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Vital Assemblages: A Fashion-Led Research Investigation into Collaboration Between Fashion Design Research and Biology

This practice-led PhD contributes to understanding the potential of the relationship between fashion-led research and biology, asking: What can collaborations between a fashion-led researcher and biologists contribute to fashion design research? The project also focuses on understanding the types of distinctive roles taken on by fashion-led researchers within interdisciplinary teams, asking: What types of distinctive and shifting roles can fashion-led researchers take on in interdisciplinary teams?

This study provides new insights into the types of roles, value and agential relations of fashion-led research in these forms of interdisciplinary interaction.

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  • LDoc PhD Scholarship, Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council

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More about Victoria

Victoria Geaney is an Associate Lecturer for MA Biodesign at Central Saint Martins, Visiting Lecturer at Royal College of Art on the MA Fashion Bioplatform and holds a PhD in Fashion-led Research at the Royal College of Art, London.  Through her practice-led research, Victoria interrogates and explores collaborative fashion and biology approaches.  Her research is driven by process and her work operates at the intersections of microbiology and fashion design research.

Victoria is part of the London Doctoral Design Centre (Arts and Humanities Research Council) and has initiated collaborations with synthetic biologists and microbiologists at Cambridge University, Surrey University, and Imperial College London.  She is regularly invited to speak about her research, including at: the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York; Amsterdam’s Waag Institute; Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Munich Fabric Start; and the University of Western Australia.  Her practice has featured in a number of national and international exhibitions, including: Vienna Design Week, 3rd Istanbul Biennial, SHOWstudio Fashion Film Award and as part of Harvard's entry in the National Science Foundation’s ‘Big Ideas’ Competition, as well as in publications including: Wired, Nylon, U+Mag, Higgs magazine and Design Exchange.

Victoria’s Harvested Sunlight project with Dr Simon Park is included in Rachel Armstrong’s Experimental Architecture: Designing the Unknown book (2020).  Victoria has contributed a chapter to Leslie Atzmon's Design and Science book (forthcoming 2022).

BA (Hons) Fashion, University for the Creative Arts, Epsom (2010) - First Class Honours

LDoc PhD Scholarship, Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council (2015 – 2018)

AHRC Student Development Fund (SDF) for Study Support and Work Placement Applications (October 2018)

LDoc AHRC Cohort Development Fund, Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research grant for Beyond Design Cross-Disciplinary Encounters Conference and Workshop (April 2016 – April 2018)

AHRC Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) and PGR Conference Funds (Royal College of Art) (January – February 2016)

AHRC Student Development Fund (SDF) for Study Support and Work Placement Applications (November 2016)

Living Light Dress in Design and Science Exhibition (Michigan and Philadelphia) (September 2019 – March 2020)

Living Light Dress presented as part of the Harvard entry for the National Science Foundation’s ‘Big Ideas’ Competition (2019–20)

Fashioning the Future Interview for Style Engineers Worldwide (October 2019)

Living Light Dress in Wired Magazine (February 2017)

The Protocol film collaboration in the 3rd Istanbul Biennial (October 2016)

Azazel, Aequorea and Bacterial Cellulose I, II and III sculptures in S:FUTURE exhibition (October 2016)

Oscillatoria Sutured textile installation in Vienna Design Week, BioFaction exhibition (September – October 2016)

Aequorea fashion installation in Imperial Fringe Water Festival (September 2016)

BIOPHELIA artwork in Supernature Exhibition (June 2016)

Inciperem film in Cacophonia Exhibition (March 2016)

Inciperem film featured on SHOWstudio.com as part of SHOWstudio Fashion Film Award (January 2016)

Lo Lamento art installation in Cambridge E-Luminate Festival. Produced with funding grant: Novel bioluminescent reporters, awarded by the Cambridge Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative (February 2016)

Vital Matters: Growing Living Materials – book chapter in ‘Design and Science’ (Forthcoming 2022 – Geaney in Atzmon, L., ed. New York: Bloomsbury Visual Arts)

Harvested sunlight: an experiment with a novel photoautotrophic biomaterial - book chapter in ‘Experimental Architecture: Designing the Unknown’ (2020 – Park and Geaney in Armstrong, R., ed. Oxford: Routledge)

Focus Textil Fashion Summit, Sao Paolo (virtual) (October 2020)

Franken‐Fabrics: Growing Living Materials’ Paper – Quite Frankly: It’s a Monster Conference, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia (October 2018)

Panelist at The Fabric Frontier: The Future is Smart Textiles, Munich Fabric Start, Munich (January 2018)

Vital Matter: Growing Living Materials’ Paper – Fashion Research Network Conference (February 2017)

Biodesign’ Presentation for the Biodesign and the Anthropocene Symposium: MA Material Futures, Central Saint Martins, London (January 2017)

Interviews for BBC Cambridgeshire and Cambridge TV (February 2016)