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Life at Chelsea: Phoebe Carter – BA Textile Design


Written by
Natalie Anastasiou
Published date
08 June 2018

In the lead up to the 2018 Undergraduate Summer Show, we interview graduating students about their life at Chelsea and how their learning experience has shaped their practice. Originally from Huddersfield, England, BA Textile Design student Phoebe Carter’s project for the degree show challenges traditional knitting methods in a digital age.

In Chelsea’s state of the art Textile Design studios and with the help of CCW MakerSpace Phoebe has experimented and been inspired by 3D printing technology. Combining domestic knit with 3D printing processes she hopes to develop sustainable design solutions.

Describe your time at Chelsea in 3 words

Challenging, Creative & Independent

Please tell us how your work has developed during your time at UAL

When starting on the BA Textile Design course I gained exceptional knowledge and experience in woven, knitted and printed textiles before I chose to specialise in knit design. UAL gave me the freedom to learn a new skill which has developed into my new passion for knitting.

What are you working on for the degree show?

My project aims to challenge traditional knitting methods through the lens of a textile designer in the current digital revolution. 3D technologies are now expanding beyond traditional boundaries of design, allowing for vast possibilities in the areas of textiles.

It’s an exciting prospect that in my future career I could be a part of this. As a customer and textile designer I feel it is necessary to acknowledge technical advancements in the industry. Therefore I am working on reinventing and developing new alterations of traditional textile knitting on industrial and domestic knitting machines combined with the processes of 3D printing.

I have created geometric collages through vintage robotic images, photographs and mixed media to inspire my knit designs. I have then explored different knitted fabric structures with bold and colourful combinations to create suggestive patchwork final pieces.

A robot on an abstract background

What have your influences / inspiration been for your work for the degree show?

From writing my dissertation ‘How will the development of 3D knitting technologies create sustainable design solutions within sportswear?’ has opened up and inspired me to find out more about the game changing world of 3D printing.

With the help of The CCW Digital MakerSpace; a growing informal, cross disciplinary community exploring digital practice through safe-fail experimentation using new & old materials and technologies; I have learnt so much and have been inspired by 3D printing technology.

In what ways has the studio / workshop environment informed your practice during your time at Chelsea?

Whilst studying at Chelsea I gained exceptional knowledge and experience in woven, knitted and printed textiles as I chose to specialise in knitwear textile design. The studio access helped me practice on the industrial knit machines. The knit technician offered pattern cutting and linking workshops to learn how to make fully knitted garments.

A blue and grey knitted garment

What have you enjoyed the most about studying and living in London?

Chelsea offers a relaxed working environment for you to work in with your peers. With weekly tutorials, your specialised tutor helps you develop your skills and work throughout the 3 years studying, offering one to one advice. This is really helpful for you to grow into your own individual identity as a textile designer.

Who or what has been your biggest influence during your time at Chelsea?

My biggest influences at Chelsea are my tutors and the knit technicians. I would like to thank, Timothy Andrews, Farah Govanni, Julia Pines and Tomoko Yamanaka and many others that have been so supportive throughout my time at Chelsea. They have offered support and guidance throughout my 3 years at Chelsea and helped me grow as a Knit Textile Designer.

What are your ambitions following graduation?

I would like to find a job that involves knitwear, which is fun & innovative and can give me a deeper insight the industry.

A blue, grey and white knitted garment being held up by a single hand.

What makes your proud to be a Chelsea student?

I am so proud to be a part of such a talented and friendly year group. We inspire each other and lift each other up to become better designers, therefore I am proud to be graduating from Chelsea with my friends by my side!

What would you say to anyone thinking of doing your course? Any advice for new students?

Look beyond your course, look at what the university offers as a whole, so you can expand on your practice and get the most out of your UAL experience. Most of all, be hardworking and dedicated to your practice.

Find out more about BA Textile Design at Chelsea

Explore the BA Textile Design Instagram

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