Researcher | Designer | Artist

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Nithikul Nimkulrat is a Toronto-based textile artist, designer, researcher, and educator. Nithikul was trained as an industrial designer (BID) with knowledge of architectural design at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. Having worked as a designer in the textile industry in Thailand for three years, she relocated to Helsinki, Finland, to pursue studies at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture where she earned a Master of Arts in textile art and design in 2002 and a Doctor of Arts in design in 2009. After that, Nithikul worked at Aalto University as a postdoctoral researcher (2010), Loughborough University in the UK as a Lecturer in Textiles (2011–2013), and Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn, Estonia, as a Professor and Head of Department of Textile Design (2013–2018). Nithikul joined OCAD University in Toronto, Canada, as a Tenured Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design in 2018 and was Acting Chair of the Material Art & Design program (2020–2023). Since 2024, she has served as Full Professor at the University. Nithikul is the recipient of the 2022-23 OCAD University Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.

In her work, Nithikul interweaves creative and research practices. This interweaving has proven to be fruitfully applicable to art and design education. Her research interest is rooted in her textile practice, lying across conceptual issues in art and design, especially the role of creative practice in academic research and the immateriality of physical materials in creative processes. Having situated her work at the intersection of art and design and at that of the academic and art worlds, her creative artefacts have received awards and have been exhibited internationally, while her research has been published in peer-reviewed publications and presented in international conferences.

Nithikul has actively contributed to international design research communities. She was an elected council member of the Design Research Society (DRS) (2013–2019) and is Convener of DRS Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG) (2013–present). She also served as Chair of Cumulus Association's Fashion and Textiles Working Group (2016–2023). Nithikul is an experienced PhD supervisor and external examiner.  

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