Becky Earley was at the Fashion Colloquia at LCF this morning presenting TED's TEN to an audience of students, designers and journalists.
The Colloquia is an event organised by four institutions including Parson NY, LCF and The Domus Academy, Italy to explore the fundamental issues around fashion as all the international fashion weeks take place this month.
Becky finished her presentation by asking the audience to contribute to a questionnaire being developed as part of the MISTRA Future Fashion project by the Copenhagen Business School - What questions would you like to ask fashion designers about sustainability? Do you want to know how other designers think about sustainability?
If you would like to contribute email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and your contribution may become part of this exciting research project.
The show will include Chelsea BA textile graduate Haruka Miyamoto, who produces beautiful installations made from old plastic bags and food packaging, that are twisted into tiny threads, using an ancient Japanese craft technique. A podcast of Haruka in conversation with Becky Earley is here .
Another graduate on show is Chelsea graphic designer Joshua Osborne who has made a short film that explores the traditional world of English men's tailoring.
The show is on from 17th - 25th September.
Top image: Joshua Osborne
Bottom image: Haruka Miyamoto
There will be all the latest news and updates on our activities and a great archive section of TED projects going back to 1996, all beautifully shown with images and our writing. Our resource section will include our well developed Resource Sheets and a whole new area dedicated to TED's TEN, our set of design strategies for fashion/textile designers, which we are now helping several large fashion brands to use as starting points for sustainable innovation, within Sweden and the US.
Although TED has been lucky enough to secure funding for the next four years as part of the MISTRA Future Fashion project, we missed out on an opportunity to collaborate with the great Otto von Busch, a fashion hacktivist and researcher based in Sweden, who unfortunately will not be part of our project. However, news has just come in that Otto has now been offered the post of Associate Professor of Integrated Design at Parsons New School of Design in New York, which is great news for everyone at Parsons. We hope there will be an opportunity for us to work with Otto soon.
In the meantime, Otto has just sent us copies of a small series of booklets on fashion theory he has produced, using simple illustrations and stories to make fashion theory accessible for students and dummies.
As the blurb for the Virus of Fashion booklet says: "How come fashion has such influence on us? In this short story we will follow the virus of fashion and see how it infects us with desire."
Download the booklets here
This is a great opportunity if you are a fashion/textile designer or craft maker wanting to find out the latest ideas and extend your own practice.
More information and to book here.
The TFRC/Craftspace Slow Summit Open Lecture is this Friday and we are looking forward to seeing Alastair Fuad-Luke and Helen Carnac's presentations. There are still places available for the lectures which are taking place at 272 High Holborn, Friday 8th July at 10:30am.
The BA Textiles Graduate Show here at Chelsea last week was a real triumph of talent and new ideas and techniques. There was also evidence of some really strong sustainable design concepts, mainly hidden from view (as they often are!) but the ideas and concepts the students have been developing over their time here at Chelsea was so exciting to see.
Here at TED we believe passionately that textiles and objects/garments have to be beautiful and well made first and foremost. The 'sustainability' of how a garment or fabric is designed and produced is obviously important but if the final piece does not engage us, or inspire us, there is no point. You could say the ideal is 'human-centred, low impact' textile/fashion design!
Another aspect of this design approach, is that the 'sustainability' of a design or concept is about how the designer thinks - not just in their choice of 'eco' fabrics or re-use of materials. At TED we base all our research on this notion - aware that over 80% of our decisions as designer's affect the environmental impacts of a product, but also re-thinking the role of our designs/textiles in people's lives, and our role as designers.
This can be explored in a multitude of ways - which is what the ideas behind many of the works on show at the Graduate Exhibition revealed. Can a designer become a design facilitator in a country like India, to work promoting the traditional, craft skills while also bringing new opportunities and markets to local communities? Can a designer bring her innate skill and hand techniques to create new, delicate fibres from waste plastic while also communicating an old cultural tradition of thrift and resourcefulness?
