University of Brighton researchers and students are visiting Kyoto Institute of Technology in a new sustainable design research initiative.
08 Sep 2015
Design researchers and students from the University of Brighton are taking part in a new international sustainable design initiative with Kyoto Design Lab at Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT), Japan.
The project aims to provide a collaborative design framework for students and designers as well as manufacturers and researchers working in the area of textiles recycling, up-cycling and re-use and new materials development.
Two design researchers and material experts Dr Caterina Radvan and Dr Jyri Kermik are currently attending a 5-day workshop in Kyoto with three design students: Marion Herlet, who is studying Sustainable Design MA, undergraduate Design and Craft BA(Hons) student Evan Reinhold, and recent Textiles MDes graduate Anna Veglio-White.
The project aims to foster respective approaches to design issues and practices across different media, materials, technologies, production and process. To create new product ideas for textile waste, other waste products used alone or in combination with new materials created from waste, and to form the basis of an on-going collaborative relationship between the University of Brighton and KIT.
In addition, the project aims to investigate and demonstrate where, how and to what extent design innovation and intervention can contribute to the quality of life, human wellbeing and balanced resource systems of production and consumption capable of operating sustainably and reversing environmental damage. The project is driven by an innovative ethical business concept based on materials’ purity, efficient production systems and zero waste.
Dr Kermik said: “The already critical ecological issue concerning the disposal of global waste will only become more urgent in the future. Much of this waste is caused by urban living and consumer lifestyles, which have evolved with little consideration of their long-term impact on the planet. For example only 20% of the 2 million tons of waste textiles generated annually in Japan are recycled with 80% going to landfill.
“For designers to be able to exploit the capabilities of textile technology and the properties of the products realised, it is important to identify user needs and possible scenarios for the creation of sustainable new products. In addition, by finding design-led ways to approach the decline of traditional textile industries and new design applications for the range of textiles produced, designers can resolve a range of issues simultaneously.”