Textile Futures Research Centre

Blue Tree, Redwoods Centre, Shrewsbury. Linda Florence and Robin Crowley, 2012.
Blue Tree, Redwoods Centre, Shrewsbury by Linda Florence and Robin Crowley, 2012
Linda Florence and Robin Crowley

The Textile Futures Research Centre (TFRC) is a cross-college design-led and practice-based centre led by Professor Rebecca Earley and Anne Marr.

TFRC projects

TFRC is one of the eight Research Centres established at University of the Arts London and is based across two of its eminent design colleges: Central Saint Martins and Chelsea College of Arts. TFRC hosts a community of practice-based researchers who
 explore how materials and textiles can enable a more sustainable future.

Our research projects examine the future of textiles through several lenses – future materials, science and technology, sustainable strategy, well-being and social innovation. We work 
at local, national and international levels and are engaged with both fundamental and applied research. We also act as consultants for leading brands and manufacturers to help them develop and implement design-driven sustainable strategies.

Main aims

The centre is at the forefront of collaborative research, concerned with textiles and material design. It brings together UAL research staff, PhD students, national and international academic researchers, cultural institutions, industry and commerce. 

TFRC researchers explore the areas of fashion, product, architecture, environment, medicine, well-being and social innovation. TFRC is a strong, vibrant and active research community with diverse research activities and outputs. These range from the creation of new materials and techniques, through to critical academic papers and participation in national and international conferences.

The centre’s many multi-disciplinary collaborations provide the opportunity to combine theory with action - working with scientists, technologists, engineers, designers or makers - translating research and innovative methods into the commercial world. With the research approaches and outputs we are continually evolving, and with our undergraduate and postgraduate textile programs input, we are shaping the future of the textile industry.

Textile design and production have played a pivotal role in economic, social, educational and cultural development worldwide. The diverse range of research projects, within TFRC, seek to explore this role to benefit future social systems by situating designers in the vanguard of new social, cultural, scientific and technological development, by contributing empirical and innovative research to support sustainable and resilient design to realise the potential of textiles’ aesthetics, production, function, application and cultural influence to advance the textile industry.