Developing a Joint Language in Textiles

  • Lindy Richardson (Organiser)

Activity: Other activity typesOther



Collaborative exploration between Edinburgh College of Art and Wuhan Textile University, China, "Developing a Joint Language in Textiles". Aims: This project was generously funded by The British Council to promote a cultural exchange in an educational setting. Initially devised in collaboration with Robert Gillan and based on a pedagogic theory which I had explored in my postgraduate certificate in learning and teaching (2008), this project utilised collaborative practice as a means to learning and teaching through experience; aiming to introduce both staff and students to a different culture through physical engagement and interaction within the design process. Whilst it is common practice to pontificate, comment and work alongside and with other artist and designers, this project insisted on multi-authorship throughout the design process. By working into and onto the textiles of another culture through exchanges of samples in a several iterations between the institutions, individuals were, we believed, more fully immersed in the concepts and techniques of one another’s cultures. Significance and Rigour: Culturally: through promoting heritage by immersing Scottish staff and students in study of indigenous craft through archives at Paisley museum, The Burrell Collection, interwoven with the Chinese staff and students immersed in their cultural heritage. Educationally: Collaboration is a current buzz word in educational settings, however I would argue that this approach immerses the participants more fully on a physical as well as an intellectual level with the artefacts and techniques of a different culture. Despite the visual and textural richness of the final textile samples, the value in this project is undoubtedly seen in the participants’ reflective feedback. Outputs: The project has culminated in a series of collaborative textile samples exhibited in Wuhan Textile University, China, and a book co-authored by myself and Izzy Bocchetti documenting the process both visually and through the analysis and inclusion of staff and student feedback gathered.