Crafting material innovation and knowledge through interdisciplinary approaches

2019-04-22T21:04:18Z (GMT) by RTD Conference Claire Felicity Miller
This paper presents material artifacts created at the early stages of a practice-based PhD— the focus of which is to highlight, through practice, a third space that emerges as disciplines intersect— specifically textile design and material science. Ceramic fibres (high temperature insulators), anti-static stainless steel fibres (conductive materials) and carbon nano-tubes (1d carbon nano materials) were chosen as departure points for exploration. This paper presents images alongside their written explainations to draw attention to the processes and approaches that have been used in the material developments.

A ‘soft’ approach, driven by curiosity, intuition and playfulness, is taken to engage with these materials and is explored alongside a ‘hard’ approach, as a means to uncover this third space. Engineered materials, which have been synthesized and manufactured using systematic and scientific approaches are considered to be from this ‘hard’ domain— such as ceramic fibres, that although can be woven or knitted are not in current material palettes used by textile designers. New methods and ways of working were developed to take forward into the PhD enabled by the textile designer working tacitly with unfamiliar materials and understanding how insights from one sphere, might, when used in another, potentially reveal new knowledge and material innovations.