A key element for TED researchers is to facilitate workshops that can inspire consumers and designers to engage with materials through closed-loop thinking, and to share their ideas with fellow participants. With this at the heart of today’s workshop Professor Becky Earley will run the Black Hack Chat session – via Skype – at the Crafting the Future Conference in Gothenburg, with collaborators Jen Ballie and Otto von Busch hosting the session in the space. The event will be filmed and the team will document the discourse and the making with the participants. Watch this space for updates on the outcomes of the session and follow the Twitter feed #blackhackchat.
During our visit to Copenhagen a few weeks ago we had the pleasure to meet Vigga Svensson, founder/owner of children wear company Katvig. The range is made using sustainable materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester and Vigga has even invented her own type of ‘recycled’ cotton she calls R.O.C. (Recycled Organic Cotton). When the bales of organic cotton plants are spun into yarn at the factory, Katvig picks up the cotton noil that are left over and turns them into this Recycled Organic Cotton.
Vigga is a vocal advocate of sustainable fashion and environmental issues and she has developed five principles for her company – a sustainable action plan that she has shared with the Danish Government and the EU Parliament.
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’.
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.
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.