Professor in Design For Sustainable Futures Director, Design & Living Systems Lab
Central Saint Martins
Central Saint Martins
Carole Collet has dedicated her career to developing a new vision for design, and pioneered the discipline of Textile Futures at Central Saint Martins fifteen years ago. She is now a full-time Professor and Director of the Design & Living Systems Lab at Central Saint Martins. Her research focuses on exploring the intersection of biology and design to develop speculative and disruptive sustainable design proposals. Collet operates within a long-term framework and her research targets the year 2050 and beyond. By anticipating future key socio-economic factors and technological timelines, she aims at impacting today’s design directions so as to enable a more resilient and sustainable future. Collet’s ambition is to elevate the status of design to become a powerful tool that contributes to developing innovative paths to achieve the ‘one planet lifestyle’.
Her recent curation of ‘Alive, New Design Frontiers’ www.thisisalive.com questions the emerging role of the designer when working with living materials and technologies such as synthetic biology and clearly establishes a new original framework for designing with the living. One of Collet’s characteristics is that she straddles different research roles, from designer, to curator and educator. This enables her to develop an informed critique of both the design outputs and the design contexts, from making knowledge to framing knowledge.
Her work has been featured in international exhibitions and she regularly contributes to conferences on the subject of textile futures, biodesign, biomimicry, synthetic biology, future manufacturing, sustainable design and climate change.
Sustainability, future design, disruptive technologies, design-science collaborations, biomimicry, biology, botany, synthetic biology, biomaterials, biofacture, living systems, future scoping, textile futures, resilience, planetary boundaries, climate change, 2050.
Collet believes that design is a pervasive tool that can enable us to create compelling disruptive innovations to actuate the ‘one planet living’ scenario.
With the emerging biological revolution and a set of extraordinary toolkits that allow us to engineer and program life from scratch, comes a need to reevaluate the position and potential of design. Designers have begun to either embrace or rebel against this emerging bioengineered world and as a result, new design directions are beginning to arise (see Alive exhibition).
Collet is interested in exploring this new design landscape where fragments of a possible programmable synthetic future are confronted with ‘natural’ alternative design perspectives. Hence, her research is focused is on a design-led investigation of biological sciences to explore new design methodologies to ‘grow’ future sustainable products and services.
Elena Brebenel, Can biomimicry help design furnishings for the domestic environment that improve air quality?
Amy Congdon, Tissue Engineered Textiles; ‘Can the integration of textile craft with tissue-engineering techniques lead to the development of a new materiality for future design applications?’
Miriam Ribul, Material Activism: The role of design research in the scientific development of regenerated textiles in a circular economy.
Aurelie Mosse, Gossamer Timescapes: Designing Self-actuated Textiles for the Home. A PhD jointly supervised by CITA, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Denmark and the Textile Futures Research Centre at UAL.
Jane Scott, Programmable Knitting.
Collet, Carole (2016) Self-patterned Mycelium Rubber and Mycelium Lace. [Art/Design Item]
Collet, Carole (2013) Alive: New Design Frontiers
Collet, Carole (2015) The New Synthetics: Could synthetic biology lead to sustainable textile manufacturing? In: Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion. Routledge, Oxford, pp. 191-200
Collet, Carole and Foissac, Guillaume (2015) Botanical Fabrication: A research project at the intersection of design, botany and horticulture. In: 2nd Biennial Research Through Design 2015: 21st Century Makers and Materialities, 25 - 27 March 2015, Cambridge, UK
Collet, Carole (2012) Biolace, the photographs
Collet, Carole (2012) BioLace: an exploration of the potential of synthetic biology and living technology for future textiles. Studies in Material Thinking, 7. ISSN 1177-6234
Collet, Carole and Vandeput, Bart, The Resilients (2013) Edible Alchemy, part of the Resilients Project.
Collet, Carole, Stanton Williams, Atelier Ten, Nanoforce Ltd (2012) Harnessing nanotechnology to combat climate change. Using a multidisciplinary approach to design effective adaptation solutions for the built environment. Project Report. ARCC, http://www.arcc-network.org.uk/harnessing-nanotechnology-to-combat-climate-change/#.VmmrgUYk_Oo.