Meet Circular Transitions Keynote Speaker Sophie Thomas

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Graphic and communication designer Sophie Thomas has been working in the fields of sustainable design and material process for over 15 years. She is the Founding Director for Thomas Matthews and Director of Circular Economy at the RSA. Her long term interest in sustainability and materials has led her to share her experience of closed loop thinking with other designers, and in 2012 she founded The Great Recovery, a programme to build capacity and understanding of circular design in the materials supply chain through practical exploration.

 

What are you working on at the moment?
I have gone back into my communication design practice and am beginning to work with businesses who want to ‘be circular’ but are unsure how to start and what it actually means.

I am also developing ideas around how designers can develop Ocean Friendly Design, specifically tackling marine plastic through active programmes. Both these pieces are continuing my conviction that seeing is believing and the way to lean this stuff can be kicked off through kinaesthetic learning. As Great Recovery participant Rich Gilbert said: You can read blogs and reports all you like, but you will never forget the smell of a landfill site.

 

What will you share at the conference that people haven’t heard before?
I will be sharing the developed methodology of how you can design a circular business and how to understand which of the circular design models you should be designing to. We have been developing the circular economy edition of the double diamond.

 

Tell us about what you are excited to bring back from the conference?
For me it’s all about people, their projects and research and networking. When I meet a bright spark with a ‘crazy but it might just work’ idea I get very excited and go through my mental rotadex to see who I can connect them with.

TED Keynote at Beyond Green Event, Amsterdam

Beyond Green

 

This Friday TED Researcher Dr. Kate Goldsworthy will be giving a keynote at the second edition of BEYOND GREEN: Towards a Zero Waste Industry, in Amsterdam.

 

Organised by Circle Economy and The Amsterdam Fashion Institute the event aims to use the collective power of students and industry to tackle critical issues throughout the fashion system. The event will unpack the practical challenges and opportunities surrounding the topic of zero waste, through inspirational and international keynote speakers and action-focused workshops led by industry experts.

 

The speaker lineup includes Isaac Nichelson (Chief Sustainability & Marketing Officer at Recover), Cyndi Rhoades (Founder/CEO of Worn Again), Gwen Cunningham (Lead Textiles Programme at Circle Economy), Tamara Koch (AMFI Graduate), Zil Vostalova (AMFI Graduate) & Jessie Kroon (Founder of A New Zero). The event is sold out but will be available to watch through live streaming.

 

Inspiration

Pioneering brands and innovators, as well as promising students will take to the stage to debate the latest developments in the field of circular fashion. From game-changing material recovery technologies to innovative closed-loop business models, what does a zero waste fashion industry look like?

 

Action

Through expert-led workshops, on company-specific challenges, Beyond Green provides a platform through which the next generation of motivated fashion professionals and seasoned industry pros will take the next steps in uncovering and designing new, innovative solutions to the age-old challenge of waste and the future of fashion.

Social Innovation in Fashion

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5th– 7th September

 

One of our current PhD researchers Emmeline Child has just presented at the International Conference for Social Innovation ISIRC2016 in Glasgow. Here she was presenting how her methods in fashion design, have led to Social Innovation in the Industry. Emmeline was drawing from her experience as a practitioner and through her PhD research, which is looking to develop design led models that can be implemented to increase levels of upcycling within the fashion industry.

 

Presenting in a predominantly business and management based environment places our fashion and textile design research at the forefront of this changing global market.  Showcasing these ‘design thinking’ strategies demonstrates how beneficial the work of designers and practitioners can be in the workplace today.

 

Emmeline notes that;

 

‘The impact of a clear vision can plant the seed of change to make a more sustainable future. Through cross-fertilization and careful nurturing, the impact can be wider than anything you initially intended. ‘The path to a more beautiful world can come from vast plans and small gestures… as long as the strategy bears the needs of future visitors in mind’ (McDonough and Braungart, 2015, p.180). It can be insightful to seek outside the social innovation paradigms for tested examples that can inform models for success in the future.’

Enabling Research to Change

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Our Swedish project partner Mistra Future Fashion has opened up a new funding opportunity;  Enabling Research to Change. It’s a call for new ideas that contribute to a systemic change of the fashion industry, making it circular and more sustainable. 60, 000 are offered to support new ideas for enabling research to change.

 

The clock is ticking for the transformation needed for the fashion industry to become sustainable. Efforts to find breakthrough ways to change are right now happening around the world. Most prominent researchers are engaged, supported by front running fashion companies. To stretch further – this is a call for additional breakthrough ideas that are worth being further explored! Mistra Future Fashion offers 60,000 € to support new ideas for enabling research to change.

 

Mistra Future Fashion is one the biggest research programs in the world and consists of a consortium of researchers and fashion industry actors that act towards the change – on how to design for circular economy, how to promote a more sustainable circular supply chain, how to enable user to act sustainable, and how to increase recycling. We now call for new additional ideas and partners that can strengthen our efforts on our journey to enable a systemic change of fashion industry.

 

Key focus areas that will be prioritized are “Digitalization”, “Implementation” and “Scale-up of Services”.

 

Deadline 30th of November 2016

Chelsea College of Arts Postgraduate Summer Show 2016

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03 Sep – 09 Sep 2016

Catch the ‘up and coming’ artists and designers of tomorrow at the Chelsea College of Arts Postgraduate Summer Show, featuring work by graduating students from the following courses:

 

MA Fine Art

MA Graphic Design Communication

MA Interior & Spatial Design

MA Textile Design

MA Curating & Collections

 

Private View:
Monday 5th September 6pm – 9pm

Open to general public:
Saturday 3rd September – 11am – 5pm
Sunday 4th September – 11am – 5pm
Monday 5th September – 10am – 9pm
Tuesday 6th September – 10am – 8pm
Wednesday 7th September – 10am – 8pm
Thursday 8th September – 10am – 8pm
Friday 9th September – 10am – 8pm

 

Location:
Chelsea College of Arts
16 John Islip Street, London
SW1P 4JU

 

Sign up to the events mailing list to receive more information and an invitation to the Private View

The First Trash-2-Cash Podcast

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During the Trash-2-Cash workshop in Milan in the beginning of the summer, Professor Becky Earley sat down with project partner Julie Hornix (VanBerlo) to talk social design, megatrends, and summer reading recommendations. This is the first podcast in a series that will explore the people, methods and tools involved in the Trash-2-Cash (T2C) project. Once the outcomes phase of the project has been completed they will also host in-depth discussions about the impact these will have on the world. You can download the podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud now! Julie has written the post below to accompany the podcast.

 

Over the past couple of months Ivo, Marjorie and I have had the pleasure of taking part in the Trash-2-Cash (T2C) project representing the Dutch design agency VanBerlo.

 

VanBerlo is passionate about helping our planet.
We’re also passionate about design and technological opportunities. So for us, this partnership was a match made in heaven. Here’s a short round up of our role and goals for T2C.

 

Dream Green!
At VanBerlo, we crave new approaches to the re-use of materials and waste reduction. To dream is to think big, and by thinking big you can come up with countless ideas to help the environment through design. We love to bridge the ideas with the visual, enabling us to go that one step further.

Joining the T2C project, VanBerlo’s goal is to help recycle textile from a design-driven perspective. Alongside the other T2C partners, we aim to increase the value of the end product (instead of traditional downcycling) – to upcycle and contribute to the grave to cradle initiative – no matter which industry is involved.

 

Not only do we bring global trend research to the table, but we also explore ideas in novel ways that help to produce surprising insights.
As our Senior Designer Ivo Lamers explains,“We believe that design thinking will help bridge the gap between science, technology and practice. This approach helps to boost the entire T2C project! At VanBerlo we often use metaphors to get discussions started, intensified, structured or sometimes even ended. Using the superhero metaphor during the Helsinki workshop initiated a huge team spark and helped to create common understanding and a common language between the partners about scenarios.”

 

We make sure that our ideas aren’t just cool; but that they also answer business challenges and user needs.
At the end of the day success for us is that the results should be accessible and globally relevant, rather than just being created for a niche market.

Julie Hornix, Design Researcher, Van Berlo

 

Podcast Links

VanBerlo

Change Ahead book

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close book

This American Life podcast

99% invisible podcast

TED’s Sustainable Practice Award 2016

At this year’s outstanding BA Textile Degree show at Chelsea College of Arts, TED awarded a Sustainable Practice Award with a focus on innovation and environmental consideration. It was given to students who demonstrated excellent practice and progressive thinking in sustainable textile design.  The TED team was truly impressed by the overall high standard of work this year, which was demonstrated through craftsmanship, highly developed concepts and original ideas. We are pleased to announce that the winners of TED’s Sustainable Practice Award 2016 are:

 

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Abigail Fletcher for combining design and technology in her interactive textile range. Her work is concerned with the future of textiles, by promoting the importance of new technologies and to encourage others to consider how these can be used to solve problems and transform how we live. In the collection, whether the audio becomes physical, or the physical becomes audio, music and technology constantly act in tandem to reveal the possibilities of tactile qualities for digital products.

