The Design Lifetimes Talk was introduced by Professor Rebecca Earley who highlighted Kay's professional career and achievements at UAL and within the Textiles Environment Design Team.
The talk will present a view of the current position of textile design from the perspective of the Textiles Environment Design (TED) project at CCW (part of UAL Textile Futures Research Centre).
Today's textile design graduates are entering a professional landscape largely unchanged in structure since the middle of last century. The familiar systems for design creation, presentation and production have continued, although transformed by new technologies at almost every stage.
However, in recent years, there has been a huge growth in awareness of the environmental, economic and social implications of production. What, how, where and why things are made is gradually becoming central in the minds of designers, manufacturers and citizens. Practical action that will bring about systemic change or in the interim, effect even 'marginal gains', is urgently needed. Therefore designers must devise prototypes, which not only continue to solve problems but confront the issues surrounding the lifecycle of products, new ecological thinking and developments in consumption.
Over a period of fifteen years, researchers, practitioners and teachers at Chelsea have collaborated with the aim of developing sustainable textiles. Strategies for identifying innovative ways of designing more sustainable products enable designers to take on a dynamic role, which includes facilitation, activism and social engagement.
THE TEN strategies are being used as a kind of infrastructure for us to reflect on the evolution of our research, on its potential impact in industry and on the education of designers. The dominance of consumerism and industrial profit must be challenged by innovation to overcome the ever-increasing ecological imperatives.
To read the publication that accompanies this lecture, please go to:
For more information on Kay's research, please go to: