Circular Transitions Conference 23th-24th of November 2016


Circular Transitions Conference

We are excited to announce that TED is currently organising a Mistra Future Fashion Conference on textile design and the circular economy this autumn. The event is being hosted by Dr Kate Goldsworthy and Professor Rebecca Earley at University of the Arts London. The conference is part of a research project for the Mistra Future Fashion consortium – a cross-disciplinary program with the vision of closing the loop in fashion and creating systemic change in Swedish industry and culture.

The aim of the conference is to create the vision of designing for a circular future where materials are designed, produced, used and disposed of in radical new ways. Circular Transitions will be the first global event to bring together academic and industry research concerned with designing fashion textiles for the circular economy. The themes will explore the design of new materials for fashion with approaches ranging from emerging technology and social innovation to systems design and tools.


The call for abstracts is now live, and will remain open until 25 March 2016. The call themes are:


Design which responds to technology, science, material developments.

  1. Challenges and benefits of new modes of production
  2. Opportunities for cleaner processes in the textile materials value chain
  3. Innovation in textile recycling technology
  4. Potential for digital tools and processes to enable a circular economy
  5. Tracking and tracing solutions in a complex material recovery industry

Design for systems, services, models, business, networks and communities.

  1. New modes of consumption; disruptive business models
  2. Speed of product and material cycles; appropriate design
  3. Design of products for the technical and/or biological cycle
  4. Projects that explore successful industry / academic collaboration and also tensions between our traditional modes of competition and collaboration
  5. Design creating more social equity within the circular supply chain

Design of behaviours; tools, frameworks and experiences to enable and support collaboration, mindset change and improve decision making.

  1. Physical tools for facilitating collaboration across disciplines
  2. Pioneering and enabling the changing role of the designer in a circular economy
  3. Tools for designers to support the mindset and behaviour change of consumers
  4. Design approaches towards well being that develop circular cultures
  5. Opportunities for designers to bridge understanding of scientific tools (such as LCA)

Visit the event website for more information.

Design Thinking for Materials Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Trash-2-Cash


We are excited to announce that University of the Arts is advertising for a second full-time, postdoctoral research assistant to undertake collaborative research in the field of design thinking and facilitation. The researcher will join the team for the EU-funded Horizon 2020 innovation project ‘Trash-2-Cash: Utilising zero-value waste textiles and fibres with design-driven technologies to create high quality products’. The project aims to solve the growing problems with paper fibre waste that originates from the continuously increasing textile consumption through design-driven innovation. This will be performed by using the waste to regenerate fibres that will be included into fashion, interior and other high-value products.

The successful candidate will have a doctoral qualification in a relevant field, such as design thinking (preferable with experience in materials), product design, co-design or sustainability as well as an established and active research profile and a proven record of published research in the relevant field.

Visit the official UAL website for more information.

People’s Print Fab POMO Bag Workshop at the London Design Festival

24th September 2015

The People’s Print were invited to design and deliver a workshop as part of the London Design Festival during September in their HQ at Makerversity in Somerset House.

The workshop was based around the Italian design group Memphis of the 1980’s. It drew inspiration from the colour, shape, pattern and energy, which they applied to furniture, product, architecture and textiles. The session focused on the work of one of their favourite designers Nathalie Du Pasquier who has had a recent revival and whose work still seems contemporary.

The People’s Print always like to combine hand and digital methods within the design process, making the creative activity playful and fun, giving people the confidence to create their own beautiful print identities that they can own. This approach counters the negative effects of mass consumerism, fast fashion and globalized fashion monocultures.

The workshop task was to design and print a ‘Pomo Bag’ to celebrate the Postmodern Design Movement. For this they used the new big heat press at Makerversity and collaborated with the large digital print bureau Digetex. Digetex generously provided the workshop with lots of Memphis-inspired pattern papers to cut, arrange and print onto Eco bags made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Technicians Stuart and Scott from Makerversity CNC cut wooden geo shapes for participants to use as stencils to create their very own designs.

Sublimation printing was used to print onto the bags and the results were stunningly bright and bold. This is a direct printing technique, so the results from collage to heat press were instant and perfect for a short workshop.

The well-prepped workshop methods gave everyone the confidence to play and capture the energy of a Memphis inspired design as well as creating a product that was original and unique to the wearer, which is what The People’s Print is all about!

Digetex, The People’s Print, Makerversity

By Melanie Bowles

E-co textiles

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.

Textiles & Co Design at TED

TED member Mel Bowles and PhD student Jen Ballie are both going to be at the Future Everything event this weekend in Manchester.

Mel will be running her workshop ‘The Peoples Print: the empowerment of the consumer through Digital Textile Design’, where participants will be encouraged to create their own digital textile print.

Jen Ballie will be presenting her interactive workshop called The Scarf Project, where you will be encouraged to rip and mix past and present fashion trends to make and style your own bespoke scarf.

Mike Press to speak at Chelsea

We are very excited to announce that one of our design and craft thinking heroes Prof. Mike Press, is coming to speak at Chelsea College of Art & Design, as part of the TFRC Sustainable Textiles Research Seminar series. It will be an Open Lecture titled ‘Hand-made Knowledge’ on 25th March in the Lecture Theatre, 2 – 3pm.

Mike is Associate Dean of Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and has written and researched widely on design, innovation, contemporary craft and the management of creativity.

He has authored three books, including The Design Agenda: a Guide to Successful Design Management and The Design Experience.

His research and writing spans three areas: design and crime, the future of craft, and co-design. He is also an experienced supervisor and examiner of PhDs in design, and has been an advocate of practice-based approaches to design research.

Most recently he has been involved in a scoping project to develop a design school in Rwanda.

Image left: Mike Press
Image right: Kntted Remotes, Hazel White


A few things we have been watching, reading and talking about lately around co-design and collaboration……

There’s a new book called What’s Mine is Yours: the Rise of Collaborative Consumption, by social innovator Rachel Botsman. She was speaking at the RSA last week, and we couldn’t get in as it was all sold out. But you can hear the talk here and a talk she gave on (that’s not us by the way! we are getting confused with the American TED more and more!)

We have been very interested in this new trend in consumer behaviour for a while now, and what it means for designers.

One of our favourite fashion projects that involves online networks and a type of collaborative consumption is the Uniform Project. Founder Sheena Matheiken, was also on TED, and you can watch her talk here and listen to her interview on Radio 4 recently here.

While she wore the same dress for one year, she accessorised it with pieces that were all second hand and all donated or given or swapped. She looked fabulous every single day and by offering a daily update, readers became part of her story and were also encouraged to donate funds to support a charity in India.

In this world of hyper-consumerism, where we have and know everything, consumers are wanting to make more meaningful purchases. This relates to a talk we attended here at Chelsea last week by Glen Adamson, writer and thinker around craft and design. While there were many interesting points made (and hopefully there will be a review of the talk by one of the TED members shortly), the title and thrust of the talk was ‘Affective objects’ – the idea that hand-crafted objects arouse an emotional response in us, and that something that has been made with attention to detail, care and skill, reminds us of the beautiful and profound in life, and is an antedote to our modern living.