Textile Design – Bachelor of Arts
BP121 - Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design)
Textiles have the ability to enhance our lives in dramatic ways – combining colour and pattern, surface and form, textiles can seduce, excite, comfort and inspire. They respond to our most basic needs – shelter, warmth, and sensory pleasure.
The Bachelor of Arts Textile Design program is unique in providing professionally qualified textile designers for fashion, interiors, home-wares, graphics, trend forecasting, knitwear, automotive and licensing design industries in Australia and overseas.
As a program we provide an innovative learning environment framed within contemporary contexts, to ensure that as a graduate, you are able to meet the opportunities and challenges that a globalised complex urban orientated future presents. You will engage in a range of real world project that reflect the diversity and opportunities of textile design as a career path.
You will develop a range of skills; of analytical and critical thinking, problem solving, design for sustainability, communication, team and project management skills, as well as core design skills to enable you to creatively explore textile materials and digital media applicable to design and textile design industries.
- Surf wear
- Street wear
- Colour and trend forecasting
- Carpet / hard surfaces
- Colour and trim
- Advanced design
- Studio based textile design
- Freelance textile design
- Designer maker (small medium size enterprise)
- Graphic art
- Masters by coursework
- Masters by research
- Bachelor of Teaching
- Diploma of Education
Julie Newton – 2010 graduate
“The degree was invaluable in building my skills and confidence as a designer ready to enter the field as a professional. The learning environment is well organized and inspiring and the staff are a pillar of strength when it comes to guiding, encouraging and supporting the students every step of the way. Within 6 months of graduating from RMIT, I entered the workforce and am now a full-time senior graphic designer at a major children’s wear label. It is my understanding that amongst my peers, the vast majority have been employed as professional designers with many of those opportunities arising through affiliations with RMIT.” Julie is now working for the childrenswear label Gumboots as a full time senior graphic designer.
Julie Newton with her third year project work
Rachel Black – 2010 graduate
“Bachelor of Arts Textile Design provides a fantastic platform for learning. I feel proud to have such a specific yet hugely varied range of skills that were developed through the degree. I believe that the diversity of projects, sustainable focus and forward thinking nature of Textile Design and it’s staff provide an excellent basis for an exciting learning environment” Rachel majored in knitted textiles, spending 3 months studying on exchange at Nottingham Trent University in the UK. She now works for Australian Country Spinners as a full time pattern writer.
Rachel Black with her third year project work
auspinners.com.au - Australian country spinners
Jess Eisenhauer – 2010 graduate
“The key is to always try new things, to experiment, and not be afraid to take risks. In the near future I hope to be designing creative artwork and prints for fashion. My aim through further study, travel and pursuing creative collaborations is to push boundaries between textiles and technology and to create new ideas and avenues for textiles.” Whilst studying at RMIT Jess elected to take part in a semester exchange in Helsinki, Finland. Whilst there she participated in an exhibition of textile works for the 2009 International Art and Design Research conference. Jess is currently working as a textile designer for Longina Phillips in Sydney.
Jess Eisenhaur with her third year work
Georgie McKenzie – 2010 graduate
“I approach my work in a thoughtful manner, considering the skills and techniques I can draw on which best suit the intended outcome. I enjoy the experimental stage of the design process and aim to be as playful as possible so to create diversity. As I progress I constantly reflect and refine on my ideas with careful consideration to materials, technique and outcome”. Georgie won the second year Linen House award for her range of themed living accessories. Georgie is now working as a full time textile designer at Linen House.
Georgie McKenzie with her third year project work
linenhouse.com.au - Linen House
What are our graduates doing now?
- Beci orpin - beciorpin.com
- Nicola Cerini - nicolacerini.com
- Georgia Chapman - vixenaustralia.com
- Jason Cesani and Nadia Husiak - printinkstudio.com
The Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) curriculum has been re-designed to include three pillars of sustainability (environmental, social, economic) as core design considerations. Graduates develop a greater awareness and appreciation for the skills and attitudes necessary to practice in a sustainable manner, ensuring textile design is relevant in the 21st century.
Increasingly industry and the design community are recognising the value in student work that addresses issues of sustainability. Evidence of this can be found in the 2010 Design Institute of Australias Victorian/Tasmanian Graduate of the Year Award, the Premiers Sustainability Award 2011 and the Green Gown Australasia Learning and Teaching Award 2011.
