Academic Consultancy Training

The aim of the course Academic Consultancy Training is to offer teams of students the opportunity to execute a consultancy project in collaboration with an external commissioner. The student teams, composed of students with various disciplinary and often cultural backgrounds, work in a transdisciplinary manner. This means that based on data gathering and analysis, the teams merge multiple academic and practical knowledge.
The end product of ACT is an academic consultancy advice with future actions for the real-life query or challenge of the commissioner.

Curious about ACT? Here you can find more information.

Textile as Living Skin

In addition to cellulose, mycelium, algae, and kombucha are also interesting sustainable raw materials for textile and interior design. Forty Bachelor and Master students of different degree programmes participated in the "Circular Economy: Theory and Practice” course in which they investigated how to use the Cradle to Cradle perspective for a transition to a circular fashion system. The abovementioned raw materials – and the impact that clothing made from these materials might have on personal identity – were the focus of this project.

Period: November - December 2017

Designers and entrepreneurs involved: Aniela Hoitink, Emma van der Leest, and Iris Houthoff

Inspired by nature: Biomimicry in fashion

In this project the relationship between biomimicry and sustainable principles for applications in the field of fashion, textiles and design was explored. Literature research complemented with interviews disclosed the potential of biomimicry in the fashion industry. Findings showed five examples of biomimicry in fashion and five potential innovations of applying biomimicry to textiles. One novel opportunity was explored in-depth: the ability of the Chinese juniper tree to catch particulate matter through its epicuticular wax structure.

Period: January – March 2018

Fibre hemp: in search of ecological fashionable textiles

Hemp fibre crop has the potential to provide strong and attractive fibres to produce different fashionable fabrics. The main research question in this ACT project was: What are the most promising combinations of production and technologies yielding the ultimate fibre and quality for the textile industry in an ecological way? The project reviewed the current state of the art in post-harvest crop processing and bio-refining of hemp crop, taking into account the environmental impact and economic feasibility of the various routes. The team provided a review report and presented the results with recommendations to selected stakeholders.

Period: March – May 2018

Oranges in your shoe: leather from fruit waste

The process of producing conventional leather is not sustainable due to the high pollution and use of the carcinogen chromium. In order to research the possibilities of fruit leather, two important elements were investigated: (1) analyzing the technical and production feasibility of producing fruit leather, which included an overview of feasible plant waste as the potential natural materials and layer structure within a new compacted system; and (2) analyzing the marketability, which included an overview of consumer acceptance and likelihood of purchasing.

Period: January – March 2018

Designers involved: Luc Aarts & Tjeerd Veenhoven

3D printed clothes from biodegradable waste - the future?

Cellulose – a substance that can be found in many natural fibres – can be used as raw material for sustainable textiles. Five Master students (of degree programmes such as Plant Biotechnology and Development Studies) investigated which waste streams yield the most cellulose, including sugar beet leaves and stems as well as old paper. Subsequently, they looked at how cellulose can be processed (sustainably) into textiles and what the quality of this end-material is. They also interviewed consumers: Would you wear clothing made of biodegradable waste? The advice: "Engage the consumer in the story!"

Period: September - October 2017

Designers involved: Tjeerd Veenhoven, Lilian van Daal and Eric Klarenbeek

Living Colors: Naturally produced pigments for the textile industry

In this ACT project students are asked to explore which natural pigments can be extracted/produced by plants, algae and microorganism and to which extent this is feasible in relation to the fashion industry. Students are invited to research the potential of these ‘living colors’ for the transition to a more sustainable fashion system. Possibilities are researched to create a new color palette and a new visual aesthetics through sustainable biodesign and upcyling colors.

Period: March – May 2018

Designers involved: Ilfa Siebenhaar & Laura Luchtman

Bone porcelain

In this ACT project we explore bone porcelain as indicator of animal welfare thereby exploring the relationship between animal living conditions, bone quality and porcelain strength. bone chinaImportant is to understand why the quality of organic animal bone might result in a better quality of bone china and what this quality says about the quality of life of the animal.

Commissioners: Studio Nienke Hoogvliet and Dr. Jeroen van den Eijnde, ArtEZ University of the Arts

Period: March – May 2019

Local Linen

This ACT project is about making a transition towards local linen thereby exploring the economic and environmental conditions for locally cultivated flax. This assignment ties in with ‘The Linen Project’, a long term multi-disciplinary research project within the Ecosystems research area of studies within “Fashion Held in Common”, the new curriculum of the ArtEZ MA Fashion Design that started in September 2018. Within the project we are looking at how we can revive the local production of linen and linen products in the Netherlands in a sustainable way. We ask ourselves how we can reconnect to the deep transformative human values of fashion and design by starting to actually grow our own raw materials again. The end-report contains advice on how sustainable farming practices of fiber flax production could be introduced in the region of Gelderland. This advice includes the mapping of suitable areas for flax cultivation and a choice for suitable fiber flax varieties.

Commissioner: Mark van Vorstenbos, ArtEZ University of the Arts

Period: January – March 2019

Fashion collection Marinero inspired by the sea: using sea weed to produce usable fibers

In this ACT project students are asked to research how to produce and process sea related natural materials as sea weed into usable fibers. The commissioners’ vision is to design a new kind of production system which results in into adaptive garments that grow with us individually. In addition to that, this production system strives for sustainability by using recycled plastic waste from the sea and by using sea based materials instead of traditional land based materials as cotton. Topics as production and harvesting of sea based materials, processing sea related natural materials into fibers and consequences of using sea based materials for fashion industry will be addressed in the project.

Period: May – July 2019

Designer involved: Jef Montes, Studio Adaptive Skins

From nuisance to innovative product applications - Research into the jellyfish tissue culture and biodegradable coating

The aim of the ACT project is to obtain expertise in order to grow a larger surface of jellyfish material with a protecting biodegradable coating and improved properties of the materials like flexibility. The commissioner Charlotte van Alem is a designer which conducts art & design research about how Jellyfish can be processed into sustainable materials. Also referred to as the Medusae-Project. This project came into existence as Charlotte became aware of the consequences of the growing number of jellyfish that cause nuisance and she wondered whether we could actually use the Jellyfish material. The ACT-team is asked to provide scientific support on the possibilities of growing a larger surface of jellyfish material with improved properties and a protecting biodegradable coating.

Period: May – July 2019

Commissioners: Charlotte van Alem and Dr. Jeroen van den Eijnde, ArtEZ University of the Arts

Creating textile from flower waste: replacing the polluting textile industry with flower textile

Creating textile from flower waste:In this ACT project students are challenged to conduct a study into the development of a sustainable flower textile. Currently flowers are only produced for one purpose, being beautiful inside our home. Sadly flowers only last two weeks and are quickly discarded. By using this flower waste, they become a replacement for the current, very problematic, cotton textile production. The commissioner Jessica Rijkers is a graduate student at the Willem de Kooning Academie Rotterdam. She wants to reframe the current production system and searches for new production methods that will cut back the impact of fashion industry on our environment.

Period: May – July 2019

Designer involved: Jessica Rijkers