TED PhD Researcher Exhibiting at Experiencing Change / Changing Experience

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Bridget Harvey is exhibiting in Experiencing Change / Changing Experience at ONCA Gallery, Brighton from 27th July –5th August. Her piece the Spelman Cups (2016) explores Elizabeth Spelman’s definitions of non-repairers and our complex relationship with repair.

 

The exhibition investigates a world where environment and society is in a state of flux with large, and sometimes devastating changes predicted for the future. Change can seem inevitable or out of our hands, so how much influence do we have on change? Do we just react to the changes we experience or can we intervene?

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International artists from the e:collective launch their debut exhibition of new work exploring relationships with change on a social, economic, environmental and personal level. The exhibition will challenge, enact, refresh and stimulate our perceptions and thoughts on change, and will be viewed alongside current research by scientists at the Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

 

During the exhibition, artists in residence Mark Vennegoor and Aurora Sciabarra will each develop new work in the gallery, inviting visitors to participate in their practice. The project is devised by lead artist Valerie Furnham in collaboration with researcher Dr. Rosie Robison [GSI], and with the support of Arts Council England, ONCA Gallery and the Global Sustainability Institute.

 

PREVIEW | Tuesday 26th July 6:30pm – 9pm. Please RSVP to valerie.furnham@gmail.com

 

Address
ONCA Gallery | 14 St. George’s Place, Brighton BN1 4GB

 

Date
27th July –5th August 2016

‘Making… together’ by Dr Rosie Hornbuckle

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My background is product and industrial design with an interest in social innovation, so when I started working at TED on the Trash2Cash project last November, I wanted to explore how my world fits into Textile Design and the interests of TED researchers.

 

What I discovered were the many overlaps in methods and models between the two disciplines, but also the spaces in between.  In terms of making and materials there is still a difference in materials understanding; product design students are taught hard materials, fashion and textiles students are taught soft materials.  This is starting to change, for example in the ‘stitch’ option on the BA Textile Design course at Chelsea, students are putting all sorts of hard and soft materials together, and the MA Material Futures course at CSM continues to push at those traditional boundaries.

 

This intersection between hard and soft materials (and disciplines) appeared to me to be a bridge I could cross from my existing knowledge into the new (to me) world of Textiles.  At the same time, I was exploring experimental research methods that could be useful in TEDs current and future work.

 

Enter Vicky Cable, a forward-thinking upholsterer and an extraordinary person (more on that later!) who wanted to explore more sustainable methods in her work.  The ‘collaborative chairs’ idea was first suggested by Becky Earley whilst exploring ideas for the Circular Transitions conference exhibition, the seed was sewn, and so the ‘making…together’ project began.

 

The act of re-upholstery is in itself a good solution to the aging of a piece of furniture, repairing and updating the aesthetic.  Yet, as Vicky and I explored in our first meeting, it also exposes many unsustainable and worrying trends in the furniture industry, such as speed, cost and the use of inappropriate materials – all of which are currently being explored by TED researchers in relation to Textiles. In furniture, the contrast between the speeds of the materials is heightened, because hard materials are more durable and soft materials (padding as well as the fabric) degrade and wear relatively quickly.  The process of re-upholstery exposes this tension brilliantly and therefore offers a unique opportunity to understand not only how the materials used in re-upholstery could be reconsidered but also how the design and manufacture of upholstered furniture could be improved at the outset.

 

For me, sustainability is never just about materials, but also about people, so this project will also consider that angle, in terms of the designer’s activism and approach and the accessibility of more sustainable products and solutions.

TED PhD researcher to Speak at TRAID Event

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On Thursday next week TED PhD researcher Bridget Harvey will be speaking at the eighth #TRAIDtalks along with two other leading voices with unique viewpoints on repair in the community. She will be speaking on the landscape and politics of repair-making, from a material and social point of view.

