A Colourful District

CREA-Zone cluster event

The Research + Enterprise Department is involved in the CREA- Zone cluster project which brings together partners from Belgium, France and the Netherlands all of whom are delivering Interreg funded projects.

The current economic crisis has driven regions and cities to find new ways to inject the economy with creativity and innovation. Through collaboration with creative and cultural industries, traditional industries can find ways to enhance their resilience in the face of increased economic, social and environmental challenges.

The Interreg projects have researched and experimented with concepts aimed at increasing the visibility of the economic value of the creative and cultural industries and this is the focus of The Colourful District event, taking place on the 5th and 6th of November. A digital publication summarising the findings and projects will be available at the end of November.

Interreg projects will be presented at the event, held in the Budafabriek, in Kortrijk, Belgium, where synergies between different projects will be pulled into focus and success stories will be shared with a broad audience.

The event programme is packed:

Wednesday 5 November – Budascoop/Budafabriek Kortrijk

6 p.m.                WELCOME AT BUDASCOOP, Kapucijnenstraat 10, Kortrijk (Belgium)

6:30 p.m.         WORD OF WELCOME: Franky Devos, director arts centre BUDA / Budafabriek

6:35 p.m.         CREA-Zone – international cluster for the promotion of the creative industry: Ellen Bisschops, project manager SPK Turnhout


6:45 p.m.         DAAN ROOSEGAARDE

In a world shifting between the analogue and the digital, Studio Roosegaarde is the social design lab of artist Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers and engineers. The studio creates interactive designs that explore the dynamic relation between people, technology and space. The studio develops its own innovations and is internationally known for interactive projects such as Dune, Intimacy and Smart Highway.

Interview: Hilde Bouchez

7:30 p.m.         Short walk to the Budafabriek, Dam 2A, Kortrijk


The collaboration between designers, entrepreneurs, students, artists and active citizens leads to concrete results. At the imposing Budafabriek, good practice is presented by the University of the Creative Arts Canterbury, SPK Turnhout, Avans Hogeschool Breda, TIO3 Ronse, Pictanovo Tourcoing, Entrepreneurial Centers Mechelen and West Flanders, Flanders DC and Buda Kortrijk.



A green economy is an important issue for entrepreneurs, designers, scientists and artists alike. CREA-Zone selected international projects that transcend the sense of defeatism that tends to surround ecology and environmentalism:

The Green Light District presents work by Alberto Baraya (CO), Nick Ervinck (BE), Lucas Foglia (US), Brandon Ballengée (US), Annemie Maes (BE), David Bowen (US), Luc Deleu (BE), Maya Smrekar (SI), Peter De Cupere (BE), Bart Stolle (BE), Future Farmers (US), Nano Supermarket (NL), Honoré d’O (BE), Ralph Kim (UK), Mattia Casalegno (IT), Martin uit den Bogaard (NL), Koen Vanmechelen (BE), Eduardo Kac (US), Heath Bunting (UK).

In addition there is  scientific research by Howest, Kulak, Vives & Provinciale   Tuinbouwschool and entrepreneurial projects by Vasch Aquaponics, Deceuninck, Vanheede, Alpro, Drukta, Ocular, Devolder Architecten.

Curator: Christophe Dejaeger

Thursday 6 November – Budafabriek Kortrijk

9 a.m.              BREAKFAST MEETING – Croissants, coffee, creative entrepreneurs, politicians, policy advisors, students …all welcome!

10 a.m.           CREA-Zone – international cluster for the promotion of the creative industry: Ellen Bisschops, project manager SPK Turnhout


Prof Annick Schramme is professor and academic coordinator of the master’s program Cultural Management at the University of Antwerp. In addition, she leads the Competence Center Creative Industries of the Flanders District of Creativity at the Antwerp Management School.

11 a.m.                        3 INSPIRING EXAMPLES FOR A COLOURFUL DISTRICT

  • Made or Cartamundi / SPK Turnhout
  • Incunables / Pictanovo Tourcoing
  • Results of the temporary stay of the students from Thomas More Mechelen @ Buda



Johanna Van Antwerpen is the founder of the Amsterdam Innovation Motor (AIM). AIM is the innovation agency of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area which merged, with other organisations, into the Amsterdam Economic Board in 2013. AIM has been set up to help preserve and strengthen Amsterdam’s key position in the knowledge-based economy. The Amsterdam Economic Board promotes innovation, cooperation and new activities in relevant economic sectors such as; creative Industries, ICT, Life Sciences, Sustainability, Financial and Business services.


