E-fibre is an AHRC funded social science and design research project of innovation around electronic textiles.

The work is cross-disciplinary, drawing together research Textile Technology, Textile Design, Product Design, Science and Technology Studies, Business Studies, Design Management, Anthropology and Material Culture Studies, brought together through Nottingham Trent University’s Advanced Textiles research centre, C4CC (Centre for Creative Collaboration) at Goldsmiths, University of London and the Department of Anthropology at University College London. The aim of the activities proposed is to make possible ‘productive encounters’ (Collets 2009) between these disciplines to lay the ground for further research that will use design and social science methods to supply cultural insights to feed into future innovation in electronic textiles. The work will reflect on cultures of ‘innovation’, considering the projects, actors and potential notions of change and achievement which coalesce around particular materials.


There are three planned workshops that will have a clear thematic area, focused on a technology at an ‘immature development stage’ (Kohler et al 2011). They will facilitate discussion and exchange of ideas across academic disciplines including applied science, humanities and social science. Participants will include university researchers and lecturers, product designers, fashion designers and representatives from SMEs and larger businesses. The focus on textiles naturally gives the work international scope. The subject matter will include the role of designers and design methods in innovation, informed by the various disciplines represented and the potential for materially engaged creative methods of co-working across these disciplines to point towards potential innovations. The aim is to identify fruitful lines of enquiry, connections, parallels and contradictions between the workshop participants’ approaches to the focus of the work. More

Scoping report

The purpose of the proposed scoping study is to identify research and practice in a range of fields that are relevant to the overall aim, and to synthesise this work in a report. In keeping with the spirit of the work, this will address both the social/ cultural dimensions of historical trajectories of development in textiles, and the insights into likely lines of future development indicated by specific features of contemporary culture. The scoping will therefore include research in innovation theory, design process and ‘design thinking’, material culture studies and the development of textiles and fashion. It will also encompass applications of e-textiles, extending into design work and the recent history of innovation in this technology.

End of Grant report

The End of Grant report is now available to download. For the full report please click here: End of Grant report Sept 2014.