Linen Lace Concrete. Interlacing collaboration

Patricia Belford, Ruth Morrow

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This paper will chart the progress of an AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) follow- on-funded project drawing on expertise between a textile designer, an architect and industry, underpinned by 10 years of research by Patricia Belford (textile designer) and Professor Ruth Morrow (architect). An important part of the initial research was methodically developed through collaboration, making and engaging with diverse audiences; academia, construction, textiles, architecture and industry. Throughout the research the question remained the same: Can a collaboration between an architect and textile designer result in making hard surfaces soft? The project subverted the perceived role of textiles as the interior dressing, to create integrated hybrid tactile concrete wall panels and products. In part these questions have been answered and this paper will discuss the benefits and pitfalls of working across opposing disciplines and communities. This will be illustrated in line with the current new work funded by the AHRC to collaborate with MYB textiles (scottish lace-makers) to investigate diversifying a traditional damask cotton weaving process to create a linen that possesses the necessary characteristics for embedding in concrete. Knowledge gained from 10 years of collaborative practice feeds this new work, facilitated by Queen’s University concrete lab and Ulster University textile expertise, this stage by stage method of processing respects, responds to and interrogates each discipline, gaining trust and knowledge to create new tactile concrete surfaces. The final outcomes are driven by 3D formwork development and innovative methods to manufacture a linen damask fabric. Collaborative relationships have been developed between the researchers, PhD students and MYB Textiles and the final dissemination will be supported by the cultural story behind the collaboration and technology, presented to both textile and construction communities, with each discipline bringing its own criteria for design risk and expectation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 22 Mar 2019
EventTextile Intersections - Loughborough University in London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Sep 201914 Sep 2019


ConferenceTextile Intersections
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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