Textile lab: connecting design innovation with manufacture.
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STEED, J., 2009. Textile lab: connecting design innovation with manufacture. In: Design Connexity: 8th European Academy of Design Conference (EAD08). [online] 1-3 April 2009. Aberdeen: Robert Gordon University. Pp. 442-447. Available from: http://ead09.rgu.ac.uk/Papers/081.pdf [Accessed 12 September 2014]
This paper reports on the Textile Lab project as a case study focusing on the role of design innovation in relation to the challenges facing today’s Scottish textile manufacturing industry. This research aims to explore how new methodologies can be developed to facilitate greater dialogue between academia and business. The paper examines the role academia might play in re-negotiating new, often complex and transitory relationships between industry and consumer design. As academic partner on the project in collaboration with Scottish Enterprise, the author reflects on the methodologies developed for mapping the creative process during the different stages of the Textile Lab case study focusing on the intimate collaborative relationship between designer and manufacturer whilst also examining the journey from concept to marketplace. Over a three-year period a total of twelve collaborative partnerships have been supported through Textile Lab resulting in a major strategic change for one company and a European design award for another. This dialogue with the Scottish textile industry has resulted in a number of key findings to be discussed in this paper on the relevance and importance of design to its future identity, economic growth and global success. The paper concludes by discussing the value of Higher Education in developing research partnerships with industry.