Central Saint Martins




What role will textile design play in the creation of biological products of the future ?

Biological Atelier is a critical design project that seeks to explore the relationship we have with our bodies and the fusion of our bodies with those of other species.  The project looks to explore one of the most provocative collections of materials that have started to become available for manipulation.   Looking at new production set ups and craft forms that bring biological materials into mainstream consumption, in turn creating new specialists with skills that draw from both the scientific and the design sectors.

In the field of biotechnology different textile techniques and structures are used because of their ability to mimic natural structures found within the human body.  One particularly successful technique is digital embroidery, with completely embroidered fabrics having been used in medical implants for some time. Alongside these techniques, developments in 3D printing mean it is now possible to print with more than materials such as plastic, ceramics or food.  This technology allows cells to be printed onto textile scaffolds creating living three-dimensional structures.  Yet with all new technology there is invariably the question of what other things could it be used to create?  Could this new technology facilitate the production of completely bespoke biological products and markets for the future?

The aim of the project is to visualise the Biological Atelier of the future, focusing on the potential of biotechnology to bring about new specialist craft skills and manufacturing processes for the production of luxury and bespoke biological textiles.  Through designing and envisioning these new materials, as well as producing the embroidery scaffolds onto which cell lines could be grown, the project will look at a new role for embroidery and textile design in our biological future.


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How can the textile discipline critically engage the public with emerging biotechnologies and the life sciences ?

A left ear is being surgically constructed on my left arm. A bodily structure has been replicated, relocated and will presently be rewired for additional capabilities. Electronically augmented, the ear will become Internet enabled in any hotspot, becoming a publicly accessible organ. People in other places will be able to listen in to what the ear is hearing. We have evolved with soft, internal organs to better function in the biological world. We can now engineer additional, external organs to better interface with the technological terrain that we now inhabit.” – Stelarc

Nano, Bio, Cognitive, and Information Technologies [NBCI] all belong to the branch of knowledge called the life sciences. Their convergence as a means of production is set to define the 21st Century as a century of massive cultural, humanitarian, economical and political change, and one whose societal yardstick will be lead by a designer who may also be a material scientist, an engineer, and synthetic biologist.

Design Fictions: Posthumanity in the age of Synthetics is a critical design project based on a collection of crafted design fictions that provide a strong narrative to provoke debate and dialogue into the ethics of the life science industry and its appropriation of life. The project also encourages us to reconsider the role of the designer whose manufacturing process is likely to take place in a laboratory in 2075.

I have created three future scenarios comprising of body related surfaces and objects that form part of the story to visualize the potential bio-futures that my research uncovered. These ‘design fictions’ are based on ‘science fact’ and raise critical questions over our current understanding of the likely cultural and environmental implications of synthetic biology and stem cell technology:

Voluntary Mutations explores the aesthetic possibilities of a subculture derived from an environment where a an open-source DIY stem cell biology becomes as ubiquitous as computing, while Parasitic Prosthesis suggests that the posthuman body is genetically synthesized with home-cultured parasitic organisms, so that it may quickly adapt to the challenges of a new environmental paradigm. Bio-collectibles provokes debate into the ethics of a quietly ominous market for genetic products that has the potential to render our bodies as future farms, and is illustrated by a very precious, very valuable Genetic First Aid Cabinet.


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Can textile design help us experience the otherwise intangible expressions of our unconscious mind?

 “It’s in the dark where creativity takes place, not in the light.” (Adam Fuss, 2010) Unconscious processes are a vital part of our everyday lives and yet we rarely pay attention to what happens in the darkness of our minds. All those intricate and unconscious processes pass by unnoticed. It is only sometimes that we cannot help but wonder where our thoughts come from, how me make decisions, why our dreams can be so estranging and if indeed we are in complete control of our lives or if free will is just an illusion. Timothy D. Wilson states, “we may have the impression that we, our conscious selves, are in complete control, but that is at least in part an illusion.” ( 2002) [1]

As it is still impossible to fully logically understand or directly access the unconscious mind, the aim of this project is to encounter the different faces of unconscious processes in a poetic and intuitive way. I intend to make people experience expressions like proprioception and subtle movements initiated by the unconscious. I want us to be able to perceive the hidden nature of it, which manifests in nightmares and desires as well as sparks of imagination and creativity. My intention is to reveal, “the mind is not a place but a process.” (Lehrer, J., 2008). The unconscious is fleeting, unintentional and uncontrollable and elements of the lack of control over nonconscious processes will manifest in my design process.


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In what ways can new and existing material technologies be harnessed and current production processes adapted to create three-dimensional type and pattern?

Growing Graphics is a project researching the well-established ways that temporary information is communicated in the outdoor environment, and the methods in which these are manufactured. Temporary information may include posters, advertisements, signage, wayfinding information, street art and more recently digital screen technology. Displaying information in public, in the ‘outside’ environment can be dated back many thousands of years.

