Anne Toomey,

Head of the Textiles Programme Royal Collge of Art, London.   



Soft Material Systems  



In organisational management, ‘soft systems methodology’ (SSM) has been used for over thirty years in the analysis of complex situations where diverse viewpoints are held across diverse stakeholders and the ‘problem’ is undefined (Checkland 2000).  SSM recognises flux as the state of being and cautions against the solidification of parts of that flux as ‘situations, problems or issues’. Soft Systems is an approach that we use in Textiles at the Royal College of Art to question the future materiality of our lives. We recognise the complexities of our material world and uses this as a platform for exploration and innovation. 

material futures

Thursday - 8th April 2021  7:15pm - 8:00pm nzst

Chairperson:  Prof. Frances Joseph, Textile and Design Lab,  Huri te Ao (School of Future Environments) AUT.

Jessica Rijkers.

Textile Design, Swedish School of Textiles, Boras, Sweden.



Alinea: The  Beginning of a New  Train of Thought; Implementing  (Coloured) Bioplastic into Handwoven Textile Design.



By bringing DIY materials into the textile design field, this project aims to explore bioplastic as a non-conventional yarn in traditional weaving techniques. It focuses on bioplastic as a design material and weaving process as the fabrication technique to generate broader alternatives for using bioplastic materials in  textile designs. The result of the experimental design research showcases a collection of seven pieces. The pieces present different design possibilities and potentials of bioplastic within the textile weaving technique.

Sarah Kettley,

Professor, Edinburgh College of Art.



How creative practice-led research in Arcintex tends to the intra-active, avoids hyperfunctionalism, and highlights the differences between methodological individualism and the relational in design.



It seems to me that by creating textiles that exist at the scale of the human body, entangled with the digital, researchers in the Arcintex network effectively embody diverse critical nexus. These include the design of space as nascent place (architectures, contexts, environments), a foregrounding of the non-Cartesian, fully embodied individual, the creation of material (potentiality) rather than objects for use (solutions), and therefore, a sideways attitude to the goal-oriented ‘user’ of normative interaction design. It is my view that the worst thing we could do is embraced user-centred design, and I’d like to use this panel as an opportunity to explore why. I’ll do this through consideration of a(n old) theoretical position paper on hyperfunctionality, and a more recent case study of the relational in action, informed by critical Person-Centred theory. The two papers in question: ·       Kettley, S. (2011). Interrogating Hyperfunctionality. In P. Breedon (Ed). Smart Design. London: Springer. pp. 65-73. ·      Kettley, S. (2021). Lifelines: users and designers as persons in relation. Airea Journal: Arts and Interdisciplinary Research.

Join Us for A Mix & Mingle.

8:00PM - 8:30PM NZST.