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of Design
THE SWEDISH SCHOOL OF TEXTILES

Research

Textile and Fashion Design

For our doctoral programme in Textile and Fashion Design, the focus is on deepening the understanding, both in theoretical and practical terms, of the interplay between analysis and synthesis in the design process as a basis for the development of design methodology, design techniques, and design programmes. It takes a practice-based approach: for design by design.

The development of methodology, programmes, and techniques presupposes critical experimental artistic work. An in-depth understanding of the expressiveness of materials, techniques, and intended uses presupposes experimental artistic work in the same way.

The educational programme focuses on artistic design research in the field of textiles and fashion in which there is an opportunity to focus on:

  • textile design: to develop, deepen, and critically illuminate the artistic basis for design as a field and craft with a focus on the expressiveness of textile materials and techniques as they build and express textile products and environments,
  • fashion design: to develop, deepen, and critically illuminate the artistic basis for design as a field and craft with a focus on the expressiveness of garments as they dress and express people,
  • textile interaction design: to develop, deepen, and critically illuminate the artistic basis for design as a field and craft with a focus on the expressiveness of the use of textiles as it defines and expresses textile products, environments, and people.

Director:
Delia Dumitrescu, Professor

Director of Studies:
Eva Gustafsson, Associate Professor

General syllabus for Design, Reg. 303-15, version 2015-05-20 (PDF)

General syllabus for Design, Reg. 303-15, version 2018-01-24 (PDF)

 

