Textile scrapbox

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Ever wanted to know how designers come up with ideas for the clothes we wear, the bags we carry, the patterns in our homes, and the designs of the future? Then head to the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) on 16 March. Textiles Scrap Box: Stitching Textile Design with Social Science will illustrate the research methods and approaches to design that underpin the making of everyday items and highlight future directions.

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, world famous for its fashion and textile courses and the V&A have teamed up to organise a day of inspiring events that forms part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Festival of Social Science which runs from the 12-21 March 2010. Events range from presentations by leading researchers, V&A curators and design students to interactive workshops and an exhibition featuring work in progress from Central Saint Martins' renowned BA Textile Design course.

"The way we approach design influences what we wear and how we live - the wallpaper in our homes, the materials in our cars and the furniture we're sitting on," said Jo Morrison of Central Saint Martins, co-organiser of Textiles Scrap Box. "There is a vital relationship between social science and design practice - one informs the other."

The day's events will offer visitors an opportunity to gain some hands-on experience and to learn how social science research methods are used directly in the design of textiles, as well as exploring the varied ways in which designers are addressing social and environmental issues.

Sessions include trend forecasting, the making of future textiles - (with a particular focus on smart materials and 'green-telligent' textiles) - and how technologies impact on specific communities.

The organisers hope to attract a wide mix of people, including school groups and other young people, who may want to consider a career in textile design. The event will focus on the initial research methods and design processes, rather than on the finished outcomes.

Visitors can try their hand at crochet, take part in a drawing and doodling session or a Big Stitch workshop, or make contemporary textile samples inspired by the V&A's collections. The 90-minute workshops take place in the V&A's sculpture and fashion galleries. Students from Central Saint Martins will be on hand to share their ideas and to discuss their work with the public and young people throughout the event.

"It is very much hands on, we want the event to be informative and enjoyable, and we want it to inspire people," said Morrison. She hopes to build on the resurgence of interest in traditional crafts like knitting, weaving and crochet.

For further information contact

ESRC Press Office:

Notes for editors

  1. Textiles Scrap Box: Stitching Textile Design with Social Science
    • Organiser: Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London
    • Tuesday 16 March 10.30 - 18.00
    • Venue: Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, Cromwell Road, London. SW7 2RL
    • Audience: Suitable for all
    • For more information: Textiles Scrap Box: Stitching Textile Design with Social Science
    • People interested are advised to reserve a place by calling the V&A's bookings and information office on +44 (0)20 7942 2211. There is a maximum number of 20 people per workshop.
  2. The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council and runs from 12 to 21 March 2010, alongside National Science and Engineering Week. With events featuring some of the country's leading social scientists, the festival celebrates the very best of British Social Science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future. The Festival of Social Science provides insight into research in a variety of formats, from traditional lectures and exhibitions to theatrical performances, film screenings and topical debates. It is aimed at a range of different audiences, including policy makers, business, the media, the general public and students of all ages. Press releases detailing some of the varied events are available at the Festival website.
  3. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's planned total expenditure in 2009/10 is £204 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.
  4. You can now follow updates from the ESRC on Twitter (@ESRC), including new funding calls as they are posted, press releases, events and more.