Adhocism Project Exhibition: Chelsea BA Textile Design Stage 2 PV Wednesday 18th May 2016



An exciting an impressive collection of work from BA Stage 2 students was on show at Millbank in mid May.


‘Adhocism’, the concluding project from the Stage 2 Textile Design Programme, was a demonstration of energy, enthusiasm and curiosity that characterizes the best kind of work from designers today. For several weeks, students were encouraged to explore their personal interests within a broad framework of ideas that connects contemporary world concerns – economic, social and environmental, connected by their interpretation of the concept of ‘Adhocism’.


The students declared an appetite for thinking in ambitious, radical ways when members of the TED research group held a ‘brainstorm workshop’ early in the project. Students articulated their developing ideas and confirmed the diverse and dynamic directions they were taking the TEN strategies, which represent new areas of creative concern for the textile designers of the future. The exciting thing is that there is still a further year of study for the students to confirm and develop a personal position in relation to their wide definition of the subject.


A competition for design solutions was set by the TED team, demonstrating: ambition; skill; aesthetic judgment and personal interpretation of sustainability. Any selection of the work best capturing these qualities proved very difficult, as radical new ideas were demonstrated in all disciplines and inspiring design challenges were identified at all stages of the lifecycle.


Finally, a selection was made of 4 ‘commended’ students: Yee Nan Fong, James Frost, Zoe Hartington and Brian Lamb, while the top prize was unanimously awarded to Hannah Louise Robinson. The prizes, presented by Prof. Rebecca Earley, included a paid ‘internship’, enabling the winning student to work as part of the TED group – on live, ongoing, project material, prior to final year BA study.



Commended Students:


James Frost: for the way in which he considered the subject of trainers as a vehicle for systemic change in the fashion industry. Their meaning in social, economic and environmental terms was well researched and presented. The entrepreneurial spirit James demonstrated in setting up a website to effect positive social change was highly commended.

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Yee Man Fung: for her connection between her textile practice and her ethical concerns about killing animals for food. Yee’s use of humour and inventiveness in setting out a knitted banquet with a correspondingly challenging menu was thought provoking and skillful in equal measure. The collection was commended for offering an aesthetic yet activist approach to her firmly held beliefs.

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Brian Lamb: whose work featured the production of a professionally presented development of modular structures in a dynamic video format. The design of a diagrammatic range of furniture proposed products for distributed manufacture, DIY consumer involvement and a possible context for woven textiles.  Brian’s use of the software promotes a convincing, next generation of product communication for designers.

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Zoe Hartington: for her creation of a huge vision by applying her skills to the urban environment.  Zoe transformed the urban landscape into a canvas for the application of beautiful, projected images. Her large format photographs captured Thames river views as virtual renditions of Venetian paintings. The presentation of such ambitious and compelling images demonstrated the transformative qualities of design thinking to problems of urban degeneration.

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Winner – Hannah Louise Robinson: for her original and impressive interpretation of the pressing environmental and economic problems caused by waste material. Her thorough and detailed research was evidence of a complete commitment to exhaustive investigation of the issues. Hannah’s application of an intelligent series of design decisions regarding re-crafting techniques, new industrial connections in production and application to a final ‘product’ was impressive – particularly as the product was the changed nature of the fabric itself. It achieved new value for the material and pointed towards transformative future product development.


Congratulations to all students and staff for the impressive demonstration of ambitious ideas, deep thinking, humour and skill.


The TED team
27th May 2016



The TEN Adhocism Brainstorming Session

Adhocism Brainstorming Session

This week the TED team with associate researchers facilitated a brainstorming session for the BA Textile second year students in the Banqueting Hall at Chelsea College of Arts. The students were divided into groups based around a leading TEN strategy that they had chosen to focus on for the project. In the groups each student presented their project ideas and research followed by a round-table discussion led by one of the TED team experts including Dr Kate Goldsworthy, Prof Kay Politowicz, Miriam Ribul, Josefin Landalv, Gabrielle Miller, Dr Emma Neuberg and Bridget Harvey.

The session was wrapped up with each group presenting key points and shared approaches that had emerged during the session. A majority of the students were using ‘layered design thinking’ and incorporated more than one strategy in their project. Lifecycle approaches, systems thinking and design activism were strong themes among the students where they demonstrated progressive thinking and innovative ideas.

Denim innovation

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Eva Tong, BA Textile Design 2015

Miriam Ribul lead a client denim innovation project with students from the BA Textile Design course at Chelsea College of Arts between July and October this year. The students were selected based on strength of their submitted proposal and were mentored throughout summer to develop innovative concepts for the future of this material.

The project started in July with an inspiration lecture covering aspects of sustainability, technology, social science, material innovation and trends. The selected finalists participating over the summer included recent graduates from 2015 and students entering the third year from the weave, knit and print specialism. The development stage of the project included three master classes with leading designers, and the selected group had unique access to the textile workshops to develop their work.

The final entries were evaluated by leading textile researchers Professor Becky Earley, senior lecturer Melanie Bowles and the client’s innovation team. The winning project and honourable mentions demonstrated innovative thinking for the future of denim and strong concepts based on key trend developments. The winners also stood out for the great quality of work and ideas that are both future-facing and commercially viable.

1st Prize:
Boram Chin – 3rd year BA Textile Design student

Honourable mentions:
Eva Tong – BA Textile Design graduate 2015
Megan Sharples – BA Textile Design graduate 2015
Jo Saich – 3rd year BA Textile Design student

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.

New BA Textile Design course website

BA Textile Design course director Caryn Simonson and senior lecturer Melanie Bowles have set up a new website for the BA Textile Design course at Chelsea College of Art & Design. Acting as a newsletter for the course’s projects, collaborations and external events, the new website houses a blog for news on exhibitions, alumni and also the degree shows and stage two shows,  plus links to other online resources. For a full view on the BA Textile Design Course please follow this link.

Openwear collaboration

As part of our Impact lecture series this year, the BA first year textiles students were introduced to Zoe Romano, founder of Open Wear, a collaborative clothing platform, where people upload clothing patterns they have created to be shared by anyone.

While initially, Zoe was going to be offering the students a template pattern for a project they were working on, this didn’t eventuate, but this didn’t stop Alexandra Brinck, one of the textile students from sharing with OpenWear.

Alexandra designed a bag that turns into a shirt and contacted Zoe for uploading it on to the Open Wear website. Alexandra initiated this collaboration inspired by the talk and wanted to challenge ‘sustainability through multi-functionality’

‘ I have been in touch with Zoe, and will be sharing one of my own patterns on OpenWear – this way we are still collaborating with them, it’s just that the pattern contribution is going in the other direction! I felt it would have been a shame after the great talk Zoe delivered not to strike while the iron was hot and get a collaboration going between Chelsea and OpenWear.’

Every print tells a story

The People’s Print are engaging with BA Textile Design students at Chelsea to spread the word about their designs and inspirations. ‘Every print tells a story’ is developed to create insight behind print designer’s work.
The first of a series of interviews is with Naomi Whitehead. She is inspired by the motoring industry, chemistry labs and crystal structures. With her interest in new scientific textiles, she has explored BioResins for being an eco-friendly material already used in the automotive industry. We loved her work at the degree show and wish her well as she graduates.
Check out TED member Melanie Bowles‘s website.

Chelsea graduates in best of UAL design show

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