We have done some interviews again this year of some of the Graduates who have been exploring our idea of sustainable textile design, and these will be edited and developed into podcasts soon.
Top image: Imogen Houldsworth, Bottom image: Jo Fowles
Last week we hosted 14 of the researchers who are part of our new research project, MISTRA Future Fashion. We had two days of workshops and discussions and heard from each of the eight different Projects within the consortium.There is a group of social scientists and economists from Copenhagen Business School specialising in sustainable consumption; political scientists from Malmo University, who will be exploring the policy structures around making the fashion industry more sustainable; a group of fibre technologists who are developing a new sustainable fibre based on a viscose process and other researchers from Swerea/IVF and Konsfact.
TED ran a 'Speed Dating Workshop' for the group of researchers to get to know one another and to begin to explore and map the multi-disciplinary nature of the project and how we will all work together.
We are the design element within the project and will be using our TED's TEN to plug into the new research being generated throughout the project - creating new design concepts and garments.
The fourth event in the 2011 TFRC Open Lecture series, run in conjunction with Craftspace, is the Slow Summit, on July 8th with Prof. Alastair Fuad-Luke and Prof. Helen Carnac.
The event is co-curated by Becky Earley and Helen Carnac, and is an Open Lecture followed by an invitation-only workshop session. The event examines the emergence of the Slow Movement, within a context of design, making and art practice. The two guest speakers will map out the ground that this new creative thinking occupies, both addressing the theory and the practice, as well as the local/global economics and politics that fuel the movement.
Prof. Alastair Fuad-Luke is a renowned sustainable design theorist and writer and author of Design Activism, the Eco Design Handbooks and newly appointed Professor at Aalto University, Helsinki.
Prof. Helen Carnac is a maker, writer and curator of Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution, an touring exhibition from Craftspace.
The Open Lectures will be at 272 High Holborn, Lecture Theater, 10:30am - 1pm.
The presentation will trace the eleven years of conversations and collaborations – Becky and Kate worked on research projects together before Kate's PhD project began in 2005 – and will look at the way in which their ideas evolved along parallel paths, both approaching the recycling of textiles from different creative perspectives.
Kate’s PhD Material Re-creation: forward recycling of synthetic waste for the luxury textile market , uses laser technology to create new textile surface treatments and applications, enabling a monomaterial approach to design for reuse of textiles.
Becky’s Top 100 project work explores the reuse of polyester clothing, and has created new theory for upcycling textiles. Each set of shirts has been subject to experiments which explore ecodesign theory in practice. Technically the project has demonstrated upcycling polyester through the use of: digital overprinting; digital dye sublimation overprinting; heat photogram overprinting; laser etching and welding (with Kate); sonic cutting and slitting; detachability and multifunction; low launder; locality; emotional durability, and most recently co-creation.
In 2008 Becky and Kate created the Twice Upcycled shirts together (pictured) – taking recycled shirts from Becky’s Top 100 project and giving them another new life. The presentation will focus on this work, exploring the way in which the collaboration inspired the researchers to go on to pursue new independent work.
Also at the event were projects including Pics to Knits a web based project which allows a user to convert any image to a knitting pattern which forms a blanket or throw and David Littler's sampler-cultureclash an international collective of sound artists, DJ’s, embroiderers, textile designers, performance poets, machine hackers and dancers who are exploring the connections between textiles and sound and the cultures of embroidery and DJ-ing.
The event was called 'The Keys are Under the Mat', and it was a day of presentations and discussions between staff and post-graduate students from across the three colleges. The first speaker Ian was from Transition Heathrow, an activist group based in the communities around the proposed runway expansion at Heathrow. Ian described the activity that the Transition group have been involved in and introduced us to the ideas and tools that have been developed by the Transition Towns network.