Year
All years
All years 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exploring textiles as materials for interaction design
Anna Persson
As computational technology and new materials enter the world of textiles, our view on textile materials is challenged. Textile interaction design suggests a new design space in which the fields of textile design and interaction design are merged. This work contributes to the introduction of textiles as material for interaction design and focuses on spatial and temporal design of the dynamic elements of textiles – the elements that enable interaction. The result is various interactive textile material examples which are meant to inspire new expressional uses of textile materials thought of as slow, interacting hardware able to inhabit our everyday environments through responsive light, tactile connections, and informative decorations etc. Design experiments conducted within this thesis are framed by a research programme, which is set up as an initial guideline to explore visual and tactile interactive properties of knitted textiles. Together with practical knowledge, the result is a theoretical framework that frames essential features of an interactive textile design where the defined design variables introduce a way to formulate what it is we design when we design for dynamic elements. By introducing notions such as the potential and precision of interaction, design variables relating to both physical and programming design are derived from the design of the dynamic elements of a material. A retrospective analysis of the experiments in relation to four acknowledged interaction design dimensions establish a link between the fields of interaction design and textile design. This work is based on the design experiments Electrical Burnouts, Costumes and Wall Hanging, Touching Loops, Designing with Heat, Functional Styling, Repetition and Stretching Loops, where the implemented structures are seen both as materials for further design and examples meant to provide inspiration in a more general sense.
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Relational textiles: surface expressions in space design
Delia Dumitrescu
The emergence of the Smart Textiles field opens possibilities for designers to combine traditional surface fabrication techniques with advanced technology in the design process. The purpose of this work is to develop knowledge on interactive knitted textiles as materials for architecture and to do so through practice-based design research. The thesis formulates a research program in order to frame the design explorations, in which scale and material expression are major placeholders. Consequently, Relational Textiles for Space Design is defined as a research program with focus on surface aesthetics and the program is illustrated by design experiments exploring the expressiveness of light, heat and movement as design materials. As a result of the research presented in this thesis, a new methodological framework for interactive textile design is proposed. The framework defines field of reference and frame of reference as basic notions in surface design. These notions form a basic frame used to revise and present the methods behind the design examples Knitted Light, Touching Loops, Designing with Heat, Tactile Glow, Repetition and Textile Forms in Movement. Relating the space of Relational Textiles for Space Design to existing surface methodology in architecture gives rise to new issues that need to be addressed. For which levels of the design process will these textiles be integrated? The last chapter reflects on the role of Relational Textiles for Space Design as possible methods or expressions in the existing space of surface prototyping.
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Existential design: revisiting the "dark side" of design thinking
Anne Britt Torkildsby
This thesis aims to discuss ways of opening up the design brief when designing for extreme environments such as intensive care units and remand prisons. Focusing on “designials” (fundamental forms of design being), the methodology intends to illustrate the fact that objects may directly impinge upon certain “existentials” (fundamental forms of human being). Moreover, the method is a form of critical design that enables designers to shift focus, from analysis of the functionality of a design in use, e.g. by performing a functional analysis, to analysis of the form of being human that a design in use defines. More importantly, this thesis considers what may happen if we do not take into account this aspect of design; in other words, the “dark side” of design thinking.
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Composing over time, temporal patterns: in Textile Design
Barbara Jansen
The work presented in this thesis is a first attempt investigating a new field, exploring the visual effects of movement using light as a continuous time-based medium. Composing over time, temporal patterns - in Textile Design is a practice based research project that investigates the following research question: What does it mean, if time and change – constant movement – becomes part of the textile design expression? The research question has been investigated in a number of experiments that explore the visual effects of movement using light integrated into textile structures as a medium. Thereby, the textile design pattern reveals its composition, not in one moment of time any more, but in fact over time. This thesis aims to create time-based textiles with an emphasis on developing aesthetics of movement – or to establish movement as an aesthetic moment in textile design. Two distinct groups of experiments, colour flow and rhythm exercise, explore a range of different time-based expressions. The experiments have been displayed and explored using woven and braided textile structures which have been construct mainly through the integration of PMMA optical fibres. Through the design processes a first platform and understanding about time as a design material has been developed, which allows composing time-based patterns in light design. New design variables, notions and tools have been defined and established. The achieved new expressions will hopefully lead to discussions on and envisioning of future textiles, opening up the general perception of what textiles are supposed to be like, to show, to express etc., i.e. expands notions of what it means to read a piece of textile work.
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On form thinking in knitwear design
Karin Landahl
This licentiate thesis presents and discusses experimental explorations in search for new methods of form-thinking within the knitwear design process. The position of textile knitting techniques is somewhat ambiguous. This is because they are not only concerned with creating the textile material, but also with the form of the garment as these two are created in the same process. Consequently, the common perception of form and material as two separate design parameters can be questioned when it comes to knitting. Instead, we may view it as a design process that has a single design parameter; a design process in which the notion of form provides the conceptual foundation. Through conducting a series of design experiments using knitting and crochet techniques, the notion of form was explored from the perspective of the way in which we make a garment. The outcome of the experiments showed that there are possibilities for development of alternative working methods in knitwear design by viewing form in terms of topological invariants rather than as abstract geometrical silhouettes. If such a notion, i.e. a notion of a more concrete geometry, were to be implemented in the design process for knitwear, it would provide another link between action and expression that could deepen our understanding of the design potential of knitting techniques and provide the field with new expressions and gestalts.
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Textile Influence: exploring the relationship between textiles and products in the design process
Linnea Nilsson
Textile materials and textile design are a part of countless products in our surroundings,as well as diverse design fields and industries, each of which has very different materialtraditions and working methods. The aim of this thesis is to add to our understandingof the relationship between textiles and products in the design process, and to explorehow textiles enter and influence product design processes and how products functionin textile design processes. A further aim is to examine the effect of new textiletechnology, such as smart textiles and 3D printed textiles, on this dynamic.
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Kinetic garment construction: remarks on the foundations of pattern cutting
Rickard Lindqvist
Fashion designers are presented with a range of different methods for pattern cutting, and the interest in this field has grown rapidly over the past few years. This growth is both due to the publication of a number of works dealing with the subject in different ways and the fact that a growing number of designers emphasise cutting in their creative practices. Though a range of methods and concepts for pattern cutting are presented, the main body of these methods, both traditional and contemporary, is predominately based on a theoretical approximation of the body that is derived from horizontal and vertical measurements of the body in an upright position: the tailoring matrix. As a consequence, there is a lack of interactive and dynamic qualities in methods connected to this paradigm of garment construction, from both expressional and functional perspectives.
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Body acts queer: Clothing as a performative challenge to heteronormativity
Maja Gunn
