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School of Design Lecture Series: The Textiles Lecture – Challenges of Materiality

25 October 2017 | 6pm – 8pm

Kensington, Lecture Theatre 1

Materiality is at the heart of the Textiles Programme: New materials, new ways of making and new ways of experiencing our man-made world require us to constantly reconsider and question our practice.

As  practitioners we place high value on our tacit knowledge and the experiences we learn from embodied making. As opportunities open up to work with new and emerging materials what are the challenges and considerations for designers and creative practitioners? What happens when we encounter materials on a sub-visual level such as graphene? How do we challenge the aesthetic of light emitting materials?  What are the synergies between textile practice and soft robotics?

From 2D Graphene to Soft Matter and Polymeric Optical Fibre, a panel of five speakers from across the domains of textile design, craft and micro-manufacture, material science and global sportswear innovation will present their experiences. This will be followed by questions and a panel discussion.


Dr. Dylan Banks: Iceni Labs
Dylan is a physicist and bio-engineer, having held positions in business and technology commercialisation environments at Cambridge and Imperial College London. His company, Iceni Labs, works closely with governments, academia, blue chip corporations, SMEs and inventors to developing and commercialise novel and interesting technologies and systems.

Dr. Jeanne Tan: Associate Professor, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Jeanne’s research interests are interactive textiles and the relationship between craft and technology with regard to wearable technology. Her work often utilises textiles and fashion as a communicative and interactive platform, using traditional aesthetics and techniques as the syntax of the creation’s narrative. Dr. Tan enjoys dichotomous roles as researcher and practitioner and her experimental works often cross the disciplines of design and technology

Sarah Taylor: Senior Research Fellow, Edinburgh Napier University
Sarah Taylor is a designer-maker and technology-led craft practitioner and has collaborated extensively with designers and technologists over the years. She is a Senior Research Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University and is working to establish cross-sector innovation capacity for woven, light-emitting textile production within Scotland. Since her pioneering research investigating the properties of optical fibre for application within woven textiles in the mid-1990s, she has continued to innovate within this area. Her work has been showcased at major national and international exhibitions over the last 25 years including the recent V&A Dundee exhibition, Design in Motion (2015) which presented award-winning collaborative designwork, Digital Lace (Robertson & Taylor, ICWC 2014). Her work is represented within permanent public collections, and as collaborative work, at the National Museum of Scotland and the V&A Museum of Design Dundee when it opens in 2018.

Dr. Amy Winters: Material-Technology Studio, Rainbow Winters
Rainbow Winters develops soft materials that interact with external influences such as light, sound, speed and moisture. During her Doctoral studies at the RCA, Winters identified and cultivated a design-led approach towards the invention of materials for soft robotics. Amy is featured on WIRED, WWB, Vertu Magazine, Trend Hunter, Vice Style, Stylist, The Guardian and Marie Claire. Shows, exhibitions and presentations include International CES; exhibitions and presentations include International CES; CREATE; Brown Thomas, Dublin; Made in Future, Milan; Clever Dressing, Dana Centre, London; Science Gallery, Dublin; Hacking Arts, MIT, Boston; The House of Lords.

Claire Miller: Materials Designer/ Nike Footwear Innovation Design
Claire Felicity Miller is a Materials Designer based in London, UK. Claire's recent experience includes working for Nike’s Footwear Innovation Design team as a Materials Designer for future athlete performance products. Claire is passionate about working collaboratively across design disciplines and has worked with Fashion Designers and Automotive Designers -notably with Jaguar on a sculpture showing 'Future Form and Material Language' for the brand. Claire is a Visiting Lecturer on the RCA MA Textiles Programme and a Stavros Niarchos Foundation funded scholar at the RCA.