 

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Archie Dickens for his minimal waste and unisex knitwear collection. By using the knitting machine as a ‘3D printer’ Archie produced highly customized pattern pieces, which minimised waste during the production stage. The garment shapes, determined by the size and shape of the wearer, allow for total flexibility. By incorporating ideas of supplication and ambiguity Archie is allowing a timeless inclusivity to evolve within the collection and therefore also adding an element of multifunction and longevity.

 

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Catherine Taylor for her fashion collection, which aims to embody digital users and develop a deeper connectivity between themselves and their virtually-extended self while purchasing garments online. The virtual garment animations are intended for display in online shops, to allow for consumers to interact and experience the clothing before purchasing. The process will develop into a website that allows the consumer to customize the product before purchase, whilst moving around the garment and adapting the clothing. This will increase consumer’s self-expression and will increase longevity of the garment.

Chelsea College of Arts Undergraduate Summer Show 2016

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17 Jun – 25 Jun 2016

 

Catch the ‘up and coming’ artists and designers of tomorrow at the Chelsea College of Arts Undergraduate Summer Show, featuring work by graduating students from the following courses:

 

BA Fine Art

BA Graphic Design Communication

BA Interior & Spatial Design

FdA Interior Design

BA Textile Design

Graduate Diploma Fine Art

Graduate Diploma Interior Design

 

Private View: Friday 17th June 6pm – 9pm

 

Then open to general public:

 

Saturday 18th June – 11am – 5pm

Sunday 19th June – 11am – 5pm

Monday 20th June – 10am – 8pm

Tuesday 21st June – 10am – 8pm

Wednesday 22nd June – 10am – 8pm

Thursday 23rd June – 10am – 8pm

Friday 24th June – 10am – 8pm

Saturday 25th June – 11am – 5pm

 

Location:

Chelsea College of Arts

16 John Islip Street, London

SW1P 4JU

 

Sign up to our events mailing list to receive more information plus an invitation to the Private View.

Summer Institute at FIT

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Prof. Becky Earley will be a guest speaker at this year’s Summer Institute at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Becky will speak about TED’s work within the Mistra Future Fashion project, which explores the possibility of designing textiles for different and specific lifespans within the circular economy. The talk ‘Designing for Circular Textile Speeds’ (Goldsworthy & Earley, 2016) will be will be accompanied by a ‘Circular Speeds’ workshop. The Summer Institute is a four-day conference for educators and professionals working in fashion and fashion-related areas. The conference consists of morning speakers and panels, with a key note given by Simone Cipriani of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, followed by hands on workshops in the afternoon.

For the full programme visit Summer Institute.

 

T2C Weather Report: Preparations for Workshop 04 in Milan

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Workshop 04 (WS04) is almost upon us and Milan in May promises to be everything that Helsinki in March (WS03) was not: warm with a strong technical front moving in from the east.

 

In Helsinki we were treated to a plethora of design approaches to collaboratively add colour and context to our visions for the Trash-2-Cash (T2C) fibres.  We also saw, bubbling up on the horizon, a desire for the science and technology results and challenges to be more openly discussed, shared and addressed.  WS04 will therefore allow the technical partners the time and space necessary to get into the nitty gritty of issues like garment sourcing, fibre elongation and pretreatments… and for the designers this will be an opportunity to find out how ‘garment sourcing, fibre elongation and pretreatments’ actually affect the senso-aesthetic and performance potentials of the new T2C fibres.

 

I shudder at the thought of describing Design as the ‘weakening front’ in this weather analogy but a partial withdrawal is a necessary part of a balanced system, allowing the atmosphere to evolve before pushing back to challenge the technical direction.  In this way the role of Design in Milan will be to support the technical exchange and, perhaps for the first time, scientific and technological challenges can benefit from designerly approaches to problem solving.  The methodology team have designed activities to enable communication within disciplinary groups as well as between partners.  We will take workshop tools to help facilitate discussion, interpret ideas between disciplines, and identify the opportunities in seemingly impossible challenges.

 

WS04 is also a milestone in the T2C project as we bring together official internal insight reports (‘deliverables’ in EU speak) from four different disciplinary areas: marketing; science & technology; design and materials.  This ‘coming together’ of the different areas of project knowledge in a documentary form marks an important stage in the collaboration, taking it out of the messy brainstorm discursion of the workshop into something more considered and tangible.  Together these reports will help each person sitting in their own (disciplinary and geographical) climate to build a more complete picture of the kinds of fibres we plan to develop.  Not all of it will make sense to everyone.  And that’s the other agenda for WS04; to make it make sense, to elucidate the picture that has begun to be pieced together individually and make it vivid in collaboration; a forecast map taking into account all of the different perspectives.

 

When we return on May 27th, back in our own offices, studios and labs, we will all have a clearer picture of the design and technical ‘outlook’ for T2C fibres, and be able to begin work on developing new prototypes in earnest.