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ArcInTex ETN

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ArcInTex ETN (ArcInTex ETN)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

A fundamental challenge in design research today is to define design programmes that suggest methods for turning current scientific knowledge and technical development into the design of new forms of living providing foundations for a more sustainable way of life.
As natural science and engineering science introduce new materials and new technology, there is an increasing need to explore their possibilities and consequences for the design of our future living environments. Ways of living are intrinsic to both architecture and textiles as areas of design; from near-field clothing design, fashion design, and furnishing to far-field interior design and architectural design, from dressing us and our bodies to situating us in a living space: how to relate the near-field and far-field perspectives of design expression is a central issue as we try to use technological innovations to improve our ways of living.
Turning scientific knowledge and technical development into design may focus on the functional solutions of given problems, but could also focus on expressional possibilities. It is this focus on expressional possibilities that is the main research theme underlying the ArcInTexETN.
As a training network for early stage researchers, in this case doctoral students from year one, the ArcInTexETN aims:

- To strengthen the foundations of design for new forms of more sustainable ways of living by connecting architecture, textiles and interaction design in a training network for early stage researchers using textile thinking as a common methodological foundation.
- To open up for new reflective foundations of the design for living in an age of technological innovations, by designing for adaptive and responsive environments connecting the scales of the body, the interior and the building.
- To form an avant-garde of cross disciplinary trained researchers ready to take on fundamental challenges both in academia and in the private sector building their work practice on new ideas of material thinking and design thinking with emphasis on sensitive design expressions for reflective living.
- To contribute to further establish design research at a level similar to that of engineering science in areas of special importance for the design of our future ways of living, which is crucial for academia and private sector collaboration on issues of design.

Connecting architecture, textile and fashion design, and interaction design through explorations into the expressional possibilities of modern technology for dressing, furnishing, and building the overall research objective of the ETN is to develop programmes, methods and techniques for the design of adaptive, responsive environments connecting the scales of the body, the interior and the building.
Work performed
Main focus for the reporting period has been on recruitment of the ArcInTexETN doctoral students (the early stage researchers – ESRs – of the network), detailed planning of training and first year ESR training including planning and implementation of the first period of secondments, as well as putting network organisation in place according to given plans. This includes defining individual research programs in detail as well as starting up collaborative work among the ESRs, planning the two first two-week summer schools in Berlin and London, the first common course in Berlin and the first workshop in Borås and Eindhoven.
Progress in training as well as activities with respect to mobility have been carefully monitored during the period in individual follow up meetings with all ESRs and documented by updating individual study plans.
The overall goals for the period have been reached with respect to deliverables and milestones. ESRs show overall very good progress. Mobility and network interaction between ESRs are very good and initial results with respect to individual research programs are overall very promising.
Main results

ESR research training: The definitions of initial research programs and study plans for individual ESRs.
For each ESR the initial phase of the training program has been focused on defining the specific research program and plan for the doctoral studies at the different schools in the network. This phase has overall been very successful.
Network training: The initial definition of a new model for a European, nomadic form of doctoral research training in artistic fields.
The network training programme has started well and is clearly opening up a path for defining a new model for a European, nomadic form of doctoral research training in artistic fields.

Textile thinking: The initial introduction of textile thinking as a common methodological concept linking and bridging the areas of textile architecture and textile interaction design.
It is clear from training and networking so far that this notion has the suggestive power necessary to open up for a common ground bridging the different areas of the training network. It is further clear that explorations of textile thinking will constitute a main common contribution of the training network.
Progress beyond the state of the art

The definition of a new model for a nomadic and cross disciplinary form of research training in the arts that ArcInTexETN has now introduced in practice goes beyond state of the art in its
- broad focus on ways of living connecting the scales of the building, the scale of the interior and the scale of the body,
- specific focus on interaction design as a communicating link in between far field and near field perspectives,
- nomadic structure of moving cross disciplinary groups of doctoral students around in a network of complementary study environments,
- broad cross disciplinary and cross institutional teams of supervisors.

The specific way of introducing textile thinking as common methodological foundation introduced by ArcInTexETN defines a new way to connect textile architecture and textile interaction design.

Expected results until the end of the project and potential impacts

Main intended results concerns on one hand a model for cross disciplinary nomadic research training in the arts contributing to the definition of artistic research as a force in changing ways of living and on the other hand more specifically to promote connecting architecture, textile and fashion design, and interaction design in explorations of the expressional possibilities of modern technology for dressing, furnishing and building for adaptive and responsive forms of future living.

Through a combination of in-depth specialisations, collaborative project work training, and private sector secondments, the ESRs of the ArcInTexETN will form a highly trained avant-garde, ready to take on complex challenges both in academic design education and research and in design development work in the private sector.

As a consequence, the ETN will contribute to further developing the European principles of Doctoral Training, and link together strong European traditions within the fields of art, design, and architecture on the level of practice-based research education.

Results obtained in the ArcintexETN research program will be presented using different platforms of communication, e.g. peer-reviewed publications, exhibitions, conferences and workshops–with the aim to be disseminated across the academic and private sector, and society.