UnBox Festival 2012 applications open

The British Council Creative and Cultural Economy programme wants to fund eight young, innovative, entrepreneurial thinkers working in the UK to participate in The UnBox Festival 2012 in Delhi, India. From second to fifth of February 2012 the festival celebrates interdisciplinary processes and experiences that shape contemporary thought and action. The aim of the project is to re-imagine cultural practice: A successful application would include a preceding fellowship programme, each linked to a few dates to participate up to the trip to India end of January. The fellowships cover a variety of fields from Empowering Artisans through Design, Sustainable Technologies, Community Livelihood, Social Marketing and Media Activism to Fashion and Tradition.

The deadline for the application is Friday 16 December. To view all the themes and download the application form please visit the website.

Design Activism conference, Spain

From Ana Lucia Diaz, MA Student 2011:

Thanks to the Laura Ashley Scholarship I had the honor to attend the Design Activism and Social Change Conference in Barcelona in September. The conference provided a space to debate emergent themes in design activism: politics and design, sustainability and design, the role of agency, reflection vs action, peak oil and the capacity of design to address social and environmental problems within capitalism and current forms of democracy.

Speakers included Jody Boenhert from Eco Labs, Karen Yair on craft and activism, and Noel Douglas, one of the most controversial speakers with a paper called ‘Signs of Revolt – The City, Revolution and the Sign in the 21st Century’.

Check out the official blog here with reflections on the event by design thinker Guy Julier and all the papers are available to download here.

MA Research Focus Group update

The TED MA  Research Focus Group continues and this week saw two students, Min Taek Oh and Chia-Hsing Ho present their findings on TED’s TEN Strategy ‘Design to Reduce Chemical Impacts’.

The TED/Mistra PhD student Clara Vuletich then presented her view on the strategy, which explored the debates around natural versus synthetic dyes, the cotton debate and whether cotton will become a luxury fibre in the next few decades, and a lively discussion around measuring outcomes and the importance for us as designers to be able to prove our design decisions have reduced chemical or environmental impacts.

The students were shown a whole array of emerging tools and techniques around the idea of ‘radical transparency’, and how to measure and communicate impacts – from the open platform of Sourcemap, to Footprinted.org, and Amee.

Systemic Innovation in the fashion system

An amazing MA course in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability based in Sweden at the Blekinge Institute for Technology (BTH ) opens today for applications for next year.

BTH is a top ranked sustainability research and education institution currently recruiting talented, early to mid career professionals for its cutting-edge course. The course produces graduates who can deliver organizational leadership for strategic change towards sustainability and is underpinned by the science-based ‘Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development’ (widely known as The Natural Step Framework) spearheaded by Karl-Henrik Robert, a global sustainability leader and course tutor.

The Swedish state kindly pays for tuition fees for this programme for EU & EEA citizens and it is taught in English. Applications open 1st of December 2011 and close 16th January 2012.

The founders of Slow Fashion Forward are graduates of the course, and their graduate research project was titled ‘Slow Fashion: Tailoring a Strategic Approach towards Sustainability’, which you can download from their website on the right hand column.

The fashion system needs leaders and thinkers like this who can approach the complex challenges we face using frameworks and methods developed for systemic innovation. We have been thinking about this idea of systemic innovation in relation to the MISTRA Future Fashion project we are working on, grappling with the nature of a large research consortium, that involves many research groups who will be feeding their individual research into the project as a whole. If the aim of the whole project is ‘how to bring about systemic environmental change in the Swedish fashion industry, while maintaining it’s competitiveness’, some dynamic, systemic thinking is needed.

Graphic from Slow Fashion Forward

Tomorrow: Social Wellbeing by Design event

Alastair Fuad-Luke, a TED Associate/Collaborator is speaking at the the ‘Amplifying Social Wellbeing by Design: Sharing Experiences’ seminar at The Finnish Institute in London, tomorrow Friday 25th November.

This is a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in service design, wellbeing and ageing, and other speakers include Marianne Guldbrandsen (Head of Design Strategy, Design Council), Bill Gaver (Goldsmiths University London) and Jussi Nissilae (Programme Director, The Finnish Institute in London).

Alastair Fuad-Luke recently spoke at the TFRC Slow Summit event, see the podcast of the talk on our website.

For more information please click here.

Chelsea BA Textiles graduate at Triennale Design Museum in Milan

Chae Young Kim is a star Chelsea BA textile graduate and she has been invited to participate in Vitality – Korean Young Design  at the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, which runs until February 2012.

