Content will be downloadable soon - FREE to members.


Hand Me Downs

hand me down jacket hand me down jacket hand me down jacket

Ethical clothing label Howies have launched a new clothing range called Hand Me Down. It comprises of a small collection of 'long life' garments including a jacket for men and women, and three types of bags – a backpack, messenger bag and a satchel.

Each item is guaranteed for 10 years from the purchase date but is expected to last a lot longer than that. The idea is also that you can hand it on to someone else when you are finished with it. As it is designed to have a future heritage value it may inspire you to treasure it more, adding to its emotional value. Your choice of recipient is likely to be careful selected, and its modern design (laptop pockets etc) mean that this is also a functional, practical item.

As most companies would prefer you to buy new goods from them rather than keeping something for a decade or more, this collection is somewhat an anomaly in the retail world.

Howies look upon it as good use of our limited resources. These items also have Slow Design connotations, as the materials and design have been chosen to have longevity – the organic ventile cotton is exceptionally tough, the location and environmental production values are taken into consideration - the tweed is produced in Scotland and dyed with woad, a natural dye with an indigo style colour to it and the zips, buckles etc designed to be rust-proof and long lasting. All part of Howie's desire to make people think about the world we live in, and, in my opinion, a good way to do it.


Digital Textile Design book published

TED member Melanie Bowles has co-authored a book called Digital Textile Design. The book provides the know-how for students and professionals who wish to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as design tools. There is a series of inspirational tutorials, presented in step-by-step format, to guide you through the process of creating designs that will be suited to both the traditional textile production process, and to the new industry of digital printing onto fabric.
The book also contains a designer profile on TED member Rebecca Earley, and several graduates of the textile course at Chelsea including Helen Amy Murray and Chae Young Kim.


'Cultural Collage' project second stage

The second stage of the Cultural Collage project took place at Chelsea recently. As mentioned in a previous post, the project is a collaborative one between designers at UTS in Sydney, Australia and Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile. The first round involved all the groups choosing a plastic object and making some sort of 'design intervention'. These objects were then sent on, and we have just received the objects chosen by the Chilean designers.

The group had assempled in a room and the package sent from Chile was ceremoniously opened. The object that each designer chose by 'lucky dip' , is the one they now have to work on. Most of the objects seemed to be parts or forms from old shoes, either trainers or footbal shoes.
The designers have all taken their objects and will now go away and make another 'intervention' before it gets sent on to Australia.


TED member Chairs Jerwood Craft Prize 2009

TED member Rebecca Earley is the Chair of the Jerwood Contemporary Makers Prize 2009. The Prize chooses a selection of contemporary makers and between them they are awarded £30,000 to make new work. This year, Earley has chosen IMPACT as the theme for the Prize.

"Whether they develop and negotiate international industrial resources or work with both the amateur enthusiast and the brilliant scientists, they all create extraordinary things in radical ways."

The work will include a new collection from product designers Committee which imagines a future where plastic has become a rare material; a site-specific wall of interactive tiles from textile designer Linda Florence and glass work from Geoffrey Mann, who mixes new technologies like CAD modelling and rapid prototyping with hand craftmanship.

The exhibition launches at the Jerwood Space on June 10th and there will also be a series of talks and panel discussions led by Rebecca Earley. For more information see Jerwood Contemporary Makers.


Ethical Fashion Forum

I have finally joined the Ethical Fashion Forum, and can't believe that I haven't got round to becoming a member before now! The free to join social networking site has been set up as a not for profit organisation and focuses on environmental sustainability in the fashion industry.

On the main website there are several informative areas to guide the conscientious follower of sustainable textile and fashion design, through the most recenet topics, events and the complex issues discussed on the Ethical Fashion Forum. This site covers many issues from fast fashion to fair trade, from recycling to real-life stories from the manufacturing process.
The Resource section is particularly useful as reports regarding the different stages of a garment's life from supply to buy have been compiled in easy to download PDF formats.

The Ethical Fashion Forum also conducts several events throughout the year. Places at the workshops and seminars, like the ones being held today on working with cooperatives and sourcing from Asia are limited and are like gold dust, so it's a good idea to register early! I unfortunatley, haven't registered early enough and so will miss the discussion tonight, but Clara has informed me that the EFF events she has attended previously have all been very stimulating, informative and interactive, so definitely worth penciling the next one in the diary now!

