TED's Year in Review

While our new TED website is being developed, this blog has been the place for all our news and research work. Before we finish for the year, we have drawn up a Review of our year and would like to share the highlights with you here:

The highlight of the year for TED has been the launch and dissemination of a set of sustainable design strategies for textile designers that TED has been working on for several years. TED’s
TEN were refined and tested during Becky Earley’s Worn Again / Upcycling Textiles AHRC project that finished in late 2009, and this year has seen the strategies disseminated and promoted to a wide range of audiences including design students, educators and designers in industry.

TED’s TEN has been presented and integrated into several consultancy projects that Becky Earley has worked on this year including to designers within the Gucci Group in March; to small independent textile companies as part of Future Factory in Nottingham in April; to staff of the PPR Group (who own fashion brands including Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Puma) in May and to designers from leading Swedish brands at the Sustainable Fashion Academy in Stockholm. The set of strategies are also the core element in TED’s contribution to two different Swedish consortiums that are bidding for MISTRA funding for sustainable textile projects, and will play a central role in a new consultancy package being developed with the UAL’s Textile Futures Research Centre’s enterprise arm.

International Impact:
TED’s work was again taken to an international level this year with the TED team delivering five days of our Interconnected Design Thinking Workshops to design students at Weisenssee College in Berlin in April; Becky Earley and Emma Neuberg delivering two separate series of lectures and workshops to Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Tel Aviv; Becky Earley talking on the panel of the Paris Ethical Fashion Show in September; Clara Vuletich visiting UTS in Sydney and RMIT in Melbourne, Australia with a series of workshops and lectures in October, and Kay Politowicz talking about TED at the Museo del Tessuto in Prato, Italy in November.

Research projects:
Projects initiated by TED this year included Prof. Kay Politowicz’s Summer Debate in July, where a panel of four speakers were asked to argue for and against the motion that ‘Sustainable Design in the Real World is just an Educator’s Fantasy...’, with the audio recordings and transcriptions subsequently being made available on the TED website.

TED also initiated a new CCW scheme for one-day practice-based research workshops. The first was called D(urability) Day, where TED members explored garment durability concepts using print techniques on old, unworn garments. This day saw the development of a short and effective model for ‘quick and dirty’ practice-based research that TED will continue to develop and explore.

TED was also invited to be part of a research project led by CCW Fine Art research group Critical Practice called Parade in the Chelsea Parade Ground. TED staged a ‘Wardrobe Disclosure’ stall to engage members of the public in conversation about the challenge to designers to slow down / divert the stream of fashion garments to landfill, by exploring emotional attachments to clothes.

New work from TED members was created for a ground-breaking exhibition of no-waste fashion at the Science Museum in London,
Trash Fashion: Designing out Waste, that also showcased the innovative work of our fellow Textile Futures Research Centre (TFRC) members including Suzanne Lee from CSM and Sandy Black from LCF. TED members work was also shown in reTHINK! Eco textiles at the Audax Textile Museum in Tilburg, Holland.

Pieces from Becky Earley’s
Top 100 ten year ‘slow fashion’ project have also been collected by the Museum at FIT, and shown in their Eco Fashion: Going Green exhibition in New York, and on tour throughout the UK in the Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution show.

Clara Vuletich created new work as part of the
AA2A Artists In Residence scheme at Chelsea exploring how digital textile printing can re-invent quilting and patchwork techniques, that was shown at Camberwell Space in July.

Papers & Publications:
A paper by TED members Becky Earley. Kate Goldsworthy and Clara Vuletich was published in Future Textile Environments, (Brink, R. and Ullrich, M., HAW College Hamburg) and work from TED members has been published in two key design texts this year: Eco Fashion (Laurence King), by Sass Brown and Textile Futures: Fashion, Design and Technology (Berg) by Bradley Quinn.

Emma Neuberg, Clara Vuletich and Becky Earley were all invited to speak at the
Slow Textiles Conference at the Stroud International Textile Festival in May, the first conference of its kind to explore what ‘Slow’ means for textile designers, with the audio recording and transcriptions being made available via TED’s website. Other speaking engagements included Becky Earley at the Crafts Council’s Craft Rally in London and Sheffield, and Kay Politowicz at the University of Bolton in July

Along with textile researchers from London College of Fashion and Central St Martin, TED members are part of the
Textile Futures Research Centre (TFRC) that has recently become one of the six research centres within the University. Becky Earley is currently the Acting Director of TFRC and has been busy planning some exciting new events and projects for 2011.

TFRC’s four research strands have been announced and these include: Design/Science Textiles; Digital Textiles; Sustainable Textiles and Identity & Reflection. While up to this point, most members have been involved in their own individual research, this new structure is encouraging new collaborative research that will exist at the intersection of some or all of these themes. TED’s research work will obviously fall under the Sustainable Textiles theme, and our TED’s TEN is currently being developed into several consultancy packages for textile companies.

Sustainability in the Curriculum:
Closer to home, TED has been integrating our sustainable design thinking into the student curriculum with several student projects led by Prof. Kay Politowicz.
Inside/Outside was a third year BA and MA project sponsored by Burberry, where students were asked to uncover and revive vintage materials and historic processes that were current at the time of Millbank Prison (the site of Chelsea College by the Thames), and to connect them to new, (often digital) sustainable textile processes and innovations of tomorrow.

Another student project was Glocalisation, for second year BA students which was supported by on-line furniture retailer made.com and in collaboration with Monkey Biz, a South African AIDS charity.

TED’s work continues to also feed into the student curriculum through the IMPACT lifecycle lecture series for first year BA and MA students and the Green Textiles elective for second year students.

TED’s PhD Students:
We now have a group of four students based at TED: Kate Goldsworthy is in the final writing up stage and is now course co-ordinator for CSM’s MA Textile Futures course; Jan Ballie, our TFRC scholarship student, has just completed her second year and her literature review (RF3); and our two new students this year are Matty Aspinall and Susan Noble.

The new TED
website will be launching in early 2011, with a range of digital resources from many of TED’s research projects and events, including audio recordings and transcriptions of talks and project summary reports that will begin to map and define the unique practice-based approach of our research team.

We have several exciting events and projects planned for 2011, and the first will be a one-day summit on Slow, co-curated by Becky Earley and Helen Carnac, in partnership with Craftspace and ArtQuest. Watch this space for more information in the New Year and have a wonderful festive season from all of us here at TED.