Home products made from waste fats, to purses fashioned out of shedded snake skins. Our 2019 show saw new designers working towards the future to tackle global concerns by exploring bizarrely brilliant new materials.
Textile designer Lisa McLaughlin exploring waste ‘dust’ materials; tumble dryer lint, foam & cork. These soundproofing tiles are designed to incorporating both function and aesthetic.
Sustainability is obviously very important to you and your focus. What is it about sustainability that resonates with you as a designer?
In my final year of university I started to look at how I as a designer can work mindfully to create more responsibly designed products. It was important for me to explore how I can redesign, reuse and redefine materials to give them a new purpose and address the increasing crisis in the build-up and disposal of textile waste. I am especially interested in how I can design waste out of the system and create innovative materials from items destined for landfill.
What is your goal as a designer?
I like to create work that holds a balance between function and aesthetic which also pushes the boundaries of traditional textile practices demonstrating new ideas around material values.
Who or what is your biggest influence/inspiration?
For my FMP I was inspired by Sanne Visser ‘The New Age of Trichology’ who explores the pure potential of hair as a raw material, reducing waste, environmental problems and the pressure on other non-renewable materials.
Another designer who I find inspirational is Lucie Libotte, in her case study ‘Dust Matter(s)’ she examines discarded matter – domestic dust, she researched new techniques for reusing dust and this gave me inspiration for using waste tumble dryer lint in my FMP.
How do you push through a creative block?
I find the easiest way to enhance by creativity is to take time out to relax, have fun and surround myself with nature. I also try to explore other creative activities outside of textile design.
What’s next for you, where will you focus your next project?
I am currently working on designing awards for ‘The ALT Learning Technologist of the Year 2019’ awards ceremony. It was really important for me to explore ways of synergising technological process with sustainable materials, by doing so, I was able to design an award with a unique aesthetic.
Hypothetically, if your studio was a blaze and you could save one thing, what would
I left my job in the Northern Ireland Civil Service after 20 years to follow my passion and study textile design.
I would save a small quote pinned on my wall from Nelson Mandela ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it’.