The Textiles and Materiality Research Cluster is part of the Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology at Concordia University. Textiles and Materiality brings together research creation expertise from textile arts and material culture to experiment with methods, processes and interdisciplinary modes of thinking that will shape the future of textiles, material objects and charged experiential spaces.
The cluster fosters research-creation expertise in textile arts and technologies, such as complex weaving, electronic fabrics, interactive garments, rapid prototyping technologies, emerging materials, soft surfaces, and smart fashion. The synergy, momentum, and strategic collaborations that emerge from this collective, support innovation in new material research practices, leveraging the rich potential of interdisciplinary work.
The cluster is located in the Engineering and Visual Arts Complex (EV) in downtown Montreal, at 1515 Ste-Catherine Street West. There are four designated research spaces currently under management of the Textiles and Materiality Cluster.
Barbara Layne is a Professor in Fibres and Material Practices at Concordia University and the Director of Studio subTela. She lectures and exhibits internationally, most recently at Columbia University (NYC), The Museo Textil de Oaxaca, Mexico, the Festival de la Imagen in Colombia, and the Kaunas Biennale of Textiles in Lithuania. Her work is supported by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts and Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Layne combines traditional materials and digital technologies. Natural materials are woven in alongside microcomputers, sensors and wireless systems to create flexible LED fabrics that are responsive to external stimuli. The resulting garments and wall hangings propose new possibilities for fabric and human interaction.
Kelly Thompson is an Associate Professor in Fibres and Material Practices and MFA Studio Arts programs at Concordia University. She exhibits her work internationally in exhibitions, festivals and biennials. Visually her work often represents water, and the borders between land, sea or river as transitory moments of time, place and memory. In another strand, concepts of digital traces, mapping, language, and translation are woven into cloth, engaging with technology, sensorial affects and materiality. Material codes: ephemeral threads is a current research-creation project funded by Le Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture that explores data systems, overlooked, unseen or undecipherable coded language, materializing ideas of digital trust and failure as contemporary woven tapestries.
Joanna Berzowska is Associate Professor in Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University as well as the founder and research director of XS Labs, a design research studio with a focus on innovation in the fields of electronic textiles and reactive garments. Berzowska is also the Head of Electronic Textiles at OMsignal, a wearable and smart textile platform that enables leading fashion brands to design smart apparel. A core component of her research involves the development of enabling methods, materials, and technologies, focusing on innovation in composite functional fibers, soft electronics, and additive manufacturing. Joanna completed graduate studies at the MIT Media Lab. Her art and design work has been shown in the V&A in London, the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in NYC, the Millennium Museum in Beijing, the Art Directors Club in NYC, the Australian Museum in Sydney, NTT ICC in Tokyo, SIGGRAPH, ISEA, SIGCHI, and Ars Electronica Center in Linz among others. She lectures internationally about the field of electronic textiles and related social, cultural, aesthetic, and political issues.
Professor pk langshaw, Department of Design and Computation Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University is a committed faculty member who strives to facilitate fluid models of knowledge acquisition in design education. Langshaw has social and interventionist design expertise and is a collaborator on diverse large scale projects that are cross disciplinary, utilizing theory and practice to situate works as socio/cultural and environmental commentary. She has been funded by Hexagram, FQRSC, CASA, the McConnell Foundation, CIAM and SSHRC. In 2006, Langshaw formed the research group, d_verse, which reflects the poetic nature of and diverse strategies for collaboration, creation and communication. Her hybrid praxis is extracted from concrete poetry, and expanded by the quantic relations of sense of histories to the sensory of stories within public/collective and private/self realms. Interested all things verse- diverse, reverse, inversion, transversal, and reversible, the works are mediated by traditional and digital mediums in the form of garments, dynamic poems, video and photography and realized in the forms of bookworks, web sites, projections and performative events.
As an artist, scholar and educator, Kathleen Vaughan’s interdisciplinary practice integrates research-creation, methodological theorizing, and collaborative and community-based practices. Her research-creation has both an individual studio component and an orientation to collaborative, participatory projects, taking up questions of home, belonging and spirit of place. She is particularly compelled by the traces of histories that endure in places and the ways that human stories are built in place. She works in drawing, painting, photography, textiles and text, often in collaged conjunctions.
Kathleen holds a PhD in Education from York University (Toronto), where her multimodal PhD dissertation incorporating a visual art installation and illustrated text was the first of its kind at the university, and won four Canadian and international academic awards for innovation and excellence. Dr. Vaughan has also earned an MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University (Montreal), a diploma in Fine Arts from the (then) Ontario College of Art (Toronto) and a BA in English and Art History from the University of Toronto.
