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Karen Heard

International Recruitment and Development Coordinator
Person Type
Karen  Heard


Karen is an imaginative and quirky Fashion Educator and maker with an extensive lecturing career specialising in Fashion and Textiles study from Foundation to Post Graduate, including course leader and pathway leader responsibility. As a designer / maker and curious hunter / gatherer of specialist collections, there is unending inspiration and investigation that underpin Karen’s specialisms.

As an International Academic, Karen works globally to identify and guide talented individuals into their preferred creative studies through a toolkit of interactive content including workshops, seminars, lectures and tutorials. With over a decade of expertise in this area, Karen has delivered transformative educational experiences in a range of locations including Colombia, Ukraine, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, China, Saudi Arabia, India, Brazil, Mexico and beyond. This extends to delivery at partner institutes including: BIFT, Ryerson, Donghua, PEARL, La Colegiatura and more.

A skilled seamstress combined with valuable knowledge from the fashion industry fuels bespoke workshops for individuals working with UAL’s International Representative Network including Hana Education, Chamberlain, St Elite, Insight Lingua and Donstream. There is ongoing exploration of blended learning methodologies and a proactive approach to emerging themes around creative education and opportunities to change and invent.

A strong communicator with extensive global insights, Karen is informed and respectful of individualism and responds to opportunities to engage with varied contexts and cultures. Contributions to both industry and academic panels, forums and events are drivers for positive change and alternative viewpoints. These experiences and skills have been utilised in academic lead roles for selected LCF International Partners including LAU (Lebanon) and IMA (Turkey).

Lecturing both in the UK and internationally has enabled specialist knowledge exchange. Key themes include creative educational content / curriculum development and advancing initiator and innovator mind-sets.

Karen draws on a range of industry experiences within Fashion and Textiles to ideate unique and forward thinking conceptual design solutions. She has worked with pioneering textile techniques, bespoke design and development, tailoring and production focusing on small scale luxury / couture brands. There is engagement and awareness of critical issues and global contexts that impact on fashion, textiles and driven to investigate alternative approaches. Karen continues to practice as an independent designer / maker and is specifically focused on a long term project Leftovers; concentrating on research themes of sustainability, repurposing, reusing and reinventing. With an expert understanding of material qualities, Karen develops one off pieces utilising a combination of experimental materials and techniques founded in the craft of couture to demonstrate often complex and layered research narratives.

With a unique personality and advanced communication skills, Karen is student centric and able to engage in creative conversations and drive ideas generation. She can confidently challenge viewpoints and opinions to inspire and develop original, conceptual and critical thinkers.