This artistic, practice-based thesis has been developed based on the idea that design creates social and ideological change. From this perspective, Body Acts Queer — Clothing as a performative challenge to heteronormativity introduces an artistic way of working with and exploring the performative and ideological functions of clothing with regard to gender, feminism, and queer. The thesis presents this program for experimental fashion design—exemplified through a series of artistic projects—while also discussing the foundations of such an approach and the different perspectives that have affected the program and its artistic examples.
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Dressing wearing: Movement directed by dress - dress directed by movement
Ulrik Martin Larsen
Contemporary dance and modern ballet often focus on conveying emotions through patterns of movement which may be abstract, obvious, or anywhere in between, supported by music, sound, or spoken words that set the mood. Scenography is typically sparse or confined to the available space, leaving the dancers as the main instrument of communication. This work explores dressing and wearing, with a focus on how garments can inform and direct movement, choreography, and performance, and in turn how movement may inform and contribute to the development of dynamic garments. Through a series of live experiments, ranging from self-instigated performance/video work in collaboration with choreographers and dancers to performances of garment interaction associated with everyday life dressing, the performative, spatial, and interactive properties of garments are explored.
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On textile printing with thermochromic inks
Marjan Kooroshnia
This thesis describes an exploration of the principles of applying leuco dye-based inks to textile design practice. The main motivation has been to explore the design properties and potentials of leuco dye-based thermochromic inks when printed on textiles in order to obtain an understanding and facilitate the design of dynamic surface patterns. The significance of this is related to the development of a methodology to assist designers in seeing possibilities, making informed decisions, and predicting colour transitions at different temperatures when designing a dynamic surface pattern.
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Acts of seeing: seeing as a methodological tool in fashion design
Stefanie Malmgren De Oliveira
Fashion design can be described as perpetually having to produce new suggestions of dress. The foundational tool for realising such propositions in a precise and focused way is the act of seeing. Rather than referring to the sense of sight or visual perception, the act of seeing builds on the concept of the ‘inner eye’ in the sense of imagination, discovery, and the direction of design ideas.
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On Textile Farming: Living Indoors
Svenja Keune
Horticultural practices are increasingly entering the private realm due to the popularity of urban gardening, indoor gardening systems, and architectural propositions to join living spaces for people and vegetable cultivation in order to promote more resilient and sustainable ways of living. While new research into symbiotic processes between living organisms and their ability to sense and reason triggers new works of art, culture, design, and architecture, the organisation of indoor plants remains mainly unaffected. This is due to the fact that many of the examples that aim to bring together people and plants in an architectural context are characterised by rigid materials and technical systems that separate people and plants from each other and feature relatively unnatural environments, compositions, and expressions. In proposing an alternative perspective on this, On Textile Farming explores textiles as flexible systems for integrating plant growth in textile materials.
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On the Textility of Smell in Spatial Design
Jyoti Kapur
The ocular-centric approach predominant in the field of design, particularly textile and spatial design, focuses on visual aesthetics and visually mediated interactions. Whereas the non-visual materialities of a space, such as smells, are ignored in the design process, meaning that interior spaces with homogenously odourless environments lack interactions with the olfactory. However, multi-sensorial experiences are crucial to creating a holistic perception of an environment. The aim of this thesis is to investigate smell as a design material for spatial design. This research has been carried out using experimental design research methods, with the theoretical framework connecting smell as a design material to textiles and spatial and interaction design. Addition, modulation and subtraction of smells through textile surfaces and micro-climatic spatial zones have been investigated. Interactions with smells were explored through different modes of activation and dispersion of smells on two different scales; spatially near to body and far from body. The research findings show that atmospheric parameters play an important role in the detectability of smells, in that air flow carries smells and distributes them in a space. Humidity holds smell molecules in the air, and at higher temperatures smell molecules are extremely volatile and dynamic in their movements.
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Wearing Sound: Foundations of Sonic Design
Vidmina Stasiulyte
Fashion is primarily a visual ontology consisting of definitions, theory and methods that are based on visual language. This research revises fashion by approaching it from a different—sonic—perspective wherein sound is considered not as a negative aspect but as a potential source of a new theory and facilitator of the evolution of new methods. Sound is thus presented not as a secondary quality of designed objects, but as the main idea-generator. The research opens new avenues for design thinking with ears rather than eyes. This thesis explores clothing and fashion from the perspective of listening rather than seeing, sounding rather than showing, and is a form of rethinking and redefining fashion by starting with the the statement that dress is sound.An investigation into sonic expressions is seen as a disruptive fashion practice, and could be described as a process of ‘unlearning’—encouraging one to leave behind pre-existing knowledge of fashion expressions by focusing on something else when defining and designing processes
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Around Over Between Up...: Spatial properties as variables in textile design
Tonje Kristensen Johnstone
With a starting point in defining space through materials, colours, planes, and surfaces, the aim of the work presented in this thesis was to explore and introduce spatial concepts as design variables in textile design. Another aim was to explore surface patterns in terms of their possible functions as spatial definers, and to make spatial properties (which here take the form of implicit knowledge) explicit in design processes in order to increase awareness of spatial concerns in surface pattern design.Workshop experiments with design students and professional designers were used as a practical method in this work, and played a major role in the investigations. The objectives of the workshops were to explore the use of spatial concepts as design variables, and to understand the roles that they play in design processes and how they affect a design outcome.
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Zero Waste Systems Thinking: Multimorphic Textile-Forms
Holly McQuillan
Zero Waste System Thinking: Multimorphic Textile-Forms is situated in the context of the rapidly unfolding environmental crisis and the dominant response to this in the industry - the circular economy. It began by building on existing knowledge around sustainable fashion and textiles, and zero waste design practice. The research program is constructed from three interconnected theories: transition design; post-anthropocentric design; and design as future-making. It adopts a transition design “posture” of holistic zero waste system design to develop processes for garment design and manufacturing.
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On Textile Farming: Living Indoors
Svenja Keune
Horticultural practices are increasingly entering the private realm due to the popularity of urban gardening, indoor gardening systems, and architectural propositions to join living spaces for people and vegetable cultivation in order to promote more resilient and sustainable ways of living. While new research into symbiotic processes between living organisms and their ability to sense and reason triggers new works of art, culture, design, and architecture, the organisation of indoor plants remains mainly unaffected. This is due to the fact that many of the examples that aim to bring together people and plants in an architectural context are characterised by rigid materials and technical systems that separate people and plants from each other and feature relatively unnatural environments, compositions, and expressions. In proposing an alternative perspective on this, On Textile Farming explores textiles as flexible systems for integrating plant growth in textile materials.
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Body movement as material: Designing temporal expressions
Linnea Bågander
Movement and temporal qualities have a significant effect on design expressions. However, in the design of dress these are often overlooked, and the static form of a positioned body is considered to be the main driver of design. This work explores the expressions of the body in motion, engaged in the interaction constituted by wearing. Through a practice-led experimental approach, the research presented in this thesis aims to establish strategies for utilising the motion of the body in the context of design development.
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