Come along to Elena Brebenel’s PhD Confirmation

Hello, This is Elena and I am based in Canada. I will give my Confirmation Presentation at CSM on Thursday, May 10 (@11:30 in A402) and I am trying to gather an audience. Please come along if you can. Sincerely Elena Brebenel

For more detail about my research please see abstract below:

This practice-based design research is situated at the intersection of textile design and bio-inspiration, and is applied to domestic air quality. It examines how bio-inspired textile artefacts can raise awareness about the health of the home environment with a focus on air quality. At home, we are constantly exposed to the hidden effects of microbial and chemical factors that affect the air quality and have a negative impact on human health. Despite the potential adverse effects, general awareness is quite low (Osabgemi et al., 2009) and no design work that raises awareness about air quality at home has been created.

Bio-inspiration provides a way to abstract design principles from biological models and apply them to the design of artefacts. In this study, a range of interactive textile artefacts that are inspired by the nest behaviour of blue tit (Cyanistes Caeruleus) female bird have been developed. The artefacts invite participants to this study to engage with them over the course of two weeks to test whether this engagement raises their awareness about home environment with a focus on air quality. Awareness is aimed at by replicating the repetitive bird behaviour that deals with maintaining a healthy environment.  When the behaviour is translated in the design of artefacts, the artefacts gain ritualistic dimensions due to their role to communicate meaning and the repetitive nature of engagement.

The research methodology developed within the practice involves the following stages: developing the design brief, generating design explorations through a series of textile samples and two sets of textile artefacts (i.e. wall-hangings), testing by undertaking two adoption experiments (as part of which artefacts are housed in participants’ homes for two weeks) and using qualitative methods of data collection (i.e., interviews and journals), and analysing the results by using a reflective process. The research applied an iterative methodology, as the results of the first adoption experiment informed the design of a second set of artefacts, that were then tested through a second adoption experiment. To this date, eight textile wall-hangings have been developed and tested during two adoption experiments, which took place in August 2017 and respectively, January 2018. The interviews and journals have undergone a reflective analysis, the findings of which are to be integrated into a final textile artefact for home.