EAD 11 – The Value of Design Research


Professor Becky Earley is in Paris this week to present a paper at ‘EAD 11 – The Value of Design Research’, the 11th International European Academy of Design conference. The paper titled ‘A New ‘T’ for Textiles: Training Design Researchers to Inspire Buying Office Staff Towards Sustainability at Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)‘ is co-authored by Professor Becky Earley, Phil Hadridge and MISTRA PhD researchers Kirsti Reitan Andersen and Clara Vuletich.

The themes of the conference are:

  • Excellence in Design Research
  • Interdisciplinary Innovation
  • Towards more Human Value in Society
  • Design Research Value for Organisations


More information on the conference is available on the EAD website.

ENSAD Conference: Forging the Future

Cover Image_ENSAD_400

TED Senior Research Fellow, Dr Kate Goldsworthy is presenting a paper entitled ‘Designing for a circular fashion economy: technology, collaboration and creativity’ at the 2015 ‘Forging the Future’ Conference Series at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris. The series of 9 lectures looks at how design and science can work together towards an ecologically minded future.

Alternating thinking and actors from the realms of science, economics, politics, culture and creativity including high-profile sustainable design academics Prof Jonathan Chapman and Alastair Fuad-Luke, the series unfolds in two main chapters;

Firstly, what do we understand by ‘an ecological practice’? What are its social, ethical, economic and political operating modes and conditions? Which urgent issues must it address today to be able to act meaningfully tomorrow?

Secondly, which current research projects, conducted in the arts, design or sciences have the potential to re-imagine an ecology that is in line with urban dynamics? What kind of knowledge do these projects contain and how might they build on one another towards a constructive outcome?

The full lecture series will be available to view on the conference website at http://www.cyclefaconnerlavenir.ensad.fr

Chelsea MA Textile Design Graduate wins SCAP award

Rhiannon Hunt SCAP AWARD

We are thrilled to announce that MA Chelsea Textile design graduate Rhiannon Hunt won the first SCAP award for ‘extending the life of clothing’. We have featured Rhiannon’s graduate work on our TED website as part of our TED Selects 2014 of the MA Textile Design Chelsea postgraduate show. We were delighted by her MA collection of sustainable materials and dyes that she developed into an online materials library. For the SCAP award she developed a new collection that demonstrates different strategies to extend the emotional attachment of garments.

The winner was announced during a SCAP networking event for signatories and supporters on 12 March. The judging for the ‘Extending the LIfe of Clothes Design Award‘ received 13 high quality entries. All innovative and inspirational finalist entries are featured on the Award website. Drapers, fibre2fashion.com and the Twitter hashtag #ELCaward generated large interest for this new and relevant Award for sustainable fashion.


The TEN sustainable design strategies workshop – Adhocism project

Ted Ten Adhocism project

TED researchers worked with all stage 2 BA Textile Design students at Chelsea for a The TEN strategies workshop in March. The team lead a brainstorming session for the Adhocism project where the students evaluated their practice through the lens of one selected sustainable design strategy.

Each group was lead by an expert that facilitated the discussion around a set of The TEN strategies:

  1. Kate Goldsworthy: TT1&2
  2. Kay Politowicz: TT1&2
  3. Helen Paine: TT3&4&5
  4. Philippa Wagner: TT6
  5. Josefin Landalv: TT8
  6. Miriam Ribul: TT6&9&10
  7. Bridget Harvey: TT6&9&10

The results of the workshop highlighted how the students recognise a layered approach to their designs, demonstrating how they already apply multiple strategies for sustainability when designing. The groups also presented the opportunities that emerge through sharing and collaborating.

Print Make Wear – Creative Projects for Textile Design

print-make-wear Melanie Bowles

We are thrilled to share that Melanie Bowles & The People’s Print will be launching their recently completed book Print Make Wear – Creative Projects for Digital Textile Design with Laurence King at Makerversity, New Wing, Somerset House, Lancaster Place, London. The new publication will be available online and in the shops at the end of March.

Print, Make, Wear by Melanie Bowles and The People’s Print and published by Laurence King in March 2015 features 14 original projects that will inspire you to create your own digitally printed textile designs.

Digital print techniques are inspired by traditional handcrafts such as patchwork and embroidery and can now be brought to life by utilising computer software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Print, Make, Wear offers 14 easy-to-follow projects that will see you making your own printed textiles in no time. Previously the preserve of professional designers or fashion and textile colleges, digital printing is now available in high-street bureaus, where anyone can send a file to be printed on the material of their choice, ready to make and wear. Truly individual style has never been so easy!

The 14 projects are:

  • Paintbrush Floral
  • Post Modern Play
  • Easy Boy Check
  • Vintage Floral
  • Hackney Lights
  • Bargello
  • Dress
  • Dahlia Skirt,
  • Clara’s Patchwork
  • Shibori
  • Colour Me In
  • Monotone Man
  • Stitched by Jane
  • Made in Brixton
  • Modern Folk

To purchase Print Make Wear click here.

‘Circular by Design’ Chiasma


Design in Action (DiA), a Knowledge Exchange Hub for the Creative Economy based primarily at the University of Dundee, will host a ‘Chiasma’ innovation event on Wednesday 18th March.

The confirmed speakers are renowned British designer and pioneer of ethical and environmental fashion Katharine Hamnett, Professor Becky Earley and Dr Kate Goldsworthy from the Textile Futures Research Centre at the University of the Arts, London, and Dr Conny Bakker from TU Delft.

The Chiasma, entitled ‘Circular by Design‘, is being run in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, and will aim to transform thinking and support innovation for the textiles and fashion sector. Shaping the future through innovative design is one of the key challenges the University of Dundee aims to meet in its core mission to transform lives, locally and globally.

