Academic Fellows

Academic Fellows are invited into the greater community of the BF+DA to pursue research and share knowledge.

Our Academic Fellows are affiliated with educational institutions around the world and are working on various projects aligned with the values of the BF+DA.

Previous Fellows

Maia Rowan

Maia Rowan is a Masters of Design Candidate at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Her thesis is looking at alternative modes of consumption in the fashion industry.

Research Project: Alternative Modes of Consumption in the Fashion Industry

The problem space for this study is three fold. First we, as westerners, have overly consumptive practices as consumers of fashion and clothing. We have an industry that is constantly producing garments, at unprecedented rates. This is leading to harmful ecological impacts, and contributing to the un-sustainability of current human practices.

Secondly we are entrenched in consumption patterns developed for economic recovery post World War II that are struggling to innovate and are incompatible with contemporary lifestyles, where economic prosperity looks significantly different than in previous generations, and ownership has become a burden as density increases and personal property decreases. On top of this younger generations are becoming more mobile. They are using mobile technology, they are shifting jobs and personal directions constantly, and they are moving globally for work, pleasure, and family.

Thirdly we have a fashion industry that is responding quite slowly to the above changes and issues. What response they are undergoing is often to remedy current situations, however these interventions are doing little to envision what the future of garment use, and fashion really could be. How could we reduce the impact of the clothing industry, while providing unique and exciting experiences that will help users transition to less consumptive habits. This is where my thesis is positioned.

Joelle Williams

Joelle Williams is an Adjunct Professor at Fashion Institute of Technology in Fashion Business Management and LIM College in Fashion Merchandising. She holds an MBA in Strategic Design from Philadelphia University and a BA in Economics from Fisk University with twenty years of retail store operations experience in various senior level roles.

Research Project: Taxonomy of Extending the Life of a Garment

Joelle’s research interest has led her to examine our relationship and behavior towards apparel, which inevitably over-extends our consumption. The work seeks to connect our motivation + intention to manifest into a behavioral change that will re-examine our priorities in terms of apparel consumption and our connection to filling landfills. However, she sees this behavior change as only part of the solution. The other part of the equation are nudges, in the form of partnerships with various stakeholders. She has been known to say that if forced to define our relationship status with sustainability we would all have to check the box “It’s Complicated”.

Her work seeks to create a tribe of invested stakeholders moved to heighten awareness and educate the general masses while de-stigmatizing what it means to be sustainable. Her research is a continuation of her graduate capstone.

Keith Doyle

Keith is an Adjunct Research Associate in Applied Arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Trained as a sculptor and working as a designer he has taught in both the Visual Arts + Material Practice as well as the Design + Dynamic Media faculties.  Currently, Keith is a faculty coordinator for AD-NODE a GRAND NCE affiliated research project situated in Art and Design institutions.

He is a Lead Investigator on a few Emily Carr research initiatives including, cloTHING(s) as conversation, the DnA project, and a founding faculty member of Material Matters, a pragmatic material research cluster within the Intersections Digital Studios at Emily Carr University of Art+Design. Keith is a Co-founder of Intelligent Forms Design Incorporated as well as one of five co-creators of ContainR, a public work of design, consisting of two repurposed used shipping containers. 

Research Project : cloTHING(s) as conversation

Collaborator : Hélène Day Fraser

cloTHING(s) as conversation is an interdisciplinary research initiative that seeks to broaden our views of clothing. Initiated in 2011, it is based on the observation that existing systems of garment making and distribution are in flux. The work seeks to revise common assumptions about how we should and can interface with textile based products. In particular cloTHING(s) as conversation aims to address the challenges connected to contemporary design, fashion, nascent technology and the fashion industry’s move toward sustainability.

To date the cloTHING(s) as conversation team at Emily Carr University, made up of students, designers, artists, and engineers, has conducted a range of material and form studies, through weaving, unconventional clothing construction, 3D printing, and wearable circuits. In situ explorations of worn artifacts and vestiture in social spaces are key to this work.

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Hélène Day Fraser

Hélène is an Assistant Professor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in the Faculty of Design and Dynamic Media. She holds a MAA in Design and a BAA in Fashion and has fifteen years of garment industry experience in both France and Canada.

In recent years, her work has moved to encompass the domain of critical design; exploring how sustainable consumption and textile form interfaces with technology. Between 2006 and 2011, she was a co-founder of iF (Intelligent Forms Design Inc.) and a member of the UBC Visual Voice project.

Currently, she is a Lead Investigator on several Emily Carr research initiatives: cloTHING(s) as conversation, Material Matters, the DnA project. She also collaborates with the International Local Wisdom research network, acts as the Operations Manager of the Emily Carr DESIS Lab and is currently the acting Sustainability Coordinator for Emily Carr University. Her work consistently re-imagines textile product possibilities, applies hybrid art/design-based practices and involves interdisciplinary collaborations.

Research Project : cloTHING(s) as conversation

Collaborator : Keith Doyle

cloTHING(s) as conversation is an interdisciplinary research initiative that seeks to broaden our views of clothing. Initiated in 2011, it is based on the observation that existing systems of garment making and distribution are in flux. The work seeks to revise common assumptions about how we should and can interface with textile based products. In particular cloTHING(s) as conversation aims to address the challenges connected to contemporary design, fashion, nascent technology and the fashion industry’s move toward sustainability.

To date the cloTHING(s) as conversation team at Emily Carr University, made up of students, designers, artists, and engineers, has conducted a range of material and form studies, through weaving, unconventional clothing construction, 3D printing, and wearable circuits. In situ explorations of worn artifacts and vestiture in social spaces are key to this work.

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Carmen Malvar

Carmen Malvar is a Ph.D candidate and the founder of CADA project. Her experience comes from working with over most of European global brands designing and consulting for them. Since her early years after graduating from Architecture at Pratt Institute, she worked as designer on many large scale projects. Her vision on the global design is broad and conscious.

She widens her experience teaching and lecturing in Spain, Latin America and USA about such varied topics as globalization through design, international expansion strategies or trends and consumption analysis. She also works as a professor at Universities like Elisava in Barcelona, Guadalajara Tech. Mexico and Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and she also teaches at the Certificate in Design Entrepreneurship at Pratt Institute. She lives and works between Oaxaca, New York and Barcelona.

Research Project : CADA

CADA is a research initiative of Carmen Malvar that promotes design and local craftsmanship on a global level, while working hand in hand with artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico. The project uses design and crafts from a local perspective to achieve global impact, implementing the use of technology and social media as an essential part of research development.

Currently, CADA is working on launching a family of design products based on ethical businesses, fair trade principles and socio-economic assessments to implement as a case study that could be of use to future design projects around the globe.

As CADA is a local project positioned to have a global ripple effect, the team has created a platform that will serve as a Hybrid Shared Space. The goal of this is to foster and facilitate global spaces and connections for local artisans and suppliers without the loss of identity, and help to build their own community’s economies.

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