Opening up New Textile Futures through Collaborative Rethinking and Remaking

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Textile design is a field where art and technology meet. In the broad field of design, textile design is regarded as a special discipline because it requires not only creative skills, but also a deep understanding of production technology. Textile designers use and sometimes even create materials from a molecular level in collaboration with material scientists. The textile and clothing industry (including technical textiles)
is one of the largest industrial sectors globally, with a huge economic and environmental impact. Textiles are designed for many different purposes, and accordingly textile designers have an important role to play as material experts and interpreters of users’ needs. This is not enough, however. In the future, textile experts will need a complete understanding of the complex system of textile commerce, use, and lifecycle. Textiles are an essential part of our everyday life and will be needed to protect aand comfort us even in an increasingly digital future.

Textile design education at Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture (Aalto ARTS) has gone through major transformation during the last decade. Recent developments in textile education are based on three key elements: (a) developing a new, effective pedagogy, which has been essential in opening textile design courses to fashion students as well as other design students; (b) building bridges across disciplinary boundaries to enable collaboration between design, science, and engineering disciplines; and (c) establishing academic research. By opening up textile design courses to other design fields and disciplines, Aalto ARTS has renewed the presence and importance of textile design, not only in academia but also in society. Knowledge creation in the textile field is more dynamic and collaborative than ever before.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoft Landing
EditorsNithikul Nimkulrat, Ulla Raebild, Anna Piper
Place of PublicationHelsinki, Finland
PublisherAalto ARTS Books
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-60-0084-8, 978-952-60-0086-2
ISBN (Print)978-952-60-0083-1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

NameCumulus Think Tank
PublisherAalto University School of Arts Design and Architecture
ISSN (Print)2490-0478
ISSN (Electronic)2490-0486


  • textile design
  • fashion design
  • Pedagogy
  • Multidisciplinary higher education
  • studio pedagogy


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