Fashion Updates | Technologies

University of the Arts London and TWI Create Innovation Lab

Published: June 24, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

-By Pratyasha sarkar

A new agreement between University of the Arts London (UAL), acknowledged to be one of the world’s top arts and design universities, and leading, international research and technology organisation (RTO) TWI, will see the two parties establish a unique centre for creative textile and materials engineering technologies called the University of the Arts London Innovation Lab.

UAL is Europe’s largest creative education community with over 22,000 students from 130 countries. Its six renowned colleges – Camberwell, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion, and Wimbledon – offer art, design, fashion, media, and performance courses. UAL also houses four institutes for research and innovation: AKO Storytelling Institute, Creative Computing Institute, Decolonising Arts Institute, and Fashion, Textiles and Technology Institute.

TWI is a membership-based organisation, with its headquarters in Cambridge, UK, specialising in engineering, manufacturing and materials across a wide range of industry sectors. TWI’s innovation focused activities include provision of advice, consultancy, and research and development (R&D) via dedicated industry and technology-based programmes, inspection and training services, and the TWI Innovation Network fostering industry-academia collaboration.

The collaboration between UAL and TWI aims to expand the field of design research and technology innovation in textile and fibre-based materials science and engineering with creativity at its core. The Innovation Lab will focus on delivering new applications, tools and processes that will advance the knowledge and expertise of the partners and, importantly, contribute to wider technological development across industries that use textiles within their supply chain. The core focus areas include circular and bio-inspired design, material and environmental sciences, creative computing, additive manufacturing (AM) technologies and Industry 5.0, offering a holistic approach. The combination of scientific, technical and design expertise will establish the University of the Arts Innovation Lab as a centre of excellence for novel, sustainable solutions for the 21st century.

Speaking on behalf of TWI about the new partnership, Heather Claxton, Associate Director, and Research and Innovation Global Operations Group Manager, said “TWI has a wealth of experience in collaborating with third parties to win grant funding and deliver shared R&D projects. Therefore, we are excited to combine this background with UAL’s exceptional track record in textiles and their application in the wider context, and by the prospect of what we will be able to achieve together for industry, the environment and societies through the University of the Arts Innovation Lab.”

Kate Goldsworthy, Professor of Circular Design and Innovation and Director of the University of the Arts London Innovation Lab, said “We are incredibly excited to be launching the University of the Arts Innovation Lab with TWI. Creativity is at the core of our approach to changing the world for the better, often through collaborative partnerships with those who share these ambitions. UAL has been collaborating with TWI for over a decade, working on projects where design meets STEM research in the textile sector. This new strategic partnership will enable us to take our combined research and innovation to the next level and engage across a broader range of material sectors.”

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