The social networking side to the forum site is somewhat new to me. I have joined facebook (so that my sister can send me photos) and I do read blogs on various design-led sites, but I have never really socially networked in an online environment before.....I love it! Already, I love it! There are lots of friendly, proactive members working in areas of fashion design, consumption and retail. Various discussions are set up to allow people with similar interests to interact on a professional yet informal level and lots of people seem keen to collaborate, share ideas and develop their projects with a little help from their forum. It is also a great place to integrate student desingers with professionals in the field, which is a hugely important initiative if you ask us at TED.

Image credit: Ruffle skirt £40 by Round London


Fashioning an Ethical Industry Conference

The Fashioning an Ethical Industry annual conference was hosted at The Rich Mix, London – a fitting venue being that it used to be an old garment factory.

The conference was opened by director Hannah Higginson, who advised that global sourcing was the theme of the day bringing together speakers from all areas of the supply chain.

The audience consisted of fashion, marketing and business students as well as industry experts and designers. You could feel the tension in the audience as these difficult issues were discussed and feel the genuine passion for fairer and more ethical approaches to be applied within the fashion industry.

The speakers talked about the difficulties surrounding production methods, working conditions and global sourcing. There was a representative from ASDA who talked about their plan to be the number one retailer for women’s fashion in the UK by producing quick affordable fashion in an ethical way.

A representative from People Tree talked about their grass roots approach to re-skill workers whom they refer to as artisans. They talked about their application of traditional handcraft and how it can take ten times longer to produce clothing but this is more sustainable as they eloquently referred to our hands being the oldest source of renewable energy.

One of the most inspiring talks of the day was by Dr Kate Fletcher, reader in sustainable fashion and textiles at London College of Fashion. She talked about systems thinking and the complexity of the fashion industry. Kate advised that we should not look for and can not find one complete solution but instead seek out ways to inspire and initiate lots of small changes, as this can collectively inspire big change.

The day closed with delegates being divided into three workshops focusing on design, marketing and business. In teams we were challenged to address an ethical fashion dilemma. I really enjoyed this part of they day as I got to meet new people who were passionate about fashion but committed to finding ethical ways to make, consumer or engage.

Overall this was a great day I left feeling really inspired, more educated about ethical sourcing and I even made some new friends. The day offered a holistic view of the sustainable issues challenging the fashion industry and I think it motivated delegates to find small ways to contribute towards making a difference.

Visit their website for further resources

Co-Design and On-line Fashion

We recently attended a talk at London College of Fashion exploring the latest developments in co-design within online fashion.

Julia Wolny explained that there are several different models for co-design in this context:

Co-creation of a service: Zafu, is a company who recommend a style/type of jean that suits what a consumer may be looking for.

Co-creation of fashion ‘looks’: My Virtual Model is a service which gives you a 3D model to play around with clothing items. It started as a site to sell clothes from different retailers but has also developed an online community who simply share their favourite existing outfits.

Co-creation of a product: There are several examples of this idea where companies ask consumers to have a say in the colour or ‘cosmetic’ decisions of a product, like the Reebok trainers which you can choose the colour combinations for.

Consumer as designer: Ponoko is a company which makes interior products based on a customer's design. They also sell designer/makers work and helps consumers to manufacture and distribute a product.

Threadless are a successful Tshirt company who allow the consumer to choose/vote on a favourite design for a tshirt. The design with the most votes is put into production.

In the past, fashion brands may have run focus groups with consumers to gauge what they wanted from a product, but the Internet has made it much easier to facilitate a more open-source approach to including consumers in the design, development and manufacture of a product.

However, how realistic are these ideas? Julia Wolny asked the most obvious question: Are consumers creative? Do we really believe that consumers will want/be able to get involved and contribute to the design and manufacturing process of fashion garments?

Will our modern lifestyles, with the lack of time and lack of incentive to 'customise', prevent this format from becoming mainstream?

Time will tell, but if the commercial success of an interactive enterprise like Threadless is anything to go by, fashion consumers are keen to get more involved.


