(By Gabrielle Miller)
Last month saw the successful launch of FIREup – a new online digital platform that brings together designer-fashion businesses in the UK with academics leading research at the University of the Arts London.
We held a showcase event on Friday 21st March to celebrate the launch, and we were thrilled by the turnout!
The event highlighted FIREup’s four funded catalyst projects; these show what collaborations between UAL researchers and designers with small/medium businesses could look like.
UAL researchers; Prof Sandy Black, Dr Thomas Makryniotis, Alex McIntosh, Hywel Davies & Dr Kate Goldsworthy, with expertise in technical areas such as digital design, promotion and e-commerce strategy and sustainable textiles partnered with Christopher Raeburn, Worn Again, Kirsty McDougall of Dashing Tweeds and Michelle Lowe-Holder. A year later and we were able to present the exciting outcomes created from these new partnerships at our launch event, including new prototypes, and films documenting the process.
These projects are still work in progress, but nevertheless we are very happy to make visible how these collaborations can bring research closer to the fashion industry. You can soon watch the videos on our website to find out about the projects in more detail and hear about their individual experiences.
The event was held at The Trampery which houses fashion designers, technology and creative enterprises; it was the perfect place to bring together designers and academics to share knowledge, inspire innovation and bring about new collaborations.
We held workshops and round table discussions to provide expert advice and practical information. We were joined by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (our funding partners) who gave a great talk on future funding opportunities. They were very excited (as are we) about how the platform can stimulate and bring about new partnerships that they could potentially fund. It was a really interesting day with thought-provoking sessions.
We want FIREup to be a place where designers and academics upload work and share project ideas. This is an open space for discussions and to scope out new collaborations and partnerships. Join FIREup by signing up with Twitter, upload your profile and projects and connect to the network at www.fireup.org.uk.