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Claire Felicity Miller

PhD Work

SOFT: Crafting new textile technologies for wellbeing

This practice-led PhD brings conflicting and contrasting ideas together. Textile design — its feminine engendered practice, history and the associated values and ways of working that come with it, such as embodied and tacit knowledge — is explored alongside material science and wearable technology, representational of the masculine and rigorous scientific analysis. These two areas are increasingly being woven together and so we see the emergence of a new third space that sits in-between. There is an opportunity for a new narrative to be told. This space in-between that blends these two worlds of textile design and material science is examined through the creation of new materials. These materials are conductive, protective fabrics that increase or enable performance: fabrics that shield the body from external forces such as radiation or electromagnetic frequencies. 

Values that textile designers bring to their practice, such as an innate understanding of the way materials feel on the body when worn, how they drape, and an appreciation for the aesthetic pleasure and desire that comes with that, need to be understood as vital components of a fabrics function. These qualities when married with hard science can enhance and further develop materials innovation. 

MA work

‘Materials react with one another and have their radiance, so that the material composition gives rise to something unique. Material is endless.’ - Peter Zumthor

My work questions the materials that we use and how we choose to combine them. I look at the contrasts and tensions that exist in the considered combinations of unexpected materials. Idiosyncratic textures, blemishes and almost-accidental marks become a key part of the aesthetic. Surfaces are created that play with our preconceptions of what a material looks or feels like. Moments are frozen in time.


  • Claire Felicity Miller
  • PhD


    School of Design


    Textiles, 2017–2020

  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Textiles, 2013

  • Claire Felicity Miller is a Materials Designer, Researcher and Lecturer (RCA) with a focus on new materials, innovative textiles and methods of making. Claire is interested design approach and process as well as in the relationship between materiality and desire. She aims to use the intrinsic tactility of textiles and their qualities such as structures, finishes and weights to tell stories of new futures and material narratives.

  • Degrees

  • MA, Textile Design, Royal College of Art, London, 2011-2013; BA (Hons), Textile Design (First class), Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, 2008-11; Exchange Program, Textile Design, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Decoratifs (EnsAD), Paris, 2009; Foundation Diploma, Art and Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, 2007-8
  • Experience

  • Visiting lecturer, MA Textile Design, Royal College of Art, London, 2017— 2018; Innovation Material Designer, Nike Innovation Design team, Portland, OR. USA 2014—17; Graduate teaching assistant, BA Textile Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, 2013
  • Exhibitions

  • 'Global talent, british schooled', Phillips Auction House, London, 2013; 'Selected works and projects, Royal College of Art, 21st Century Art and Design', Christies Auction House, London, 2013; Royal college of Art Degree show, London, 2013; Goodwood Festival of Speed, The Goodwood Estate, Chichester, West Sussex, 2013; 'Future Form and Material Language', Jaguar, London, 2013
  • Awards

  • Stavros Niarchos Foundation PhD scholarship Award, RCA, 2017; First Prize, Future Form and Material Sculpture, Jaguar, 2013; Finalist, The Natural Audi, 2012