Textile Futures Research Community

Blue Tree, Redwoods Centre, Shrewsbury. Linda Florence and Robin Crowley, 2012.
Blue Tree, Redwoods Centre, Shrewsbury by Linda Florence and Robin Crowley, 2012
Linda Florence and Robin Crowley

TFRC is a research community of practice-based academic researchers who explore how materials and textiles can enable more inheritable futures.

Our research examines opportunities for textile and material developments through mulitple lense, ranging from social to sustainable as well as technological and craft innovation. Our core research areas are: Urban Fabric, Weave Lab and Material Innovation.

We collaborate with local and global partners on a number of innovative knowledge exchange projects. We also act as consultants to develop sustainable design-driven strategies for the industry as well as the public sector.

Urban Fabric

Urban Fabric research investigates the connection between materials and society in order to develop sustainable socio-responsive textile solutions that empathise with city experiences and promote local ownership. Urban Fabrics researchers take a multi disciplined approach to textile development, with a focus on collaboration across industry and community.

City surfaces are the interface of our daily life and therefore impact greatly on sustaining material resources as well as community wellbeing. Urban surfaces can communicate cultural capital to create meaningful local connections for residents and their sense of belonging, whilst textile material innovation can offer wide-ranging solutions and enrich urban environments.

Urban Fabric aims is to make a positive impact through design interventions such as:

  • Investigating innovative design possibilities through participatory design and inviting interdisciplinary collaborations
  • Enhancing the social capital of communities through making workshops investigating patterns of locality and intergenerational ownership
  • Promoting a sense of belonging through design aesthetics that reflect the cultural capital of past heritage and diverse present residents
  • Re-thinking the use of textiles to create more sustainable environments and increase wellbeing through responsive surface materials.

Weave Lab

Process-led weave research in collaboration with industry through the investigation, testing and extension of the boundaries, capacity and attitudes to industrial weaving processes and equipment. The Weave Lab investigates the following core areas: 

  • Innovation in Digital weave research, exploring process, design thinking methods and materials
  • 3D & ‘on loom’ finishing weaving approaches
  • e-textile materials for soft product application, (e.g. wearable technology, smart textiles) and opportunities for e-textile manufacture

Material innovation

Process-led textile research utilises practice-led approaches to develop and design future materials through innovative making processes, sophisticated technical skills as well as experimental design methodologies. At CSM we have a stimulating research environment in which traditional textile workshops sit next to digital technology, offering excellent opportunities for advanced holistic research development. This exceptional cross-over allows TFRC reserachers to develop new textile knowledge and invent orginal processes as well as future crafts. We are particularly interested in sustainable processes, ‘endangered’ craft skills, and colour alchemy, as well as inheritable future material development. Recent work spans from hand-crafted wallpaper, sustainable insulation fabric to ceramic hybrid materials.

People

Our community includes academic practitioners and researchers based in the Textile Design department of Central Saint Martins: