Professor Carole Collet
BiographyCarole Collet is Professor in Design for Sustainable Futures at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London where she has been appointed CSM-LVMH Director of Sustainable Innovation in 2017. In this role, Collet set up Maison/0, an incubator of sustainable intelligence designed to provoke creative practices and challenge our collective futures. Collet is also Director of the Design & Living Systems Lab, a research lab that explores the interface of biological sciences and design to propose new sustainable models of biofabrication.
Carole Collet has dedicated her career to developing a new sustainable vision for design, and founded the Masters of Textile Futures at Central Saint Martins in 2000. Her research focuses on exploring the intersection of biology and design to explore innovative and disruptive sustainable design propositions. She curated the first international exhibition that explores biodesign via the lens of sustainability in 2013 (‘Alive, New Design Frontiers’).
Her curatorial approach questions the emerging role of the designer when working with living materials and technologies such as synthetic biology, and establishes an original framework for designing with the living. Her design research project Biolace has been exhibited around the world in 26 international showcase including the Universal Expo in 2015 and has been widely cited in book publications and catalogues. One of Collet’s characteristics is that she takes on 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.
Carole's 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 and bio-materiality, sustainable design, design for the bioeconomy and climate change.
My design research interests are driven at the core by a search for innovative sustainable materials and forms of production for the future. Via the Design & Living Systems Lab at Central Saint Martins UAL, I explore the interface of biological sciences and design to challenge established craft and manufacturing paradigms and propose news approaches to biofabricate materials and products.
Having established a framework for designing with living systems, I explore three main design strategies through my work: nature as a model (biomimicry principles), nature as a co-worker (horticulture and permaculture principles), nature as a reprogrammable system (bioengineering and synthetic biology principles).
I am particularly interested in using fabrication tools and techniques that allow my work to navigate the hand-made, the man-made and what I call the ‘grow-made’. I appropriate a wide range of diverse techniques, from photography to textiles, horticulture, biology and speculative design to generate design artefacts and future scenarios. I also write and curate as a means to reflect on the emerging, yet fast growing biodesign discipline.
Grants and awards
(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)
- European Culture Programme, Resilients, £23,519.00, (2011-2012)
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council Canada (SSHRC), Living Architecture Partnership (stage 2)
- Collet C. Botanical Manufacture (2017)
- Collet C. Self-patterned Mycelium Rubber and Mycelium Lace (2016)
- Collet C. Future Hybrids (2015)
- Collet C, Vandeput B. Edible Alchemy, part of the Resilients Project (2013)
- Collet C. Lace doilly (2012)
- Collet C. Biolace, the photographs (2012)
- Collet C. Biolace, animation (2012)
- Collet C. Pop Up Lace (2009)
- Collet C. Suicidal Textiles (2008)
- Collet C. Tactile Shadows (2005)
- Collet C. Toile de Hackney, Surface Design Exhibition, London Business Design Centre (2005)
- Collet C. Remote Home, One Home Two Cities (2003)
Conference, Symposium or Workshop item
- Collet C. Recalibrating Fashion and Textiles for the Emerging Bio-circular Economy (2018)
- Collet C. Luxury and the New Natural: How designing with living systems can lead to disruptive models of production for the luxury sector. (2018)
- Collet C. Co-Designing with Natural Living Systems (2017)
- Collet C. Grow-Made: Emergent biofabrication tools and practices (2017)
- Collet C. Exploring Transient Territories for Biodesign: Design & Living Systems Lab (2017)
- Collet C. Designing for the biocentury (2017)
- Collet C. Designing For The Biocentury, UAL Professorial Platform 2017 (2017)
- Collet C. Grow-Made Textiles (2017)
- Collet C. Mycelium Textiles: co-designing with ‘the living’ (2017)
- Collet C. Biosalon: How will the intersection of design and biological fabrication open up to new ways of ‘making’ and ‘crafting’ in the future? (2015)
- Collet C. Harvested and Grown: the rise of a new bio-materiality (2015)
- Collet C. Design & biofabrication (2015)
- Collet C. Design et bio-poiesis (2015)
- Collet C, Foissac G. Botanical Fabrication: A research project at the intersection of design, botany and horticulture (2015)
- Collet C. The Biological Advantage (2014)
- Collet C. How to experiment with the future? (2014)
- Collet C. Designing with living systems, a new prerogative? (2014)
- Collet C. Bio lace: an exploration of synthetic biology for future textiles (2011)
- Collet C. Future fabrications, crafting molecules and printing living skins (2011)
- Collet C. Could biomimicry and biology lead to new sustainable design models? (2011)
- Collet C. Bio-design: une nouvelle perspective pour le design ecologique (2011)
- Collet C. Perspectives on textile futures (2010)
- Collet C. A Poetic Cyberquest (2006)
- Collet C. Alive: New Design Frontiers (2013)
Current research students
- Elena Brebenel, Can biomimicry help design furnishings for the domestic environment that improve air quality? (Lead supervisor)
- 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?’ (Lead supervisor)
- Lesley-Ann Daly, To be confirmed (Lead supervisor)
- Loula Guarin Figueroa, Surface Proximity: Mapping and analysis of sustainable fibres in the North and Central areas of Colombia (Lead supervisor)
- 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. (Lead supervisor)
- Miriam Ribul, Material Activism: The role of design research in the scientific development of regenerated textiles in a circular economy. (Lead supervisor)
- Jane Scott, Programmable Knitting (Lead supervisor)