Textile time travelling – Designing textiles past and present

A workshop – 15th February 2017 & 22nd March 2017 – Hochschule Luzern

The aim of the workshop is to translate the tacit knowledge of textile designers into words and thus make it accessible. It takes place on two separate days. The first full-day session focuses on the design process in textile design. Before the workshop, participants prepare two texts by Fritz Kaeser, which will be made available via link. Fritz Kaeser was a leading figure in textile design in the Zurich silk industry at the end of the 19th century and published a variety of texts dealing with the teaching of textile design. The two chosen texts give insight into past theoretical approaches to textile design and the apprenticeship in textile design. Participants are asked to read these texts focusing on the general notions of design evident in the texts. The results serve participants as a backdrop for reflecting their own approach to and practice of textile design: (i) How do designers create new designs? (ii) Do they employ a specific method? Do they follow a certain strategy? (iii) How do they teach designing at school? What are the differences between their personal way of designing and the design process taught? (iv) What does the design process applied in design research look like? How does this process differ from their personal way of designing? 

Based on this reflection, participants delve into the depth of the design process and consider aspects of technique, machinery and environment. They will split into groups and look into the various stages of the design process taking a certain material/technique/problem as starting point. The findings of these case studies will then be presented and discussed. 

As a final step, the design process is located on the four different levels which have been touched upon during the workshop: historical vs. topical, theoretical vs. practical. This overview will function as a summary as well as stocktaking. 

The second, two-hour session takes place after four weeks. There, participants get a chance to evaluate the results of the first session and how or if these findings changed their way of designing. Participation in the second session is only possible if the first session has been attended.


Lucerne University of Applied Sciences Art & Design
Nylsuisseplatz 1
6020 Emmenbrücke


is kindly requested via email by February 1, 2017 to with Workshop Textile Time Travelling in the subject line.

The number of participants is limited to 20. Attendance of the second session is only possible in combination with the first session

Day 1 – February 15, 2017

Morning 9.00 –12.30 Theory – past to present

What notions of textile design were prevalent around 1900? How is textile designing done and taught today? Texts by F. Kaeser, bibliography – Analysis, reflection, discussion

Afternoon I 13.30 – 16.00 Practice – technique & textile

How does technique influence textile design? How do environmental/technical requirements affect textile design? – Brainstorming and case studies

Afternoon II 16.30 – 18.00 Practical theory – theoretic practice?

Looking back and ahead I

Day 2 – March 22, 2017

Morning 9.00 – 11.00 Reaping the harvest

Looking back and ahead II


Käser, Fritz, Wie bildet man sich zum tüchtigen Jacquardzeichner aus?, Mittex 4.1, April 1894, o.S., Beilage.

Ders., Ueber den Stand des Musterzeichnen und dessen Hülfsmittel in Lyon, nebst Nutzanwendung auf die zürcherischen Verhältnisse, Mittex 12.1, Dezember 1894, o.S


Born, Franziska / Egloff, Brigitt, Der grosse Wurf. Überlegungen zum Geheimnis gelungener Textilentwürfe, Die Nummern 4.2014, S. 11-13.

Brown, Carol, Strickdesign. Entwürfe, Techniken, Experimente, darin: Kap. 2, Der Designprozess, Bern 2013, S. 35-75.

Eusemann, Stephan, Exkurs II: Textil-Design, Textil-System-Design, Textil-Design-System, in: Hans Wichmann, Von Morris bis Memphis. Textilien der Neuen Sammlung. Ende 19. bis Ende 20. Jahrhundert, Basel 1990, S. 337-355.

Göttke-Krogmann, Bettina (Hg.), Textildesign. Vom Experiment zur Serie, Halle 2015.

Holtzschue, Linda, Understanding color. An introduction for designers, New Jersey 20114.

Igoe, Elaine, The tacit-turn. Textile design in design research, Duck: Journal for Research in Textiles and Textile Design 1.2010, S. 1-11.

Pellon, Nathalie, Kleinkariert. Wege zum Muster im Textildesign, Bern 2012.

Shreeve, A., ‘Material Girls - tacit knowledge in textile crafts’, in: Pamela Johnson (Hg.), Ideas in the Making: Practice in Theory, London 1997, S. 103–114.

Tellier-Loumagne, Françoise, Inspirationen für Textildesign. Von der ersten Idee bis zur vollendeten Gestaltung, Bern 2010.

Wilson, Jacquie, Handbook of textile design. Principles, processes and practice, Boca Raton 2001.

Wisbrun, Laurie, Stoffe entwerfen und bedrucken. Techniken, Anleitungen, Design, Bern 2012