Rognoli, V., Petreca, B., Pollini, B., Saito, C. (2022). Materials biography as a tool for designers’ exploration of bio-based and bio-fabricated materials for the sustainable fashion industry Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 18 (1) (pp.749-772)
The fashion industry is highly responsible for critical environmental problems and the sector is increasingly aware of the urgent need to embark on a sustainable transition. Materials, primarily textiles, are particularly problematic for the sector’s unsustainability, despite the intensive research into alternative solutions that is currently underway. This article presents a comprehensive analysis of these socio-environmental challenges and describes how governments, industry, and designers are seeking to address the situation. Furthermore, it identifies a panorama of alternative bio-based and bio-fabricated materials that could facilitate the transition toward more sustainable fashion
Ribul, M., Goldsworthy, K. and Collet, C., 2021.Material-Driven Textile Design (MDTD): A Methodology for Designing Circular Material-Driven Fabrication and Finishing Processes in the Materials Science Laboratory. Sustainability 13 (3), 1268.
This paper presents the Material-Driven Textile Design (MDTD) methodology for design research based in the materials science laboratory. The methods and practice which make up this methodology include distinct phases of exploration, translation and activation, each with its own set of methods. The MDTD methodology proposes an approach to design research in a scientific setting that is decoupled from a specific product or application in order to lift disciplinary boundaries for the development of circular material-driven fabrication and finishing processes at the intersection of materials science and design, enabling a new transdisciplinary practice to emerge. The development of the fabrication of a textile composite with regenerated cellulose obtained from waste textiles results from the MDTD methodology informing novel textile processes that inscribe new, regenerative approaches within the circular economy.
Ribul, M.*, Lanot, A.*, Tommencioni Pisapia, C., Purnell, P.; McQueen-Mason, S. J., Baurley, S., 2021. Mechanical, chemical, biological: Moving towards closed-loop bio-based recycling in a circular economy of sustainable textiles. Journal of Cleaner Production, 326, 129325.
This paper introduces two novel options for textile recycling in a circular economy of sustainable textiles: enzymatic and biological processes as an alternative to chemical recycling coupled with bio-manufacturing of biopolymers as a source of novel materials for textile applications. It reviews the current concepts and associated mechanical and chemical processes for closed-loop textile recycling, i.e. textile to textile, and establishes that the use of microorganisms is limited to open loop recycling, i.e. use textiles to make feedstock for fermentation or the use of biopolymers to make textile fabrics. We highlight the potential of enzymes and fermentation not only to produce textiles, but also to close the loop of end-of-life textiles. The review provides insights towards a new model for textiles recycling in the circular economy that modifies the current concept of separate biological and technical cycles.
Ribul, M., 2021. Regenerative Textiles: A Framework for Future Materials Circularity in the Textile Value Chain. Sustainability, 13(24), 13910.
This paper presents the development of a design practice with a long-term view of materials and their properties within the context of a circular economy after consecutive recycling stages take place, and presents a framework for Regenerative Textiles showing earlier interventions in the textile value chain with reduced complexity in fabrication processes between raw material and finished textile. These processes resulted from design interventions with regenerated cellulose materials obtained from waste textiles in scientific development. By mapping collaborative design and materials science projects that use regenerated cellulose obtained from waste feedstock according to materials in the value chain they seek to substitute, the paper contributes four new processes in relation to their intervention in the value chain.
Petreca, B., Saito, C., Baurley, S., Atkinson, D., Yu, X., & Bianchi-Berthouze, N. (2019). Radically relational tools: A design framework to explore materials through embodied processes. International Journal of Design, 13(2), 7-20.
This position paper explores the experiential knowledge observed through embodied design processes. We build on our previous research that identified relevant embodied processes to textile selection, and reflect on how we have explored how sensing technology can augment and empower each of these processes, and thereby support design. The paper presents a new design framework that positions relational principles and embodied processes at the core of the design practice as a radical proposal for the development of tools for textile explorations. Hence its title, Radically Relational. Relying on sensorial practices, it provides insights into tacit strategies which help to articulate non-verbal approaches to materials and to craft new forms of knowledge and modes of practice.
Atkinson, D., Baurley, S., Petreca, B.B., Bianchi-Berthouze, N. and Watkins, P., 2016. The tactile triangle: a design research framework demonstrated through tactile comparisons of textile materials. Journal of Design Research, 14(2), pp.142-170.
In this paper we contribute The Tactile Triangle framework, comprised of three different levels of tactile experience and the different methods used to capture them: physical properties, in which human senses or objective testing measure fabric properties; the perceptual space level in which triadic comparisons reveal combinations of various dimensions which capture and describe tactile experiences; and finally the communication level, in which design games elicit languages communicating tactile perceptions. A case study illustrates the framework's use to compare the tactile experiences of textiles.
Petreca, B., Baurley, S. and Bianchi-Berthouze, N., 2015, September. How do designers feel textiles? In 2015 International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII) (pp. 982-987). IEEE.
This paper aims to further understand the tactile experience during textile selection with fine-grained detail and the dynamics of the lived experience, in response to the diverse findings from our previous studies. We have applied the ‘micro-phenomenological’ interview method and thematic analysis. Taken together, these approaches revealed 2 types of touch behaviour (active and passive) and 3 tactile-based phases (Situate, Simulate and Stimulate). We discuss these emerging themes in the textile touch process, to inform the design of technology to support it, and to take the textile touching experience to further understand aspects of affective touch beyond social touch.
Professor Sharon Baurley
Sharon’s research is focused on advanced interdisciplinary human-centred design methods to create new ‘Product Cultures’, as a strategy for post-Industrial Design in the age of the Anthropocene, that de-couple the use of materials resources from human wellbeing and economic development, in the context of the Fab City, where cities are locally productive whilst being globally connected.
Dr Bruna Petreca
Research Fellow in Human Experience & Materials
Bruna is a design researcher and practitioner whose research engages with and develops a deeper understanding of the sensory characterisation of materials.