 

The other speakers for the evening are Janet Gunter, co-founder of the Restart Project and blogger Jen Gale from My Make Do And Mend Life.  The three are part of a passionate network of active citizens making headway with the repair movement – sharing skills to benefit the community with an aim to tackle waste and counter over-consumption and working to inspire a repair revolution with wellbeing, skill-sharing, community and concern for the environment at the very root.  To revive the forgotten art of repairing things and improving relationships with ‘stuff’, this #TRAIDtalks will involve story-telling and sharing case studies to inspire positive change within communities.

 

TRAID is a fashion reuse charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away.  They turn clothes waste into funds and resources to reduce the environmental and social impacts of our textile use. You can support TRAID’s work by bringing a bag of your unwanted wearable clothes, shoes and accessories for reuse and reselling through their charity shops.

 

Spaces are limited so please book your  free ticket in advance to avoid disappointment. Suggested donation on the door: £5 to support Ziferblat, a shared community space in Old Street.

 

 

Date:
Thursday 23rd of June, 18.30-20.00

 

Location:
Ziferblat, First Floor
388 Old Street
London, EC1V 9LT

Blue Jumper

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TED PhD researcher Bridget Harvey is exhibiting her Blue Jumper (2012) in an exhibition of “thoughtfully mended textiles” called …by a thread… at Gawthorpe Hall, until 19th June 2016.

The exhibition aims to explore ideas around mending, after a year of building renovation and repair at the hall itself. From the curator:

“While the stonework within the Hall was being mended – quite invisibly – we became interested in repair which did the opposite. We started looking for examples of mending which were visible and actually made a feature of wear and tear. We discovered that with textile items, repair can be storytelling, creative and commemorative. It can add something extra and bring new meaning and emotion to an object. It can tell us more about people, history, memories and lives.”

The artefacts exhibited in …by a thread… all display thoughtful and careful repairs, and include Karen Suzuki’s rescued teddy, Jacy Wall’s Japanase boro jacket, David Worsley’s darned jeans, Angela Maddock’s repaired Wrangler jacket and Jenni Steele’s 1930s nurse’s apron, along with Claire Wellesley-Smith’s Japanese boro bloomers and Coreen Cottam’s family quilt. Each comes with a story written by the lender, explaining why the process and act of repair is significant to them.

About Blue Jumper

‘I consider Blue Jumper, a heavily darned navy blue jumper, to be a performative artwork that I wear and work on. I found it in pristine condition, in a charity shop off Old Street, London, now Blue Jumper is heavily darned yet still worn. As environmentalist I am anti-waste, and I wear only second-hand wool. When moths ate Blue Jumper, I continued wearing it.

This garment can be considered disobedient, and it certainly has a disobedient wearer. My stitched intervention displays my politics: my slogan not shouted but darned. Blue Jumper is personal, political, active and rebellious.

I find myself resilient against pressure to buy new: I can, I will, I am, through choice and necessity, wearing, repairing and re-wearing. In celebration of resistance and autonomy, like Plutarch’s Ship of Theseus, I will keep repairing Blue Jumper until all is repair, and beyond.’

The Craft Readers

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TED PhD researcher Bridget Harvey and CSM research student Giorgio Salani have started a reading group, The Craft Readers at UAL.  The name is in reference to The Craft Reader, edited by Glenn Adamson (Berg, 2009), the writings in which cover many of the different areas of craft.

While Bridget and Giorgio’s material disciplines differ, their reading interests have many crossovers, and so they decide to delve into these more deeply by starting a discussion and reading group for craft researchers, or artists, designers and researchers interested in the craft discourses, inviting postgrad students from all UAL colleges and courses.

The group meets monthly and they have previously discussed texts by authors such as Julia Bryan-Wilson and Tim Ingold.  They also meet for exhibition visits and corresponding discussion sessions. The texts and visits are proposed and decided upon ahead of time by the group, and anything can be suggested.  Their aims are to develop a strong network of craft researchers within UAL, publish a proposed lexicon for craft meanings now and to build a blog site. This will be a publishing platform for those involved in The Craft Readers for reviewed position/opinion/essay pieces, exhibitions, book write ups and photo essays as well as to act as a record of what is being discussed or read.