  • GaIl Baxter or Neil / University of Creative Arts Canterbury
  • The Smell Project / Avans Hogeschool Breda
  • Buda::Lab / Buda Kortrijk



Ellen Bisschops, project manager SPK Turnhout


For more information contact Susiane at ssampaio@ucreative.ac.uk


Crysalis’ achievements

A strong fabric built over three years’ intense collaboration

The three-year Crysalis project is almost complete, and we are celebrating its many successes and its legacy. Industrial partners and entrepreneurs, students, designers, researchers and artists have been working across borders and have set up a new, strong network all about textiles.

We’ve created lots of opportunities; for knowledge transfer, which allowed textile professionals, as well as enthusiastic amateurs, to be inspired with new ideas and the necessary courage to leave the beaten paths. For creativity as a priority, too: experimental and creative session resulted time and time again in beautiful, smart or innovative textile products, which will perhaps appear commercially in the near future.

There were several exhibitions where the public was given a glimpse of a new future for textiles. In the UK, France and Belgium, we exceeded our visitor number expectations, attracting 63,183 visitors, illustrated in our interaction per activities reach map image (below left)

Interaction per activity

Interaction per activity

Besides the added value of Crysalis activities for the individual participants, there were opportunities created to continue the new collaborations and projects. Meetings between enthusiastic and expert people produced synergies that will, we believe, have promising results.

The collaborative weave we have been working on together is strong, but it isn’t finished yet. We want to explore the possibility of continuing to strengthen local textile techniques, for instance, by teaching skills and stimulating knowledge-sharing between European partners. Find out more about the interactions fostered by Crysalis in these three years of work in our interaction per region reach map at the foot of this page.

Of course, textile innovation is necessary to move forward, so we want to continue offering creative people like artists and designers opportunities to develop new applications. One way we are thinking of doing this is through making working areas more accessible via our edge services. More information at www.ucaedge.com


More information: Susiane at ssampaio@ucreative.ac.uk






Crysalis activity by region

Crysalis activity by region

Crysalis’ finale

Crysalis Closing Event

Textile Open Innovation Centre, (TIO3), Ronse, Saturday 26th September 2014

Drawing the three-year Crysalis Project to a close, lead partner – the Textile Open Innovation Centre (TIO3) in Ronse – hosted a day-long event of presentations opened by the Mayor of Calais and Ronse.  Alongside keynote speeches and presentations from four key participants, the programme included a dance piece with performers modelling garments – exhibited at Digital Encounters, UCA Canterbury – designed by UCA graduates and an exhibition with examples from each of the project activities.

The UCA Crysalis project team attended, with joint presentations from the Knowledge Transfer strand of the project by Neil Bottle, Subject Leader, Fashion Textiles (Print) from the School of Fashion at UCA Rochester with Suzanne Nicolson, a graduate from Fashion Textiles (Print) at UCA Rochester and former student of Neil’s, talking about their expertise with digital printing.   Gail Baxter a PhD Candidate at UCA Farnham, co-presented with Calais designer Frederic Rumigny on their collaboration which led to the creation of a unique contemporary lace pattern, based on the Leavers loom, Jacquard punch boards and the sound of the loom. Their design was made with the technical help of the tuillists and machinists at the International Centre for Lace and Fashion in Calais.

The afternoon was completed with a tour of the new museum at Ronse where a selection of pieces from the Crysalis project now remain in their permanent collection.

The Crysalis Project contained 11 strands: a Digital Library, Business Inventory, Skills Workshops, Knowledge Transfer Programme, Four Exhibitions, Metamorphosis – a collaborative International art project, Skills Tour, Inspiration Catalogue, Professionals Programme, Expert Workshop and Education Programme.

More information: Denise at dharmer@ucreative.ac.uk and http://www.crysalis-network.eu

A new CREA-Zone publication: breaking regional boundaries in the pursuit of innovation

Watch out for a digital publication that shows off the activities of the CREA-Zone partners, an  externally-funded cluster  from across the UK, Belgium, France and Netherlands. The cluster aims to bring partners together to promote knowledge exchange and collaborative opportunities.