Sarah Nance is an American artist working in installation, fiber and sculpture. Natural light occupies a central role in her work, as a temporal element that is intimately related to constructions of perception, beauty and place.
Nance is currently LTA Assistant Professor in Fibres & Material Practices at Concordia University in Montréal. She has previously held academic positions at Virginia Commonwealth University, as Visiting Assistant Professor/Area Head (2015-16) and Fountainhead Fellow (2014-15), both in Fiber. Nance participated in consecutive artist residencies in Reykjavík and Skagaströnd, Iceland, following the completion of her MFA at the University of Oregon in 2013.
Alice Jarry is an artist, researcher and educator who specializes in site-specific responsive works, socio-environmental design, digital arts, tangible media, and community-oriented projects. Her research brings concerns about sustainability, aesthetics, and politics to bear critically upon materiality, material production, and contemporary matters-of-concern regarding urban communities and infrastructures. With matter inseparable from both form and practice, her installation works examines how materiality – engaged in constant processes of transformation and circulation with site, technology, and communities – can provoke the emergence of adaptive forms and resilient socio-environmental relations.
Her current research focuses on residual matter and recycling/upcycling processes for glass. From natural resource extraction (Dust Silica, 2018) to current downcycling methods (Dust Agitator, 2018), Alice Jarry explores how the alliances between waste management infrastructure, design, art, and process philosophies can produce new modalities and experiences for residual matter.
Alice Jarry’s work have been funded by SSHRC, FQRSC, and Hexagram. As part of the research-creation program Beyond the operative images (UQAM-FQRSC, 2016-19), she examines how data flows can generate new critical and inclusive modes of engagement with materiality, land use, the built environment, and the socio-environmental impact of human activity. She is a member of Kheops – an International research consortium that adopts a socially responsible approach of the governance and management of major infrastructure projects within Québec and Canada. She is equally a member of Montreal based Digital Arts Collective Perte De Signal (Montréal), Milieux Institute for Research-Creation (Concordia University) and Hexagram (Montréal).
Kelly Jazvac works in sculpture, collage and installation. Simultaneously, she engages in
interdisciplinary plastic pollution research with a team of scientists, artists and writers. Jazvac has exhibited nationally and internationally, including recent exhibitions at FIERMAN Gallery (New York); The Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver); The Berman Museum, (Philadelphia); Koenig and Clinton (New York); Prosjekstrom Normanns (Norway); Parisian Laundry (Montréal); Vie D’Ange (Montréal); CAC Brétigny (Paris); and Art Museum at the University of Toronto. Her work has been recently written about in National Geographic, e-flux, Hyperallergic, The Huffington Post, Magenta Magazine, The New Yorker, Canadian Art, C Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Border Crossings, artforum.com, and The Brooklyn Rail. She is represented by FIERMAN Gallery, New York. She is based in Montréal, where she is an Associate Professor in Sculpture at Concordia University.
Surabhi Ghosh received her MFA in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art and her BFA in Fabric Design from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining Concordia University in 2014, she taught at the University of Oregon and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Ghosh’s work and collaborative projects have been exhibited at venues including the Wing Luke Museum (Seattle, WA), the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR), and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (Eugene, OR).
Her work is included in several collections such as the University of Chicago Rare Books Collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection. She recently participated in artist residency programs at Ox-Bow (Saugatuck, MI) and SPACE (Portland, ME).
From 2004 to 2013, she was cofounder and codirector of an international artists’ cooperative and annual publication project known as Bailliwik. From 2012 to 2014, she was also a codirector and member of Ditch Projects, an experimental artist-run space in Oregon.
Patrick Traer has taught at the Emily Carr Institute of Art &Design, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Saskatchewanand York University. He is best known for his large format drawings,embroidered textile works and upholstered sculptures which often extendinto mixed media installations using video, photography, light-boxes,and blown glass. These works reference incubation periods, biologicalobsolescence, and mythologies of human anatomy. He holds a bachelordegree in English Literature, and an MFA in Visual Arts. His work hasbeen exhibited widely across Canada and internationally at such venuesas The Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, The Mendel Art Gallery inSaskatoon, The Walter Philips Gallery in Banff, The Dunlop Art Galleryin Regina, Plug-in in Winnipeg, YYZ in Toronto, the Sheehan Gallery inWashington, and The Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis. He has receivednumerous awards including the Canada Council Paris Studio.
* See more of our research members here.
View a downloadable PDF of our 2017-2018 Cluster Annual Report.