The future of textile design is as much about reconnecting with traditional craft techniques as it is about working with transformative digital tools and technologies. New Craft is about adopting hand and digital making tools, techniques and processes, to create more meaningful and personal design outcomes. Projects within the program enable you to explore the principles of good design, customisation and personalisation, the role of the designermaker, and enable connections with global and local craft practices and practitioners..
The Bachelor of Arts Textile Design provides opportunities to undertake conceptual projects in multi-disciplinary design teams. These projects provide ways to explore textile design in collaborative studios with disciplines such as architecture, industrial design and fashion design. Projects reflect real world scenarios, material innovation, textile technology, sustainability and design, as well as broader concepts relating to the city, society and well-being.
A key focus of the Bachelor of Arts Textile Design is to provide students with the opportunity to work on ‘real world’ briefs. By working on projects with our industry partners, students learn to develop textile design skills and outcomes that are responsive to forecasted trends and customer needs, utilizing their creative and technical skills developed in all courses within the program. Recent projects have been in collaboration with Dryen Australia, Linen House and Ladelle. In addition to industry projects, third year students undertake work integrated learning (WIL) as a part of their final year of study. WIL aims to give students a direct ‘real world’ experience, spending up to 90 hours working with industry in design studios, workshops or offices.
Linen House (LH) – second year textile studio
The LH project gave students the opportunity to; research, explore, create and refine concepts for the LH range of bed linen and associated accessories. Under the guidance of LH designers Emily Treganowan and Liz McCracken, students developed hand painted artwork inspired by the Vienna: Art and Design exhibition held at the NGV in 2011. Congratulations to Kate Tuckett, Laura Dougherty, Elise Cakebread, Esther Sandler and Megan McNeill for their first, second and highly commended awards.
Students share their work with LH designers Emily and Liz. Kate Tuckett’s award winning project
Dryen Australia – third year computer aided textile design (CATD)
Third year students participated in a bed linen project briefed by Dryen Australia. Honing their CATD skills developed in first and second year, students were asked to create a range of textile designs based on current trends for quilt covers, sheets, pillowcases and accessories. Students could choose to design for either adults with the themes, ‘Sugar and Spice’ and ‘Into the Wild’ or children with the themes, ‘Artbrat’ and ‘Tropicana’. The Dryen project is a valuable industry partnership that reinforces how creativity utilizing CATD can achieve commercial outcomes, with successful student work taken through to production. Congratulations to the 2011 award winners; Hannah Hughes, Kate Henke and Teresa Adams.
Dryen award winning work – Hannah Hughes, Kate Henke, Teresa Adams
Ladelle – third year textile studio
The Ladelle project required third year students to design a range of contemporary kitchen accessories based on Ladelle’s styling trends, target marketplace and forecast information. The project’s emphasis was to prepare students for industry, giving them the opportunity to design a co-ordinating range of CATD based work to a professional, commercial production ready standard. Congratulations to Hannah Hughes ‘Peppermint Royale’, Bree Janes ‘Tailored Industria’ and Rachel McCarthy ‘Floral Spot’.
Ladelle award winning work – Bree Janes, Rachel McCarthy, Hannah Hughes
Study abroad for one or two semesters at an RMIT affiliated overseas institution.
Edith and Amelia spent semester two of their second year on exchange in Europe and the UK, both found it to be an extremely rewarding experience, see below.
Edith Barrett – second year print major
Estonian Academy of the Arts, Estonia
Red tiled turrets, acres and acres of forest, dragons and a plethora of ethnographic textiles. Estonia is straight from any fairytale book you may of read and couldn’t be any more different to Australia! The Estonian Academy of the Arts has a strong academic art background and its modest size has led to some very interesting opportunities and a refreshingly different range of subjects. My class (of 6 people) spent a weeklong residence with Estonia’s most respected Textile Designer at her farm and museum in the forest, enjoying saunas, swims in the lake and access to an incredible collection of traditional Estonian textiles. We will be attending a shibori master class with Japanese artist Tokitomo Hisako and are exhibiting in and attending the Heimtextil trade fair in Frankfurt in January 2012, so much to see and do!
Traditional Estonian textiles, Edith sketching en plein air, Edith with her work, beautiful Estonian scenery.