Andy Merritt from the Farm Shop then spoke about the urban food growing project set up in an empty shop in Dalston, by collective Something & Sons. They are exploring hydroponics, aquaponics and soil based growing and they are a great example of a collective approach to trying out new ways to sustainable urban living.
We have spent some time debating the terms sustainability and resilience amongst the group. The term resilience has been widely used lately, from designers to economists to politicians, and there are many definitions and insights about what it means. Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition Town movements has written an article here on resilience thinking and there is even a Resilience Centre based in Stockholm, Sweden, that has a wonderful explanation of resilience with some insightful videos here. (Coincidentally, this Centre is also funded by MISTRA who are funding our new Future Fashion research project).
The Creative Transition project will be continuing the conversation we have already begun across the colleges with some workshops and more events planned in the next 6 months.
TED member Mel Bowles and PhD student Jen Ballie are both going to be at the Future Everything event this weekend in Manchester.
Mel will be running her workshop 'The Peoples Print: the empowerment of the consumer through Digital Textile Design', where participants will be encouraged to create their own digital textile print.
Jen Ballie will be presenting her interactive workshop called The Scarf Project, where you will be encouraged to rip and mix past and present fashion trends to make and style your own bespoke scarf.
Mike Press - Handmade Knowledge, March 25th 2011 from Textiles Environment Design on Vimeo
The recent lecture given by Mike Press that we hosted here as part of the TFRC Sustainable Textiles Seminars is now available as a Podcast, also available here.
We are also in the process of editing and preparing recordings from speakers who were part of our IMPACT series this year - this included the founders of AO Textiles, Amy Twigger Holroyd from Keep & Share and Cyndi Rhoades from Worn Again.
Stage 2 BA students held their Fashion Show last week in Brixton Market. The project was called 'Transition' and was inspired by the Transiton Town concept of low carbon, resilient communiites and approaches. A whole host of different creative textile reponses to the theme of transition were paraded through the wonderful indoor market.
We will be trying to capture some of the projects and their themes being explored by some of the students.
Images: Mel Bowles
Victor Papanek Social Design Awards are launching this year and the competition is open to designers and students who have developed a product, in realised or protoyped stage, which "aims to achieve net zero environmental impact, or which offer social benefit to underserved segments of society or which are driven by socially responsive considerations".
The judges will also consider Design Concepts not yet fully realized or produced but in development "which address transdisciplinary design perspectives on urbanization, in areas such as housing, transportation, accessibility (inclusive design), communication, social and medical care, and the implications of national and international migration."
Perhaps the textile/fashion students who are entering the VF/TFRC Competition may have developed design concepts that would be approporaite for this Award as well. The winners will be exhibited in exhibtions in both Autsria and at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in New York, and the application deadline is June 1st.
Nottingham Trent University has announced the following opportunities to study for an PhD under the supervision of Professor Tim Cooper. The first is a PhD Studentship in Consumers and Possessions: A Cross-Disciplinary Exploration of Sustainable Practices. This is a cross-disciplinary studentship involving research into how people use their possessions and the built environment with regard to sustainability and the implications of this for design practice. One of its key elements will be to relate knowledge in sustainable architecture, sustainable fashion and sustainable product design. For further information please visit here The closing date for applications is midnight on Friday 15 April 2011.
The other offer is the Vice Chancellor’s PhD Studentships – Sustainable Design / Sustainable Consumption / Product Longevity. Research proposals are invited for entry to a competition for one of twelve Vice Chancellor’s PhD studentships. Proposals supported by the Sustainable Consumption Research Group may be on any theme relating to sustainable design or sustainable consumption. Proposals relating to the life-span of consumer durables are especially welcome. For further information please visit here. The closing date for applications is Monday 18 April 2011. Image: Alistair Fuad-Luke's Design Seeds Workshops 2009
We are very excited to announce that TED is part of successful bid for a large research project titled Future Fashion , funded by MISTRA, a Swedish government organisation. The TED project is one of eight individual / interconnected projects, and our research will specifically address the question 'How can sustainable design processes be created and embedded within companies and gain the participation of consumers?'.The project will see TED work with a consortium of different partners including SV, Chalmers University, Copenhagen Business School, and H&M on exploring TED's ten sustainable design strategies for textiles. We will be working with CelluNova, a new cellulose fibre made using wood from the old paper making industries in Sweden.
