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UAL Research Online

Weaving DNA: A study on overcoming disconnections between textile heritages and futures for improved sustainability

Anderson, Claire and Whitehead, Hanna Dís (2019) Weaving DNA: A study on overcoming disconnections between textile heritages and futures for improved sustainability. In: Futurescan 4: Valuing Practice, 23 - 24 January 2019, University of Bolton, UK.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Anderson, Claire and Whitehead, Hanna Dís

‘I see on your web page a nice photo with futuristic things, I like the future!’ [Hanna Dís Whitehead in reply to Claire Anderson, January 2014].

In 2014 the Icelandic product designer Hanna Dís Whitehead and Scottish textile designer Claire Anderson began working on their international collaboration Weaving DNA. This paper reports on their ongoing project and the connectivity of their imagination with the traditional craft skills and materials of partner Icelandic and Scottish heritage textile manufacturers.

Through the exchange and sharing of knowledge and ideas toward purposeful combinations of traditional textile heritages with the contemporary and with the future this project is rooted in a desire for improved sustainability. As explained by Professor of Design Daniel Charny, Kingston University, ‘One of the biggest problems we have is that there’s a wall in perception: traditional crafts are not seen as part of our future’ [Franklin 2018: 115].

In 2016 the designers collaborated with historic Knockando Woolmill in the Spey Valley and designed the ‘Esja’ herringbone cloth, named after the Volcanic mountain range which can be seen from Reykjavík. The colours of the cloth are inspired by the buildings and landmarks of the city and surrounding areas of Reykjavík and imagine the possibilities of tribal camouflage for Weaving DNA’s futuristic Nordic-Scottish tribe in this urban environment.

The Esja cloth was first shown at The Hiding Colour exhibition at Hverfisgallerí, Reykjavík as part of Iceland’s design festival ‘Design March 2016’ and challenged audiences perceived notions of traditional textiles and their applications through a futures facing narrative and interactive display. New work in this regard can only help inform and enhance our understanding of the role which our textile heritages can play in reevaluating what we already have and how this can help overcome disconnections between past and future

Official Website: http://www.ftc-online.org.uk/futurescan-4-conference/
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Future, Heritage, Iceland, Scotland, Sustainability, Textiles
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: 23 January 2019
Event Location: University of Bolton, UK
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2020 13:24
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 13:24
Item ID: 15601
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/15601

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