New Digital Technologies for Textiles

TED recently attended a workshop at the Creative Industries Centre at Metropolitan Works in East London, to learn about the latest digital manufacturing technologies that are taking the design world by storm.

The largest laser-cutter in London is here as well as a water-jet cutter (image above) which can cut through steel, metals, glass ceramic. Most exciting was the 3D printing, or 'rapid prototyping' as it is called in the trade. You can 'print' or build objects using a nylon powder which solidifies, and this is mainly used to build prototypes and models. Acting like a 'bureau', all of these machines are available for designers and artists to try at a reasonable rate and you also get advice and help from very the knowledgable technicians.

My mind was racing as I tried to imagine all the possibilities for using this technology for textiles. Philip Delamore is one designer who has been experimenting with rapid prototyping, and he is currently working on a project called Evolving Textiles, exploring apporaches to creating body conforming textiles which combine 3D scanning, design and direct 3D manufacturing using laser sintering. The image shown above is a chain-mail textile which has been built using the rapid protoyping technology.


TED members at the Cutting Edge

TED members Rebecca Earley and Kate Goldsworthy have been included in a new book called Textile Designers at the Cutting Edge by Bradley Quinn which also includes many of TED's favourite designers!

The book examines the changing face of textile design and explores how recent developments within the field of textiles have presented new technical possibilities, with applications in fashion, architecture and interior design, making textile design a uniquely multi-disciplinary field of innovation and research.


Slow Textiles classes

Dr Emma Neuberg, a member of TED, is hosting a series of Slow Textile classes which will showcase her well-known theoretical approach to textile practice by offering participants both a 'how-to' and a theoretical framework to producing beautiful textiles.

The first class is called 'Extended Life Textile Techniques', and focuses on Chinese silk painting and embroidery. Emma will lead you through the the basics of Chinese floral symbols and teach you how to paint on paper and silk, finishing with some embroidery techniques.

Also planned is a Slow Textile Sewing Group, which will meet up regularly to sew and socialise.

I recently attended one of Emma's lectures to Stage 1 students here at Chelsea called Flora & Flight: the semiotiocs of naturalism in textile print and it was a fascinating analysis of the use of floral motifs in textiles and fashion, and the symbolism around abundance, fertility and nature which came out of our pre-industrial lifestyles.

Emma has her own practice involving the reappropriation of plastics into beautiful surfaces and textiles, but she also brings this rich and varied knowledge about design history, psychoanalysis and materials (among other things!). It is such an interesting mix and these textile classes are not something to be missed.

For more information on the classes and to book go to: http://www.slowtextiles.blogspot.com


New PhD student starts

The new Textiles Futures Research Group (TFRG) PhD student Jennifer Ballie has started her research and is based at the TED Project. Jennifer will be exploring the potential for a participatory design model which would allow consumers to upcycle fashion in their own homes thereby adding meaning and value to their wardrobes.

Jennifer will be looking at the ideas around co-design and experience design for inspiration and will also be running workshops with students from the University to explore the ways in which fashion consumers relate to their garments to help inform her research.


'Cultural Collage' project begins

The TED Project is part of an international collaborative design project called Cultural Collage. The project is led by TED's Visiting Professor Marie O'Mahony, and it will involve designers and design students from the University of Technology (UTS) in Sydney, Australia, Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile and TED designers and students.

Working around the central themes of recycling, mutli-disciplinary practice and cultural collaboration, the designers will be asked to choose a second-hand plastic object and this will then be sent to the group of designers in the next country to be worked on or transformed, while always maintaining its functionality. The reworked object will then be sent to the next group of designers to be worked on for a final time.

Participants will also be asked to keep a 'passport' of their ideas, a sketchbook which records their drawings and thoughts which will be sent on with the accompanying object.

TED recently hosted an introductory workshop with presentations from Marie OMahony, Kate Goldsworthy, Emma Neuberg and Prof. Kay Politowicz. Other participants include textile designer Katherine Wardropper and Nigel Bents, a graphic designer and tutor at Chelsea. We will post regular updates once the participants choose their objects and start working on them.

The final pieces will be exhibited as part of PassionTour, a design festival in Santiago in September 2009.