The project will launch here at Chelsea in June, and TED will begin researching, documenting, promoting and disseminating soon after, through a new website – www.textiletoolbox.com. More info to follow shortly!
Tope also creates a range of fashion accessories using digitally printed plastics and the range is now available on new online retailer Bengt, that supports emerging designers.
The AA2A show continues at Camberwell College of Art until 19th April.
We hosted Prof. Mike Press last Friday for the TFRC Sustainable Textiles seminar series. We had a great turn out with over 100 people attending. Titled 'Handmade Knowledge', Mike talked about the value of craft, as not only being embedded in the finished object, but in knowledge of processes, materials and ways of thinking that can be applied to other contexts and disciplines.
He talked in the context of the current university and government cuts, where most emphasis is being put on STEM subjects - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and the value and strength of 'soft' subjects like craft. He showed how craft defies this 'soft' label by highlighting the work of crafts people who had radically impacted on culture through their thinking and making. A podcast of Mike's talk with his presentation will be available soon once we have finished editing.
We are very excited to announce that one of our design and craft thinking heroes Prof. Mike Press, is coming to speak at Chelsea College of Art & Design, as part of the TFRC Sustainable Textiles Research Seminar series. It will be an Open Lecture titled 'Hand-made Knowledge' on 25th March in the Lecture Theatre, 2 - 3pm.
Mike is Associate Dean of Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and has written and researched widely on design, innovation, contemporary craft and the management of creativity.
He has authored three books, including The Design Agenda: a Guide to Successful Design Management and The Design Experience.
His research and writing spans three areas: design and crime, the future of craft, and co-design. He is also an experienced supervisor and examiner of PhDs in design, and has been an advocate of practice-based approaches to design research.
Most recently he has been involved in a scoping project to develop a design school in Rwanda.
Image left: Mike Press
Image right: Kntted Remotes, Hazel White
The first Transition Town was founded in Totnes in Devon and there are now several London boroughs that have also joined up. Brixton has now become a Transition Town and several TED members have been involved in initiatives there including Clara Vuletich, and the textile collective she is part of bricolage, who had a temporary space in Brxiton Market last year.
The historic indoor market in Brixton has been transformed over the last year and had a 'community facelift'. Artists and small businesses were given empty shops for two months and there is now a thriving market of restaurants, cafes, theatre groups and independent boutiques.
The project will end with a fashion show of the textiles and garments produced and the show will take place in Brixton Market on Thursday March 31st. We will be following the progress of the project, which will also be documented on the Chelsea Textile Student blog.
We heard from a wonderful range of speakers who all explored the latest innovations in textile and fashion design and research and for their last presentation slide they were all asked to reveal how they would spend the £250 if they won a mentoring prize.
Dr Emma Neuberg presented her reasons for setting up the Slow Textiles Group, a group of people who meet regularly to learn and exchange textile skills and knowledge . For her, 'slow' is about quality rather than time and Emma explained the many benefits of encouraging re-use and hand skills including an improvement in well-being and reduced stress. Emma said she would spend her £250 on generating good primary research to support the project proposal.
Adam Thorpe from Vexed Generation and Design Against Crime used Mazlow's infamous 'Hierarchy of Needs' to structure his exploration of the theme 'protecting what I value', through some of the many varied projects he has worked on as a designer delivering garment and material innovations for urban environments. Adam would spend his £250 on a second hand bike from ebay as its the best way to get around town and is a primary research tool for garment design for urban mobility.
