‘What Future for Living Textiles within the Built Environment’ was exploring how textile designers inhabit other design fields and cohabit with the world of science, particularly with the recent developments in nano and bio technology. The question being asked was how much is the textile design discipline changing and are we as designers and consumers ready for the next material revolution?
After hearing from architects Mark Gaulthorpe and Mette Ramsgard, Caryn Simonson presented the recent TFRG project in which work from the Group is being shown within the virtual space of Second Life. The Group have bought their own island on Second Life and have designed and built an exhibition space to show the work.
We were recently at 100% Sustainable at Earls Court, and saw an inspiring presentation of the DEEDS (Design Education and Sustainability) project, which was introduced by Alistair Fuad-Luke. Set up to promote sustainable design (SD) education to educators and professional designers, Fuad-Luke explained they are developing on-line tools for teaching and learning which include a glossary of SD terms, methodologies which can be shared and a space for contributors to develop ‘pods’, which are open-source, web-based case studies of inspiring SD stories. The aim is to get teachers and designers contributing and feeding back into the project so that SD can become fully integrated into design education and into the design industry in the EU.
Anne Thorpe, who wrote the The Designers Atlas of Sustainability, has posted her thoughts on the future of SD education on her blog Design Activism. Thorpe talks of the need for SD education to become broader in how it views eco or green design and to suggest to students more diverse models of design practise which may include working for social enterprises or public agencies.
Thorpe also believes that the latest trend is around ‘social innovation’ and that we are going to see a shift toward exploring how design can facilitate relationships and social capital, rather than just designing objects. But the question for education is what kind of training do designers need to understand and enhance social innovation? These are questions which SD educators are just starting to ask now, and here at the TED project we have been asking the question of how the textile deisgner can be a social ‘activist’.
Talking of ‘design activism’, Alistair Fuad Luke, who is the author of the well known The Eco Design Handbook, also mentioned that he is currently writing a book on this theme – seems to be the new buzz term within design.
TED Research Assistant Clara Vuletich has been asked to contribute to an ongoing blog discussion about the value of craft and the Slow movement called Making a Slow Revolution, organised by Craftspace.
TED member Kate Goldsworthy was showing the most recent samples from her ‘Materials Recreation’ research project at 100% Materials at 100% Design last week. 100% Materials is a unique window into the world of materials for designers and architects that are looking to source the building blocks of the products and environments of the future.
Kate has been working on laser welding different recycled materials together and has created some inspiring new designs.
Kate also gave a presentation on Thursday 18th September on her latest upcycled material innovations at the Design Council’s Greengaged event, along with other sustainable materialists. Greengaged was a series of events and spaces dedicated to sustainable design, organised in conjunction with [re] design and the Design Council.