Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Presented at Textile Society of America 11th Biennial Symposium: Textiles as Cultural Expressions, September 4-7, 2008, Honolulu, Hawai'i. Copyright © 2008 Eulanda A. Sanders


If textiles serve as records of a culture’s history and values, how should we approach and evaluate the integration of digitally-created and digitally-produced textiles? How do the application of digital technologies encourage or inhibit cultural expressions?

Government and academic institutions in the United Kingdom (UK) are actively trying to support and invigorate what is being called the ‘research culture’ in the UK, yet the ability to create and maintain sustainable research centres in the creative textile fields have proven to be difficult. Through reflectively analysing the creation, re-evaluation and re-focusing of the Centre for Advanced Textiles (CAT) at Glasgow School of Art, and through investigating future potential, this organised session will demonstrate possible methods for creating a culture for sustainable creative research with textile art and design technologies.

The following four papers presented by staff and affiliates of CAT work together to comprise a case study of one of the longest-term UK research centres in digital textiles and design:

• Learning/Teaching Digital Textiles – the role of location and culture in

linking the virtual and physical

• Commercial Research and Service – facilitating cultural expression

• Future textiles as a form of digital media – a new culture for design


• Cross-cultural analysis: connecting US to UK research culture in

textile technology and design

Collectively the presentations will address strategies for implementing textile technologies into design-led research, and will demonstrate the impact of these strategies on future textile culture.