At the Centre for Circular Design (University of the Arts London) the first few months of HEREWEAR has been about laying the foundation for the project, getting to know our partners and their work, and building dialogue. We have been busy setting up collaboration tools to help us work with the consortium on circular concepts for materials, garments and systems. Everything we do is aimed at collaboration… the image of a solitary designer in a studio with a sketch book is long gone, right now we are the enablers, the conveners and the online communicators, as well as some independent, in-depth research practice, we develop online collaborative spaces, map knowledge exchange and use our hands-on experiences with materials, working with designers and customers to bring important and provocative insights to the technical conversations.
Within our team, Becky is setting the direction for the Design WP (1), developing the context and groundwork for the Design Guidelines. Leatitia has worked tirelessly to source, catalogue and map bio-based materials, and Kate has been setting up Life Cycle Thinking exchanges to create a bridge to the Life Cycle Assessment experts in the project, to gain valuable insights for design. Rosie is a systems thinker, establishing the ‘Methodology Team’ and working on ways to support the collaboration and knowledge exchange, working with Laetitia to extend the materials collection so that it can support the internal materials understanding and flow. The diversity of the design expertise and offer from our team is demonstrated through the Partner Talks we have been giving: Kate assisted RISE in delivering the first Partner Talk on Life Cycle Assessment, Becky spoke on the subject of Circular Textile Design, and Rosie has given a Partner talk in collaboration with TCBL and SRCBK introducing Co-design & MIRO. In June UAL will submit the first of the deliverables they lead on, the Design Guidelines, which will form the basis for the development of scenarios for biobased garments. With inputs from Circular Fashion, Maibine and TCBL, this will be the first internal project report to really start to contextualise HEREWEAR within the Textiles and Fashion industry.
As the project progresses, we will continue to seek out opportunities to bridge the diverse knowledge areas represented in the project… we have plans for ‘materials conversations’ which will explore how partners can understand and communicate about materials when we can’t meet face-2-face. We hope that this will be a format we can also use with the community later in the project. The pandemic has presented us with many challenges – effective collaboration online is clearly one of those, but it’s an exciting time to explore new methods and ways of working which ultimately could lead us to less travel, and a broader range of options in our circular toolbox. We see these consortium projects as an absolute privilege and relish the challenge of getting the best outcomes for all. We look forward to sharing more soon!
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