Investigating Sustainable Material Solutions for Vehicles’
Sheila Clark has been awarded £1,000 towards the completion of her doctoral research, ‘Investigating Sustainable Material Solutions for Vehicles’. The award will support the practical outcome of her research as a critical element of her PhD.
This project uses sustainable materials - synthetic and recycled synthetic fibres, together with natural and local materials including British wool and wool felt, nettle fibre and hemp - for car seat covers and as a replacement for seat foam. These solutions offer additional ecological benefits, contributing to a reduction in fuel consumption by lowering the weight of the car. The textiles will be woven at Guilford Textiles and Camira Fabrics, and will be assembled in a pre-production Fiesta model at Ford. A particular challenge has been the re-creation of hard panels in alternative materials, combining bio-resin with non-woven flax as a structural support, and using the original door panels to make the moulds.
Sheila’s research is underpinned by her extensive experience with fibre and yarn, and is informed by her management of the yarn store at the Royal College of Art for 24 years and her industrial design research for over a decade. Her images describe the process of her technical research, while communicating the tactility and richness of the textile qualities in her work. These reflect an interesting mix of functional design with aesthetic resonance.