Crafting Textiles in the Digital Age Book Launch and Lecture Series

Estonia pst 7 ja Apollo Solarise raamatupood

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In connection with “Design Education 50: 9 Faces of Design Lecture Series” Wednesday 16th Nov, 2016 6.00pm
Venue: Apollo Bookstore, Solaris Centre, Estonia puiestee 9, 11314 Tallinn

The Estonian Academy of Arts cordially invites you to attend the launch event of Crafting Textiles in the Digital Age, recently published by Bloomsbury. The book presents an overview of the concept and role of craft in textile creation and digital technology and the current context and approach taken to the crafting of contemporary digital textiles.

Editors: Nithikul Nimkulrat (Estonian Academy of Arts, EE), Faith Kane (Massey University, NZ) and Kerry Walton (Loughborough University, UK).

6.00pm – 6.45pm
Welcome and presentations about textile design in the digital era by contributors to the book


• Kerry Walton (Loughborough University, UK)
Title: New Creative Opportunities: Textiles, Education & Context

• Anne Louise Bang (Design School Kolding, DK),
Title: Hand Weaving, Digital Tools and Textile Design Education in Denmark

• Susan Carden (Heriot-Watt University, UK)
Title: A Novel Process within Digitally Printed Textile Design

• Katherine Townsend (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
Title:Closely Held Secrets: Embodied Knowledge in Fashion and Textile Practice

6.45pm – 7.00pm
An informal conversation chaired by Dr Nithikul Nimkulrat (Professor and Head of Department of Textile Design, Estonian Academy of Arts) exploring the themes addressed in the book and the future of textile design education

7.00pm – 7.10pm Q&A
7.10pm – 7.30pm Reception

About the Book
In an era of increasingly available digital resources, many textile designers and makers find themselves at an interesting juncture between traditional craft processes and newer digital technologies. Highly specialized craft/design practitioners may now elect to make use of digital processes in their work, but often choose not to abandon craft skills fundamental to their practice, and aim to balance the complex connection between craft and digital processes. The essays collected here consider this transition from the viewpoint of aesthetic opportunity arising in the textile designer’s hands-on experimentation with material and digital technologies available in the present.

For further information, see here
Crafting Textiles in the Digital Age Series of Public Lectures

During the week of the book launch, a series of the following public lectures will take place at the Estonian Academy of Arts’ main building (Estonia puiestee 7, 10143 Tallinn), 4th floor, room 440A

Tuesday 15.11, 3.40pm – 4.30pm Anne Louise Bang
Hand Weaving, Digital Tools and Textile Design Education in Denmark
How are the knowledge and practical experience of traditional processes, specifically hand skills, applied in the context of digital jacquard handloom weaving? This lecture discusses ways in which the introduction of a digital jacquard handloom at the Design School Kolding have influenced the textile design education and thereby the craft and practice of hand weaving in Denmark.

Weavers are generally trained in systematic thinking, as they need to operate traditional looms that require a highly organized way of working, threading warp ends on a number of shafts and inserting weft picks in an accurate order. Regarding the organization of weft yarns, countermarch looms have a number of treadles connected to the shafts, whereas manual or computerized dobby looms work with lift plans. This means that the weaver must understand the interaction between shafts and treadles or lift plans in order to achieve the desired woven pattern. All this changed when we got access to the digital jacquard handloom. With this it became possible to use the loom as a dynamic design tool in textile design education. The lecture will exemplify ways in which digital tools in combination with hand skills and expertise represent a great potential for professional development.

Tuesday 15.11, 4.40pm – 5.30pm Susan Carden
A Novel Process within Digitally Printed Textile Design
In her lecture ‘A Novel Process within Digitally Printed Textile Design’ Dr Susan Carden will be describing a new technique discovered during her practice-led doctoral study at the Glasgow School of Art. While working in the studio she noticed a range of textile samples that she had previously been crafting were extremely cool after a number of days. Following a series of experiments conducted at the Electrical Engineering Department of Glasgow University, this effect was found to be an endothermic reaction, a process that absorbs heat from the surrounding area. This new technique was created during the printing process and numerous potential applications were identified including uses in health, fashion and sports products.

