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 think up a canny question email us at email@example.com and your contribution may become part of this exciting research project.
Kay Politowicz and Judy Lindsay (CSM) have been working with fashion designer Giles Deacon on the selection of the best design graduates from the UAL this year, that will be showcased in British-ish
, at the V& A for London Design Festival.
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
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
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 event is co-curated by Becky Earley and Helen Carnac, and 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.
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.
Becky Earley and Kate Goldsworthy will be in conversation next Wednesday 5th June at 5: 15pm, in the Lecture Theatre at Chelsea, as part of the CCW Graduate Encounters series.
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.
DIY mania was in action last weekend at the Future Everything Craft event in Manchester, with Mel Bowles and Jen Ballie introducing audiences to their co-design textile/fashion projects.
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.
Last week saw the launch of a small research project we are involved in called Creative Transition that brings together staff and students across CCW (Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon) who are interested in notions of sustainability and resilience in art and design education.
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.