Intertwined: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration Utilising Mathematical Techniques for Knotted Textile Design

Authors: Janette Matthews, Nithikul Nimkulrat

peer-reviewed conference paper, 2017

Cross-disciplinary collaboration may ask questions, reveal hidden insights, generate new knowledge and inspire design. This paper discusses a practice-based research collaboration between two disciplines – mathematics and textile practice. In the case study which is described, knots are central to an ongoing collaboration between a textile practitioner-mathematician (Matthews) and a textile practitioner-researcher (Nimkulrat). Two aspects of century-old mathematical diagramming techniques originating in mathematical knot theory are used to analyse contemporary textile knot practice. Informed by new insights, these diagrams may be manipulated and used as a design tool to generate and visualise new patterns and structures for knotted textiles and to inspire the use of new materials. Through the case-study, the paper will discuss the nature and the role of cross-disciplinary collaboration for textile design – the process, the dialogue, the opportunities, the challenges and the exchange of new knowledge.

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Suggested Citation: Matthews, J. & Nimkulrat, N. (2017). Intertwined: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration Utilising Mathematical Techniques for Knotted Textile Design. In Proceedings of INTERSECTIONS // Collaborations in Textile Design Research. London: Loughborough University London.