Clara Vuletich to speak at TEDxSydney 2016

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TED’s Mistra Future Fashion PhD Researcher Clara Vuletich is one of the speakers recently announced for TEDxSydney 2016.  Her talk will use TED’s The TEN (Earley & Politowicz 2010) and focus on her ideas about changing the way we approach the challenge of ethics and sustainability in fashion and how we can all make impactful decisions about what we wear.

The event will take place in the Sydney Opera House on the 25th of May and will host a diverse selection of speakers all themed around collaboration, including: a political cartoonist; an intensive care doctor and a quantum physicist; a survivor of the 2005 London bombings; a body acceptance activist; a digital artist; and an award-winning photographer, among others. The speakers will explore topics ranging from: the ethics of human engineering, society’s last acceptable prejudice; why we need to stop “orphanage tourism”; what defines our individual identity; the international responsibility of Australia to preserve endangered species; and how people can die in a better way. Further speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Clara has been involved with TED as a Research Assistant and PhD Researcher since 2007, and co-developed The TEN with the authors. She is a designer, researcher and writer who explores the intersections of fashion and textile design, sustainability and well-being through creative practice. Her Mistra funded PhD completes later this year, and is titled Tranisitionary Textiles: Qualities and Values for the Transitionary Textile Design Practitioner.

The Value of Hand-Made

From Susan Noble, PhD candidate at TED:

TRIP ‘was an international symposium exploring the role and relevance of traditional ‘hand skills’ in contemporary textiles, and the value and status of craft process.’ It was organized by the Textile Research Group at the School of the Arts, Loughborough University
, November 2011. The presentations were diverse in range and scope, exploring the key themes without digressing from the focus. A significant theme was the trace of the hand, the presence of the maker: ‘The hand-made has acquired a new value and respect in recent years’.

This was not at the exclusion of new technology but presenters explored working with technology though planned disruption to generate intended inconsistencies, to reference the hand-made. It was interesting to hear discussion of the value of handmade as a process beyond the outcome and the relationship of process to product, particularly evident in the presentations by Josephine Steed and Angharad Thomas. Emma Shercliff echoes this in her examination of ‘the experience of the maker’ and looked at craft from a different perspective to the Sennett model, which was referenced by other speakers.

An important part of the event, like so often, was the opportunity to mix with like-minded people, exchange ideas and information and feel both validated and ‘at home’ – TRIP presented a germane view of the value of craft, that positioned it’s status as an activity of far more worth than can be measured by outcome alone.

Mike Press talk now available

Mike Press – Handmade Knowledge, March 25th 2011 from Textiles Environment Design on Vimeo


The recent lecture given by Mike Press that we hosted here as part of the TFRC Sustainable Textiles Seminars is now available as a Podcast, also available here.

We are also in the process of editing and preparing recordings from speakers who were part of our IMPACT series this year – this included the founders of AO Textiles, Amy Twigger Holroyd from Keep & Share and Cyndi Rhoades from Worn Again.

Craft isnt soft!

We hosted Prof. Mike Press last Friday for the TFRC Sustainable Textiles seminar series. We had a great turn out with over 100 people attending. Titled ‘Handmade Knowledge’, Mike talked about the value of craft, as not only being embedded in the finished object, but in knowledge of processes, materials and ways of thinking that can be applied to other contexts and disciplines.

He talked in the context of the current university and government cuts, where most emphasis is being put on STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and the value and strength of ‘soft’ subjects like craft. He showed how craft defies this ‘soft’ label by highlighting the work of crafts people who had radically impacted on culture through their thinking and making. A podcast of Mike’s talk with his presentation will be available soon once we have finished editing.

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