Di Mainstone is a fashion designer who designs 'artefacts' or garments for the body that are used in performance. Di explained her recent interest in exploring objects and garments that have a multifunctional or modular application and how her design processes were very often co-designed with collaborators from other disciplines.
Suzanne Lee was the final speaker, and she presented her BioCouture project, and outlined the current emerging field of researchers who are designing using living organisms. Suzanne would spend her £250 on making sure the project and the 'back story' was well communicated whether it is through good images, a website or a short film or animation, and emphasised that this was often the most overlooked area for textile and fashion designers.
The Application Form is now available on the TFRC Project blog, on the right hand column.
Places are filling up fast in the 150 seater Lecture Theatre for Monday's launch event. If you would like to reserve a space please email email@example.com.
The competition aims to encourage and support student work that explores future focused design questions for fashion and textiles. The judges are looking for entries that show new fashion / textile work that has been generated:
Last autumn, TED Members Melanie Bowles and Emma Neuberg ran their Slow/Fast workshops at the V & A, where participants were encouraged to explore both hand and digital approaches to textile making. The course was awarded the 'Best Creative Course' in 2010 by the participants and was quite ground breaking in it's approach.Mel, Emma and their project has now been written up in Stylus.com, by Chelsea alumni Alsion Gough who works for this trends forecasting website, exploring what the Slow movement means for the textile and fashion industry.
The co-design element of the new Slow approaches is key, as Alison explains, "Further removing brand controls, open sourcing and shared knowledge is crucial for the slow movement and, as the slow textiles group strives towards an empowerment of the consumer, the role of digital and downloadable is gaining momentum...".
There's a new book called What's Mine is Yours: the Rise of Collaborative Consumption, by social innovator Rachel Botsman. She was speaking at the RSA last week, and we couldn't get in as it was all sold out. But you can hear the talk here and a talk she gave on TED.com (that's not us by the way! we are getting confused with the American TED more and more!)
We have been very interested in this new trend in consumer behaviour for a while now, and what it means for designers.
One of our favourite fashion projects that involves online networks and a type of collaborative consumption is the Uniform Project. Founder Sheena Matheiken, was also on TED, and you can watch her talk here and listen to her interview on Radio 4 recently here.
While she wore the same dress for one year, she accessorised it with pieces that were all second hand and all donated or given or swapped. She looked fabulous every single day and by offering a daily update, readers became part of her story and were also encouraged to donate funds to support a charity in India.
In this world of hyper-consumerism, where we have and know everything, consumers are wanting to make more meaningful purchases. This relates to a talk we attended here at Chelsea last week by Glen Adamson, writer and thinker around craft and design. While there were many interesting points made (and hopefully there will be a review of the talk by one of the TED members shortly), the title and thrust of the talk was 'Affective objects' - the idea that hand-crafted objects arouse an emotional response in us, and that something that has been made with attention to detail, care and skill, reminds us of the beautiful and profound in life, and is an antedote to our modern living.
The overall winner will be announced in mid July given a cash prize of £1,500 and their work will be shown at the VF US Summit Exhibition in September. They will also be flown out to the event, to see the show and to network.The competition will run as an open call to all textile and fashion students at the University, and will also be open to recent graduates (last two years), with a deadline for entries in early July. However, working from this launch event, students and graduates will also have the opportunity to submit a short proposal in March. Ten of these proposals will then be chosen and those students will recieve a £250 budget and two mentoring sessions from TFRC members.
These themes all have aspects of sustainability running through them and they also strongly relate to TFRC's own research themes of digital, science and sustainable textiles. With an impressive line-up of world-leading textile designers and researchers planned to speak, the event should be really insightful and worth attending, even if you are not going to enter the competition.
For more information on the launch event and to keep up to date as more speakers are announced, keep an eye on the TFRC blog.....
