In the meantime please see my updated website with an archive of my past work and my latest projects www.claravuletich.com
For the last six months I have been working on a project that explores some of my thoughts on how a textile/fashion designer can 'design for change'.
We developed a 'model' for how a clothing factory/brand can take more responsibility for their place in a community through developing a small range of fashion accessories made using waste from the production process, employing local people to make the new products, with this all generated from a 'Design Hub' that is led by a team of designers and embedded or located near to the factory.
It is inspired by the research I have been doing on the new role that designers are playing in local communities, outside of their normal 'design studio' contexts. But my question was: what does this mean for fashion/textile designers?
I will be presenting this project as part of my PhD presentation in a few weeks to my fellow first years. The presentation is titled 'I Am Disruptive: a new role for fashion/textile designers in the supply chain'.
More on my thoughts and findings around this project will emerge as I prepare for this presentation.
The bricolage + friends show is installed and it looks great. It included beautiful work from Mentsen (simple wall shelves), a hand made office set from Thomas Wagner, wall pieces from Studio Glitheroe (the circular 'Fire Drawing' on the wall left in image above, and the Blue Tiles on the wall right), amongst the textile work from the bricolage members, more images coming soon.
My work is called 'Re Assemblage' and is a combination of textile samples I have created over the least 2 years. I also created a 'map' of the samples, that describes their processes and materials. I also showed a video I made in collaboration with Uli Schade and Katherine May that features myself doing some printing and Katherine doing some quilting.
Go here to see more images from the Private View and show.
Great article in the New York Times recently about the revived interest in natural dyes for textiles. Sasha Duerr of Permacouture Institute features and the Textile Arts Centre (TAC) in Brooklyn, which is just setting up their own garden of plants to use to teach natural dyeing.
It also made me think of my own life and experiences of landscape and place, particularly the discussions around water. I had grown up around water in Australia – it was down the back of my grandmothers garden in the form of a reservoir; it was crashing onto the shores of the beaches we swam in and worshipped every weekend for all the hot, long summers of my childhood and it was glistening silently in the coves and hidden spots around Sydney Harbour, visible from the end of the street I grew up on. But, Id also been mainly absent from living in Australia over the last ten years during the severe droughts there. So I hadn't really reflected on water until now. And now England is expecting a drought this Summer.
Most of the information I was exposed to – the dangers of climate change on water levels; our ignorance and short sightedness of the practices of landfill - I already knew about intellectually, but here I was exploring it from a different angle and with a group of people who all brought new perspectives – scientists, artists and designers. It was an exchange and a shared experience and this was crucial.
Alot of the time we were moving between places, waiting for boats to arrive, or wandering as you do in large groups. Sometimes, it was boring, but sometimes you’d end up having a conversation with an expert in soil ecosystems. By sticking with it, and experiencing the whole three days, it started to make sense to me at a more profound level, the place inside me where personal meaning is formed by my past and present experiences.
This touches on something I have been thinking a lot about with my own research. Sustainability is personal – we have to make sense of it for ourselves as human beings.You can't force a design student to care about the environmental or social impacts that their future, distant actions may have. It has come from within them, but hopefully we can guide them towards that 'knowing'.
This experiment in new ways to teach art and design students about sustainability, has great potential. As they ask on the Short Course UK website: "What is the role of the art school in a time of environmental crisis? How can we reflect a growing interest in multi-disciplinary learning, where expertise is shared and where concern for sustainability and local environmental issues figure prominently? And what does it mean to be an artist or an art student; what is at stake, now, in being called a sculptor or a painter, an architect or a designer".
Some of the people involved went on to create new work based on the experience, and this was shown at Chelsea in February. For me, it has inspired my Local Textiles Project which had it's first iteration in Melbourne at Harvest Textiles in January.
My work and thoughts will be included in a publication and on a website called : that comes out of a project called Interdependence Day back in 2009.
"Sustainability is a complex subject that most often baffles designers. If we are going to tackle the issues at all, mostly the focus stays at a simple materials and process level – what fabrics or materials you choose, and their subsequent environmental impacts. While this is important, the complexity of the subject also requires ‘joined-up thinking’, where we start to think of our products and skills in a broader way - what we can do with our products once they have finished their useful life, or with textiles and garments, how to encourage more sustainable behaviour in the ‘use’ phase, with washing and drying. These broader issues require a different way of approaching design which calls for a more collaborative way of working, across professional disciplines, but also with consumers and users of our products and services.Collaborative work is not easy, and it often takes time to build trust and a rhythm. It requires designers to finesse that delicate balance between remaining experts while also being open to new ways of working and new modes of engaging with people who use our products or could benefit from our skills.