Susan’s presentation will describe the stages this discovery took and the implications for both her study and practice-led projects in general when alternative research methods are required. The scientific nature of the discovery was also a challenge in an art school setting, and this will be explored with references to the methodologies and research techniques she needed to adopt in order to successfully complete her doctoral project.

Wednesday 16.11, 4.40pm – 5.30pm Katherine Townsend
Closely Held Secrets: Embodied Knowledge in Fashion and Textile Practice
This lecture provides an overview of Closely Held Secrets, a research project and exhibition inspired by the hidden working relationship between the artist Grayson Perry and artisan Tony Taylor, which was adopted as a model by a group of individual artists/designers to explore digital embroidery as a new media. It will also discuss emerging methodologies and outcomes from current collaborative research projects that Katherine is involved in:Crafting Anatomies, The Electric Corset and Emotional Fit, which draw upon concealed material resources and embodied human interactions to inform design innovation.

Thursday 17.11, 4.40pm – 5.30pm – Kerry Walton
Technology, Tradition, Transition: Defining and Negotiating New Pathways in Contemporary Textile Design Education.
Change defines the modern world and Textile practitioners have always adapted to and ultimately thrived in response to the adaptation of new technologies. The fast pace of change in the last 2 decades, largely driven by the wide availability of digital media, and production capability within a broader global context, has necessitated a swift response by educational institutions, and significant reflection on where the priorities might lie for our students. With experience of design education spanning 5 decades I will be mapping a journey through this changing terrain, both as educator, researcher and practitioner, reflecting on the integration of traditional craft skills, digital opportunities and the ability of drawing to facilitate this relationship.
Speakers’ Biographies
Dr Nithikul Nimkulrat
Dr Nithikul Nimkulrat intertwines research with textile practice, focusing on experiential knowledge in craft processes in the design research context. Her PhD research completed in 2009 at Aalto University examines the expressivity of textile material that is beyond visible, touchable qualities. Nithikul has worked at Aalto University (2004–10) and Loughborough University (2011–2013), and is currently Professor and Head of Department of Textile Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Kerry Walton
Kerry Walton
Kerry Walton is the Programme Director for Textiles: Innovation & Design, at Loughborough University, rated 1st in the UK for Fashion and Textiles (The Guardian University Guide 2017). Her current research explores the relationship between drawing and textiles, both within her own practice and within the scope of a contemporary Textiles education.

Dr. Anne Louise Bang
Dr. Anne Louise Bang
Dr Anne Louise Bang is an Associate Professor at Design School Kolding in Denmark. She earned her PhD in 2011 with the thesis Emotional Value of Applied Textiles. Bang was educated as a textile designer in 1994, and before entering academia around 2007 she worked with textile art, freelance design and as a lecturer.

Dr Susan Carden
Dr Susan Carden
Dr Susan Carden is an Assistant Professor in Textile Design at Heriot-Watt University and a Visiting Lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate School.Her monograph Digital Textile Printing: Art, Design, Culture describes the historical and cultural context from which digital textile printing emerged and engages critically with the many issues it raises.

Dr Katherine Townsend
Dr Katherine Townsend
Dr Katherine Townsend is a Reader in Fashion and Textile Crafts at Nottingham Trent University. Her current research projects, Emotional Fit and The Electric Corset explore design issues in fashion and aging and the use of costume archives to inform interactive wearable technology. She is a supervisor and external examiner for PhD theses on digital crafting approaches, including 3D knitting and weaving, laser cutting and sustainable fashion and textile design. She has co-curated various exhibitions, including: Metallic Sound, Closely Held Secrets and Crafting Anatomies. Since 2010 she has acted as co-editor of the journal of Craft Research (Intellect).

* The book launch and series of public lectures are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

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Posted by Solveig Jahnke

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