The primary investigation engages with my peer group, the designers, and material experts. The project as a whole will increase my awareness and understanding for material technologies and small scale manufacturing techniques. This can at the same time increase my awareness for sustainable materials and techniques that use less energy. The collaboration with graphic designers to create a solution for them will require me to enhance my skills in responding to their needs.

This can happen in tandem with researching relevant material outcomes from experimentation with concrete, ceramics and smart materials. There will be a substantial amount of user-observation – tailor making the design solution to serve the needs of the graphic designers as well as being user-friendly, time and cost efficient. I see the final solution having commercial strength beyond its development at university.

This work is a response to how 3D environmental graphics are currently perceived, their use and continued role. Traditionally, their life is ensured by a manufacturer, and by the reliable weather resistant materials used. It is because of this that this project also engages with small-scale manufacturers. Digital technology has begun to dominate the urban environment as is increasingly seen as the source through which to display, message and advertise. There is a growing movement away from digitally-based communication methods towards more material-based, tactile-led solutions, this project also documents this.

Research into the context of temporary information feeds the project, and allows for alternative ways that type, pattern or illustration can be created. This takes place through experimentation with new materials and production techniques, whilst examining the role of environmental graphics from a user’s perspective. An evolving or transient material technology could lead to a more engaging and richer viewing experience.


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Natural Factory is a proposal for a small scale factory which uses natural materials and processes to create objects that are of the nature, respond to nature and form a new cycle with nature.

The outcomes of these factories form a new continuous cycle with the environment. As with all objects they take their raw resources from nature, are processed using natural power where possible and from the date of their creation will erode back into nature returning the raw resources to begin the cycle once again.

Public participation is required as part of the process. This will allow for the engagement of the public with the environment, production and products in a new and interesting way. Through laying bare the processes of manufacture it de-mystifies it allowing for a broader understanding of all objects. Investigating the intrinsic qualities and benefits in knitting today and establishing this process as a new craftsmanship within industrial design.






Investigating the intrinsic qualities and benefits in knitting today and establishing this process as a new craftsmanship within industrial design

 “The knitting craftsman” is a response to the ongoing trend of amateur craft making and professional rapid prototyping. The project started as a fascination for this simple yet sophisticated technique, used predominantly in textiles but also the rising interest of worldwide manufacturers and artists adapting this technique for new processes and new works.

Through the process of knitting I want to imply a new “old” way of rapid manufacturing. As we all know mass production is inflexible because it is difficult to alter a design or production process after a production line is implemented. All the products produced on one production line will be identical or very similar. Knitting machines can vary easily. Therefore this project is also addressing the topic of consumption, customers wish to be more involved in the design/making process.

The project is mainly process driven and therefore I’m experimenting with different materials, which seem unusual for knitting, nevertheless these materials could bring new advantages for this process and for a future outcome. 


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Pushing materiality through scale. Challenging the perception of clay within a garden context. Creating an emotional or sensory response through design.


I’m exploring a seating space which enables the viewer/visitor to experience differing perceptions of the space depending on where they choose to sit. The object allows a solitary moment to be captured – it would be possible to reside and to be partially visible or secluded from others sharing the space. The other side would be open, but as the piece curves around they would still experience a sensation of being slightly encased by the form. Both sides resonate the same ideas, however may evoke a different emotional response. There is a distinct feeling of inside/outside emergence/withdrawal depending where you decide to position yourself. This would provide another place to reside for those using the garden.


Ceramics has a long and rich history within the garden context. I am intending to use brick clay and am presently collaborating with Ibstock Brick in Sussex. I intend to use this material in a contemporary, thoughtful and purposeful way, moving away from long-held traditions and preconceptions of what clay has to offer.

During the time at Central Saint Martins I’ve had a huge amount of support from Ibstock brick in West Sussex and Bristol who are providing all the materials and firing the final design within the factory.

The final design will be installed within the Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford.


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Is fireplace a heart of a house when it is bio?

The starting point of this project become a clear vision that nowadays there is a lesser need for a fire at home. Fire used to be one of the basic needs that brought heat to the houses. As today people buy fireplaces to watch the flames itself. Very strong emotions are created through the process of looking at the flames. Fire has strong power to keep an attention. This project focuses on design development of fireplace that apart from its technological novelty and usability would retain an ability

to evoke warm feelings and be a heart of the house.

Bio fire is a new type of flame that allows people to have a fireplace in there houses without any special installation. Naturally different type of fuel creates flames that look and behave in a different way. Instead of trying to copy the effect woodburned flame has I am looking at peculiarities of bio fuel and using them in my designs. I believe new flames shouldn’t copy traditional ones, but need to aim at building it’s own aesthetic.


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