Becky's paper is titled Upcycling Textiles: Adding Value Through Design and will propose new textile design theory for the practice of upcycling. The paper will reflect upon the Ever & Again project (2005 – 2010) that asked twelve designers to create recycled textile products that would have value added to them in the course of recirculation. The paper will consider: the research questions; the research methodologies utilised and developed; and the concepts that were developed by the designers in order to arrive at a definition of the upcycling of textiles, and a set of guiding principles for best practice. The paper concludes with visions for future practice, including the Twice Upcycled work which explores forward recycling concepts for the polyester economy.
Kay's paper is titled "We Cannot Afford Cheap Things": Teaching, Research and Enterprise and explores the relationship of teaching, practice-based research and enterprise in the education of textile designers. While UK Higher Education teaching budgets have been subject to cuts in funding, there has been a recent establishment in practice-based research activity amongst teachers on art and design courses that is just beginning to flourish.
This paper will outline several models for research into teaching, and teaching into research, that have been piloted through TED at Chelsea College of Art and Design.
Are you a textile or fashion design student or recent graduate who is interested in the exciting ideas being explored around sustainability and innovation within textiles and fashion?
TED PhD student Jen Ballie is organising the first in a series of workshops exploring co-design for textile and fashion design and she needs some participants.
If you were born between 1977 and 1997 (Generation Y!), are familiar with the latest digital tools such as Twitter, blogging and Facebook and you are available from February 7th - 18th in central London, then Jen would like to hear from you.
The selected participants will be invited to a design meeting where the project will be pitched and they will play an active role in defining the overall brief. You will leave with a goodie bag of design tools, tips and tricks to get started on your design research and development. The following week we will meet again and get to work collectively designing a collection of fashion fabrics and accessories.
This is an exciting opportunity for you to participate in a live research project and play an active role in defining new design approaches, and an excellent CV opportunity!
Visit http://thetextilesampler.blogspot.com/ for updates and further information.
The work that comes out of the Textile Futures MA course over at Central St Martins is always surprising and original and it consistently pushes the boundaries of the role that textile design plays in society. The Interim Show was last night and the work on show was no exception.
Projects explored ideas as diverse as the value of air as a material and tool, the role of superstition in our use of technology and the role of textiles in expressing our unconscious minds.
Laura Martinez 's project was titled 'How can traditional textile craft inform the aesthetics of tomorrow's rapid-manufactured textiles?'. Small pieces of 3D printing had been hand crafted into beautifully, jewellery-like pieces.
Hyun Jin Jeong explored natural dyeing, with a twist. She could not get access to many plants over the winter season so instead she turned to soil, or 'earth dyeing'. She compared the soil and resulting dye colours of the soils from both her native South Korea and from parts of the UK, testing the colours by dyeing fabric and also hand printing with the dyes.
Chelsea is now part of CCW (Chelsea/Camberwell/Wimbledon) and there is a new Design Lecture Series launched this month, with some well-known names from the design and craft world.
The first lecture is Glenn Adamson, titled 'Effective Objects: Design and the Re-Invention of Craft', on Monday 31st January at Chelsea Lecture Theatre. Adamson is Deputy Head of Research and Head of Graduate Studies at the V & A Museum, where he leads a graduate prgramme in the History of Design. Adamson is also the author of Thinking Through Craft (2007).
The next lecture on Monday 7th February, will be by Yuko Kikuchi, CCW Reader, who's work focuses on modern design and crafts in East Asia.
Finally, on 21st March Tomoko Azumi will talk about her work as a designer and founder of t.n.a Design Studio. Azumi is also involved with design project TEN, which involves ten designers who work each year on a sustainable design challenge, using limited or found resources.
All the lectures are free and open to the general public. They all start at 6pm, in the Chelsea Lecture Theatre, entrance via Atterbury Street. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Metropolitan Works offer a whole host of digtal technologies including digital printing, 3D printing, laser and water jet cutting. The event will also include a tour of these facilities.
The event is free and you need to book here.