In recent times there has been a lot of debate within the Textiles industry related to the development of new 'smart and reactive materials' and the Textiles Department at Loughborough University has contributed to this discussion.
Many things can also be said about the development of advanced technologies for textiles applications and fabrication but this session will have a particular focus on the use of laser technology. Loughborough's Senior Lecturer in Textiles, Tincuta Heinzel, brings together two artists and designers that have experimented with the use of laser processing to textiles dyeing and finishing. The presentation will not only focus on the technology and the way artists and designers adapt them to their needs, but also the social aspects related to such developments, including creating a dialogue between different artistic, tech and aboriginal communities and the sustainability processes of the textiles industry.
Wei Chieh Shih is a media artist from Taiwan who has largely explored the laser dye as a form of alternative photographic process on natural fibres. He aims to establish a link between craftsmanship and the art of code by using together two techniques: the oldest alternative photographic process the “cyanotype”, through which a permanent image can be formed on the fabrics, and the laser machine. He has in this sense constructed his own DIY laser machine. Wei is also the initiator of “Tribe Against Machine” international workshop program in Taiwan, that aims to bring together different artistic and tech communities and the Taiwanese aboriginal textiles communities. He is also currently collaborating with a Tibetan community in Qinghai, China, to develop a greenhouse that can resist low temperature in high altitude in order to provide year run vegetable for an orphanage.
In her research, Laura Morgan focuses on the development of Laser Textile design techniques for colouration and three-dimensional finishing to address water and chemical waste in textile processing, as well as on laser modified material properties for sportswear. She was awarded her PhD thesis on “Laser Textile Design: The Development of Laser Dyeing and Laser Moulding Processes for Sustainable Design and Manufacture” in 2016 from Loughborough University, and was involved in the research and development of a number of successful funding bids that came from this work, funding post-doctoral positions in the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and The School of the Arts at Loughborough University and the Textile Engineering and Materials Research Group at De Montfort University. At present, Laura is a Wallscourt Fellow in Design and Material Futures and Lecturer in Design at University of the West of England.
This event is part of Interface: a week of discussions and events that showcase interdisciplinary practice. Individual events are listed on the LU Arts website.