The publication will be launched at the CREA-Zone event on 5th and 6th November 2014 in the Budafabriek, in Kortrijk, Belgium.

CREA-Zone capitalizes on three previous Interreg projects – VIVID, Crysalis and Villa Cross Media – which were implemented by partners and have contributed to the development of opportunities for entrepreneurs and therefore fostered the development of local areas.

The CREA-Zone publication promotes best practices by showcasing a series of case studies which demonstrate how collaborative and open approaches can be a powerful way of bringing together creative and traditional industries, local governments and members of the public, to co-create innovative concepts, products and services.

The publication encompasses themes such as ‘changing needs required new concepts’, ‘supporting the creative sector’, ‘organising and connecting people and spaces’ and ‘ the power of co-creation’. UCA contributes several examples to the publication, such as:

  • Crysalis Knowledge Transfer Activity – Gail Baxter – Years of tradition embrace new concepts

Gail Baxter is a research student at UCA and a contemporary lace practitioner. She was been working with the Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode (CIDM) and Prud’homme, which is the lace manufacturers’ legal copyright registry, as part of a team tasked with creating a new lace design for one of their historic lace looms. The outcome, a new lace, is modern and innovative in design and style, affording a distinct departure from the tradition floral motifs so often used in lace design. More information here.

  • Crysalis Digital Encounters – Neil Bottle – Travelogue Collage
 two-seater sofa and wall hanging installation

Neil Bottle is a designer with over 25 years’ experience in the fashion textiles industry. His work is held in collections around the world. In the Travelogue Sofa project, Neil has explored the relationships between traditional and contemporary textile print methodologies. Digital print is often associated with mass production; however in this project the limitations of digital design software are pushed to new boundaries with multiple layer applications creating engineered pattern shapes for one piece of furniture. The result is a unique object, which has been designed around the 3D furniture form, encompassing both traditional crafted upholstery technique whilst developing a new level of expertise in the digital textiles design process. More information here.

  • Edge creative expertise and technical services

Universities support graduates in an early stage of their careers by connecting them to the intellectual and physical resources they need for developing their professional practice. Edge provide graduates, freelancers, organisations and businesses access to advanced technology, creative method and a wealth of industry experience. There is a broad variety of specialist equipment to choose from, including; digital textile printing and Gerber pattern cutting for fashion; 3D scanning and 3D printing for innovating and testing concepts in many sectors; laser cutting which helps product developers to be even more creative and, at the same time, more precise and cost effective; thermal efficiency equipment which makes it easier for architects to determine how energy efficient a building is; bronze foundry and glass hot shop support artists to explore new designs concepts. More information at www.ucaedge.com

  • Edge Talents

UCA’s online open innovation platform enables students and industry to co-develop innovation assets via an innovation workflow model. It facilitates engagement and creates collaboration opportunities via the showcasing of students’ skills, creative concepts and early stage designs. At the heart of this programme is a way of working that enriches the student journey and adds value to business. It also allows a greater understanding of factors that enable an increased adoption of university IP by industry and fosters student awareness of commercial needs and this creates innovation outcomes for academics and students alike. More information at www.ucaedge-talents.com

Further information: Susiane Sampaio at ssampaio@ucreative.ac.uk

Join the Crysalis Business Inventory!

If you’re a business, an entrepreneur, a creative arts practitioner, a student or anyone who wants to open themselves up to new opportunities in textiles, then The Business Inventory is for you.
The Business Inventory is part of the Crysalis programme and is a network of people working in textiles including those who are pursuing networking opportunities with potential partners in Europe and those who are interested in acquiring new skills or engaging in knowledge transfer. The database encompasses businesses, organisations, freelancers, sole traders, and people looking forward to finding out more and getting involved in textile innovation.
By registering yourself in the business inventory, you’ll become part of the network of people and organisations throughout Europe looking to build long term business relationships. You will also benefit from introductions to other businesses through Crysalis partner institutions.  To sign up you just need completing Crysalis Business Inventory Online Questionnaire here 
We’re encouraged by the numbers of businesses and practitioners signing up to the Business Inventory so far in the UK, France and Belgium. The network covers a huge range of sectors – whatever is important to textiles: printed textiles, textile design (print/ drawing), clothing manufacture, textile manufacture, clothing retail, textile retail,product design, artists, dye suppliers, equipment supplier and maintenance, schools, vintage garments, lace manufacturer, charities, online fashion sourcing, textile association, design and management consultancy and  textile research.