The theme of the exhibition is reinterpretation of Korean traditional culture and Chae has created a series of digital prints inspired by Korean traditional architecture and calligraphy. Chae’s work often explores the combination of 2-D vector graphics/ digital technology with ideas from tradition and heritage.

For more information about Chae’s work please visit her website.

MA Textiles Research Focus Group explores Recycling / Upcycling

Last week saw the beginnings of the Research Focus Group for the MA Textiles students, a series of seminars based around TED’s TEN. Becky Earley led the first seminar on ‘Design for Recycling / Upcycling’, which included presentations from student groups on this design strategy.

The main themes that emerged were linking the ideas to personal, historical and geographical backgrounds and narratives, and the difficulty in identifying the difference between recycling and upcycling.

If you would like to tell us your story about something that you have recycled or upcycled, email us at ted@chelsea.arts.ac.uk with a picture, and the most interesting stories may be published on our blog or on our new website coming soon: www.textiletoolbox.com

Future Fabrics Expo coming up soon!

We will be attending the upcoming Future Fabrics Expo  on 29th and 30th November 2011 at the London College of Fashion,  organised by The Sustainable Angle, in collaboration with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. The expo will be showcasing sustainable fabrics suitable for mid to high end fashion companies, and the selection of companies for the Expo were selected to address the following environmental principles:
  • BIODIVERSITY –  with an emphasis on diversification in textile fibres, moving away from a global dependence on raw materials that utilise unsustainable agricultural practices or result in the depletion of finite natural resources.
  • WATER – the reduction of water use and wastage across the textile supply chain.
  • WASTE – the utilization of identifiable waste streams for textile production and the reduction of waste creation throughout the textile supply chain.
  • ENERGY – reducing the carbon impact across the textile supply chain.

Sowcased fabrics will include recycled polyester suede, innovative blends of various natural and organic fibres, bi-product fish leather, Greenfil©, organic cotton lace, 100% local British wool, fabrics represented by C-L-A-S-S including Milkofil© and NewLife©, recycled selvedge denim, and post-consumer coffee ground fabric (SCafe©).

The organisers are aiming at promoting the increased use by fashion designers of fabrics with a lower environmental impact and to inform with a tactile experience by showing samples rather than swatches to experience drape and feel of the fabrics.

Ted’s PhD students at main textile design talks and sustainable seminars


Some of TED’s PhD students will attend and present at a series of sustainability seminars and textile symposiums in November.

PhD student Matty Aspinall will attend the seminar of the “Sustainable Design Between Ethics & Aesthetics” event on the 11th of November in Kolding, Denmark. The seminar will present working papers as well as three keynotes from internationally recognized speakers:

Dr. Martina Keitsch is a specialist in philosophy, environmental ethics and aesthetics; Dr. Ann Thorpe is the author of The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability and Prof. Bente Halkier is a sociologist and political scientist, author of Consumption Challenged.

For more information about the programme of the seminar please click here.

PhD student Susan Noble will be presenting a paper at Trip, an international symposium at Loughborough University, exploring the role and relevance of traditional hand skills in contemporary textiles, and the value and status of craft process. The key themes for the event include: Thinking through the Hand, Drawing and Textile Education, Social Responsibility, Craft Intervention into Digital Process, and Preserving Textile Tradition: Global Perspectives.

The symposium will take place in the School of the Arts at Loughborough University from Wednesday 16th to Thursday 17th November.

Please click here for the programme.

RCA is looking for a Senior Tutor in Printmaking

The advertisement for the position as Senior Printed Textile tutor at the
RCA (0.6) is now On -Line on Jobs.ac.uk, Guardian jobs and Drapers Record.

The Printmaking Programme within the School of Fine Art is seeking an artist with an active exhibiting/publishing profile to work as a Senior Tutor. Print at the RCA is seen in a broader sense of practice within the realms of the well-equipped workshops, but also as theory-based research through seminars, exhibitions and publishing.

The Tutor role involves offering the skills and knowledge as an artist as well as delivering tutorials. A broad knowledge of the multiple uses of print in contemporary Fine Art practice and experience of teaching at postgraduate level is essential. As part of the experience required is a commitment to printmaking or print related media as a major means of expression and a relevant curriculum within the field of fine art.

Closing date:  Tuesday 8 November 2011

For a job description please go to the RCA website or view the ad online.