Amelia Pope – second year knit major
Nottingham Trent University, UK
The experience has been fantastic! The University accessibility and support is amazing and the technology is extremely motivating for a knit major like myself, we had access to dubbed knitting machines and Shima Seiki power knit machines. Overall the experience has been ‘once in a lifetime’ and I would recommend for anyone to give it a go. It was difficult at times being so far from home, however Facebook, Skype and my iPhone have really lessened the distance and made the whole experience that much greater as I can readily share my thoughts and experiences. If you are considering the exchange opportunities offered through RMIT, I say 'Go For It, You won't regret it!'
Images from left to right: Nottingham Trent University, traditional knit machinery, new knit technology, urban architecture.
Australasian Graduate of the Year Awards (AGOTYA)
Bachelor of Arts Textile Design graduate Sarah Strickland has won two major design awards at this year's Australasian Graduate of the Year Awards (AGOTYA).
Sarah won the Design Institute of Australia's 2012 AGOTYA award for excellence and first prize in the Textile Design category.
Sarah's winning projects focused on sustainable and innovative design solutions that aim to bring the community together.
Graduates from the Bachelor of Arts Textile Design have won all three prizes in the textile category of the 2010 GOTYA's. Victorian overall winner Julie Newton was selected based on her beautifully crafted pop up book, combining digital illustration with hand construction. Runner up Jessica Eisenhauer and highly commended Georgie McKenzie were awarded prizes for their swimwear and fashion accessories.
Images left to right
Patrick Snelling (program coordinator), Georgie McKenzie, Jess Eisenhauer and Julie Newton with their award winning projects
2011 proved to be a big year for Bachelor of Arts Textile Design. The program won the Premier’s Sustainability Award for tertiary education and the Green Gown Australasia award for learning & teaching.
With regards to the Premier’s award, RMIT’s Vice Chancellor Professor Gardner said "The Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) is undoubtedly a leader in this field and this award is fitting recognition for the hard work of program staff over recent years."
The Green Gown judges felt the program "showed a deep commitment to embedding sustainability within its curriculum and……showed real promise for replicability elsewhere".
More about the Premier’s Sustainability Award
More about the Green Gown Award
The Bachelor of Arts Textile Design team
Powerhouse Love Lace 2011 - Esther Paleologos
Bachelor of Arts Textile Design knit lecturer, Esther Paleologos won one of five $4000 category prizes in the Powerhouse Museum’s Love Lace Exhibition for her entry Memory. The Powerhouse competition attracted 700 entries internationally, with 134 artists selected as finalists. Memory is an explorative piece, which combines domestic machine knitting, hand knitting and crochet using non-conventional materials such as electrical copper wire and a stainless steel wool blend.
Photographs of Esther’s work entitled Memory.
Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award (WTCA) 2011 – Patrick Snelling, program coordinator
Patrick has been to Japan on several occasions and the recent natural and man made disasters that have impacted on the island nation, have had a profound and sobering effect on the way he recalls his experiences of Japanese culture. The textile traditions and aesthetics of Japan have always influenced his textile practice and have created a construct that reflects the way this award winning work has been developed and assembled. The grouping of hand and digitally printed textile hexagons, represent a meta language of patterns and techniques. Represented in this work are classical Japanese motifs and contemporary images that have been captured digitally from visits to Tokyo and Kyoto. The work was awarded the $5000 prize and has been acquired for the WTCA collection.
The School of Fashion & Textiles merges the traditional with the latest technology. Students work in the practical areas of screen printing, knitting and weaving alongside digital: laser cutting, shima knitting, direct to fabric printing and jacquard weaving.
In second and third year of the program students have access to the school’s digital and industrial machinery to develop project work.
From left to right: jacquard loom, laser cutter, shima seiki, direct to fabric digital printer, design for shima.
Across first, second and third year studio working environments play an important role in developing your design skills.
Practical workshops make up a considerable part of the program. Students begin by working in print, knit and weave. In second year students elect to major in one area. From left to right: knit, weave and print.
Patrick Snelling - Program coordinator
Dr Jenny Underwood - Lecturer constructed textiles
Verity Prideaux - Lecturer printed textiles
Esther Paleologos - Lecturer constructed textiles
Emma Lynas - Lecturer in textile design
Luise Adams - Lecturer in textile design
Claire Beale - Lecturer in textile design
Dr Juliette Peers - Post graduate supervisor
Patrick Snelling Program coordinator
Ph: 03 99259411
Fiona Gavens Program administration
Ph: 03 99259116
RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles
Building 513, Level, 1, Room 3
25 Dawson Street
Brunswick VIC 3056
Speak to our friendly staff about programs, applications, pathways and important dates at RMIT Info Corner.
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