Lace Effects 2 opens

Dawn Cole's artwork "head case still bad"

Lace Effects 2, part of the Crysalis project and Moving Textiles series of exhibitions, opened on May 25th  at the International Centre for Lace and Fashion at Calais.  The works on displays were selected from the responses to a call for projects aimed at established professionals, young, up-and-coming designers and students, and transmitted through a network of Crysalis partners.The exhibition focuses on directly addressing the traditional techniques of handmade lace through a variety of artistic approaches.

Lace Effects 2 echoes Crysalis’ ethos of dedication to textile innovation, and features 20 artists from the UK, France and Belgium, including artist and printmaker Dawn Cole from North Kent and Gail Baxter, a current research degree student as well as Emma Gribble, artist at Plymouth College of Art, another Crysalis member.

Amputations Etc

Amputations Etc

Dawn says

I am delighted to be exhibiting as part of Lace effects 2. The museum at Calais has a beautiful collection and fascinating history and to have my works exhibited amongst these is a real honour. The 3 works exhibited are a part of a larger body of work entitled ‘Reading Between the Lines’. This comprises a series of solar plate etchings, printed using white ink on black paper, that respond to the archive of a WW1 VAD Nurse who was posted to France in Sept 1915. The prints, although appear to be of fine lace, are actually made from the words written in the nurses diary and explore ideas of entrapment and deception, the very origins of the word ‘lace’ itself.

Gail’s work, Tracing the Line, explores the connections between lace’s intrinsic nature as a series of holes, absences and gaps, and the inherent holes, absences and gaps in museum archives. The work is a free, contemporary interpretation of a lace pattern created by hand-sewing thread onto machine-made tulle.

Lace Effects 2 runs until 7th December 2014. More information here.


New perspectives, old traditions

The team has supported the successful international exhibition Lace Effects 1 at the International Centre for Lace and Fashion at Calais, where established professionals, young up-and-coming designers and students have collaborated to produce textile, fashion and design creations inspired by the theme of lace. 20 of UCA’s staff and students exhibited their work, and the exhibition continues with Lace Effects 2, opening on 25th May at UCA.

As part of the Crysalis Project, the Lace Effects exhibition seeks to promote textile innovation through the presentation of contemporary creations inspired by the theme of lace. The exhibition is separated into two shows, Lace Effects 1 and Lace Effects 2. Lace Effects 1 has been open since 5th October 2013 and is due to close on 18th May 2014.

Shazia Boucher, the curator of the exhibition says:

All of these artists on show have reinterpreted traditional lace in their own way, playing with simplicity and complexity, space, transparency, concealing and revealing, intricate patterns. We see this as a ‘new beginning’ for lace and how it is interpreted in fashion, textiles and design.

Neil Bottle, Course Leader BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Print, was heavily involved with the exhibition and says,

The opportunity to work in a live project context is a vital part of the student learning experience, providing real time deadlines and opportunities to pitch an present their ideas to external project partners. The work that students produced was really high quality and we received some very positive feedback. The live fashion event, at the opening of the exhibition, brought students from four of our degree programmes – BA Fashion Textiles: Print, BA Fashion Desigh, BA Fashion Atelier and BA Fashion Promotion – togeher as well as students from colleges in France. The teamwork and collaborative spirit was fantastic. I hope we can continue to work with the Crysalis project partners in the future exploring textiles innovation and heritage techniques. This project has really helped the third year students to develop their ideas for their final collections.


UCA students from Fashion Textiles Print Toni Burns, Claire Jackson, Charlotte Lloyd, Charlie Mortley, Josie Owusu-Amanxrah, Lara Waghorn, Janice Webb and Cherice Wilkins exhibited alongside UCA staff Sarah Arnett, Nicola Flower, Evelyn Bennett, Neil Bottle, Jules Findley, Shelly Goldsmith and Hannah White.

For more information contact Serena Williams