The two-day residential Chiasma will bring together participants from business, academia, design and beyond to ideate and create new products, processes or services that can develop a more sustainable textiles industry and promote a circular, less wasteful, economy. The most promising ideas then have an opportunity to apply for up to £20,000 commercialisation funding.

The Chiasma will take place at the Dalmahoy Marriot Hotel near Edinburgh from 18th–20th March. See more information about the event here.

Katherine Hamnett will deliver a public lecture at the Dalhousie Building at 12.30pm on Thursday 19th March. More information and free tickets can be obtained from http://www.designinaction.com/event/katharine-hamnett/.

Textile Toolbox Pop-Up at Resource event

Pop Up_Textile Toolbox_RSA

TED Researchers presented at two workshops as part of the leading industry Circular Economy event ‘Resource’ at ExCel this week.

In the morning, Dr  Kate Goldsworthy’s presented TED’s projects at the workshop ‘Towards a Circular Textile Industry – Exploring proactive approaches to realize circular material flows in the Textile Industry’, hosted by Circle Economy, Netherlands.

In the afternoon Kate was joined by Miriam Ribul to run a workshop hosted by the RSA and The Great Recovery. This session, ‘Round the Kitchen Table’ at the RSA stand, was a Pop-Up presentation of the Textile Toolbox exhibition and offered the opportunity for attendees to interact with textile samples that each explore strategies for design towards a sustainable future fashion industry.

Resource is the UK’s largest free-to-attend circular economy event. The full event listings are available on the Resource website. This event is open at the ExCel Centre from 3rd to 5th of March 2015.

Shavasana Shirt


In order to drive the profound cultural and industrial change that is needed to achieve a more sustainable future, designers must be many things. Aside from creating less impactful materials, products and processes, we must design new systems and services to enable the way that we meet our needs to be lighter and brighter. We need to change ourselves, as well as those we create for and serve. We must be our best selves, our whole selves (Ehrenfeld, 2008). Death to our mindless designing and consumption!

The gallery will be transformed into a yoga studio for a one-hour workshop. Becky and the PhD researchers will lead in the studio and via Skype from Australia; and whilst the participants meditate and move they will use transfer inks to mark make on their wallpaper yoga mats. The resulting ‘designs’ will be used to co-create an overprinted upcycled shirt – part of Earley’s ongoing Top 100 project – which, along with the film of the session, will form the CoR evidence. Shavasana, the ‘corpse pose’, will end the session, from which the participants will be reborn, to be more mindful designers and consumers.


Ehrenfeld, J. (2008). Sustainable by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming our Consumer Culture. New Haven & London, Yale University Press


Guardian live chat – Recycled fashion: how do we close the loop?

Recycled Fashion - Photograph- Axel Schmidt Reuters - via the Guardian

Photograph: Axel Schmidt/Reuters

On Wednesday 18 February, 1.30pm – 2.30pm GMT, TED Senior Research Fellow Dr Kate Goldsworthy will be part of a panel of experts in fashion and the circular economy for the Guardian live chat.

The discussion on ‘Recycled fashion: how do we close the loop?’ invites to join the online debate where the panel will answer questions for the potential of a circular economy in the fashion industry:

  • Which textiles can currently be recycled, and which pose problems?
  • Which new technologies or projects have the potential to make a big impact on the fashion industry?
  • How will recycling impact the business model of fashion brands?
  • How can fashion brands collaborate to achieve closed-loop fashion, and what might prevent collaboration?
  • How can designers and the public be encouraged to engage in closed-loop fashion?


Other panelists include Hélène Smits (The Circular Textiles Program), Carola Tembe (H&M), Lucy Norris (University College London) and Lynn Wilson (Love your Clothes campaign in Scotland), Annie McCourt (Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute) and Carol Rose (WRAP).

The live chat is completely text based and will take place on this Guardian page in the comments section, kicking off on Wednesday 18 February at 1.30pm GMT. You can submit any questions in advance by using the form below, tweeting them to @GuardianSustBiz using #askGSB or sending an email to hannah.gould@theguardian.com and we’ll put them to the panel on the day.

Pushing the bounds of materials and information: tracking and tracing in a circular economy


As experimentation for a circular economy gathers pace, it is becoming more and more evident that we need an effective way to track and trace materials, components and products through a system –from manufacture to end of life. One of the key lessons that came out of the initial investigations at The RSA Great Recovery was that ‘the ability to track and trace materials is key to reverse engineering our manufacturing processes and closing the loop’

This new trend for source mapping and tracing materials through a system, as exemplified by companies such as Historic Futures or Dutch aWEARness, is now converging with an upsurge of interest and activity in the so-called ‘Internet of Things’, with companies such as Cisco predicting an explosion in the number of ‘intelligent’ products that are able to anticipate our every move and connect us as never before.

The RSA Great Recovery organised a workshop to explore the concept of material tracking and tracing and what it could mean for the nascent circular economy.

The first half of the session, participants heard from practitioners in the field: Thomas Diez of Fab Lab Barcelona who has developed the open source Smart Citizen project, and Alan Dukinfield of S2S Lifecycle Solutions, who has overseen the installation of a RFID material tracking system in a commercial context. Dr Kate Goldsworthy and Miriam Ribul at TED, who have been involved in developing new research around closed-loop textile design and methods of tracing clothing through a system. And Rien Otto from Dutch aWEARness joined via videolink to discuss the Dutch clothing company’s experience of introducing their Circular Content Management System.

During the afternoon, participants were able to get ‘hands on’ and make use of the facilities and expertise at Fab Lab London to develop a practical project of their own using RFID or bar coding, Arduino or other types of sensor technology. All participants set up their own Smart Citizen kit in Thomas Diez’s workshop on how to track open source data for citizens’ political participation in better cities.