News from the Textile and Design Lab at the Auckland University of Technology.


Graduating students push the lab’s boundaries

Final year undergraduate students from disciplines including Engineering, Product Design, Spatial Design, Creative Technologies, Communication Design as well as Fashion and Textile Design have been working with the Textile and Design Lab during the course of this year to develop their prototypes that continue to push the boundaries of the lab’s technologies.  ‘It is really gratifying to see the students’ finished work after producing numerous iterations along the way’, says TDL manager, Peter Heslop.  The students have developed some outstanding work that was displayed at the recent AUT Art and Design Festival as well as during the Engineering School’s showcase in October.  Product Design student, Sam Marshall, worked closely with Senior Technician, Gordon Fraser, to develop a one-piece knitted running shoe using a combination of merino wool and bamboo yarns and recycled materials for the sole.  According to Sam, ‘The TDL was the ideal place to prototype my shoe upper as they had the right machines and Gordon was able to offer advice and solutions to any problems and hurdles I faced throughout the design process’.

Some of the amazing work produced by our graduating students during 2016:
Sam Marshall – Product Design (top left), Briar Turner – Fashion Design (top right),
Marina Daley - Textile Design (bottom left) and Yuqing Chen – Creative Technologies (bottom right)
Top right and bottom left images courtesy of THREAD
Moana red carpet date for Textile and Design Lab

Renowned New Zealand Maori fashion designer, Kiri Nathan, was approached by Walt Disney movie producer, Osnat Shurer, after a year-long quest to find a Pacific designer who could create a gown for 15 year-old actress, Auli’i Cravalho, the voice of Moana, for the movie premier that was held at the iconic El Capitan theatre in Hollywood earlier this month.  In Kiri’s own words, it took the efforts of a ‘small iwi’ to bring the gown together, including the services of the Textile and Design Lab, which digitally printed the movie inspired artwork onto silk fabric from which the gown was made.  Kiri is the first New Zealand fashion label to work with Walt Disney and says ‘It was wonderful to meet and work with the team at Disney and Auli’i to create a piece that was age appropriate, spoke to the movie and celebrated our Pacifica origins.  In recognition of her efforts, Kiri was invited to the premier where she was welcomed by Osnat and her team who treated her like whanau.  The Moana movie is due to be released in New Zealand in December.  Read more about Kiri Nathan.  

Kiri’s gown designed for Hawaiian actress, Auli’i Cravalho
Image courtesy of Kiri Nathan
Lab’s contribution to Pete’s Dragon movie

Costume designer, Pip Lingard, approached the Textile and Design Lab last year whilst working on a costume design project, which required some specific printed T-shirt designs for the Pete’s Dragon movie production.  ‘To create the look required for the movie we sourced retro T-shirts and fabric to base our  ideas on but this type of thing is usually a scarcity and as we needed multiples for our actors, stunts and doubles, we needed to recreate the fabric’ said Pip.  ‘We experimented with various stripy samples, both copying original fabrics and designing our own stripe graphics, and then refined these choices as the design process evolved.  This was by no means an easy process especially at distance but the lab was always helpful and accommodating to our demands and very short timeframes’. 
The TDL was called upon to digitally print fabrics for
the recently launched Pete’s Dragon movie
Poster courtesy of Walt Disney Studios
Conference season gets underway

TDL co-Directors, Frances Joseph and Mandy Smith, and TDL colleague, Rachelle Moore, will be presenting research papers during the coming weeks at conferences in Los Angeles, Antwerp and Wellington respectively.  Frances Joseph, will present a paper entitled ‘Sapient Textiles: Materiality, mediation and embodiment’ at the Body of Knowledge Conference being held at the University of California, Irvine from 8-10 December.  Mandy Smith presented a paper on ‘Fashion in Fiji: The potential of design within the context of a declining manufacturing industry’ at the 4th Non-Western Fashion Conference, which was held at the University of Antwerp from 24-26 November.  Rachelle Moore will deliver a paper entitled ‘Stitching the Past to the Future’ at the End of Fashion Conference being hosted by Massey University in Wellington on 8-9 December.
PhD success

Congratulations to TDL research assistant, Creative Technologies Lecturer and AUT postgraduate student, Miranda Smitheram, on the successful completion of her PhD.  Miranda worked as a fashion designer before returning to full-time study for her Master of Philosophy degree at AUT, which she completed in 2013.  Her practice-led PhD utilised both digital textile printing and motion capture technologies and was supervised by TDL co-Directors, Frances Joseph and Mandy Smith.  Miranda will continue teaching at AUT next year on the Bachelor of Creative Technologies programme.
TDL welcomes back Sandy Black

Professor Sandy Black from the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, will be visiting the Textile and Design Lab in mid-December on her return visit to New Zealand.  During her current visit, Sandy will be presenting at The End of Fashion Conference in Wellington.
When art meets fashion

Former AUT Master of Art and Design (Fashion Design) graduate, Alysha Gover, returned to the Textile and Design Lab recently to digitally print one of her colleague’s hand-painted artworks onto a silk fabric for an exhibit at the Bay of Plenty Garden and Art Festival.  Abstract painter, Lee Kleiman, who works alongside Alysha at fashion design and retail company, Repertoire, in Mount Maunganui, had her artwork scanned and resized to enable the lab to print the fabric and make up the garment within a matter of just a few days.  Read more about Lee’s work.
Lee Kleiman’s exhibit at the Bay of Plenty festival
2017 Short course and workshop proramme

Our short course and workshop programme for 2017 will be announced early in the New Year.
Holiday closure dates

The Textile and Design Lab will close for the holiday period on Friday 16 December and will reopen on Thursday 12 January.  The directors and staff at the lab would like to thank all our commercial, educational and research partners for their support throughout the year and we look forward to working with you again in 2017.
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