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Rachel Kelly

Pathway Leader MA/MFA Fashion and Textile Routes

Rachel Kelly

Rachel Kelly is a Senior Lecturer who from September 2018 will be the MA Pathway Leader for Fashion and Textile Postgraduate Programmes at Manchester School of Art. Rachel is a research active designer with a specialist interest in site specific maker practice, sustainable learning and collaborative interdisciplinary pedagogy.

Rachel has worked at Manchester School of Art for 7 years formally teaching on the BA (Hons) Textile in Practice Programme. Rachel studied for her undergraduate degree in Printed Textile and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds College of Art and Design, Leeds and gained an MA in Design for Textile Futures from Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London in 2001. Rachel has undertaken further postgraduate study and is awaiting confirmation of her a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2018. Rachel has completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice and was awarded Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2016. Rachel is currently an External Examiner at Central St Martins, University of The Arts London on the BA Textiles programme.

Rachel has a background of experience as a Printed Textile Designer Maker where she has run her own design practice since 2003. Rachel's most noted work has been the development of Interactive Wallpaper as a design practice specialising in the design and consultancy of innovative textiles for surface applications. Rachel’s professional experience has led her to practice internationally and participate within ground breaking design exhibitions such as Nobel Textiles The I.C.A London in 2009; Design for The Elastic Mind at MOMA New York in 2010; Embracing Technology at The National Craft Galleries Ireland in 2010; Somewhere Totally Else at The Design Museum in 2003; and Pattern Crazy at The Craft Council in 2002. Public commission clients have included The BBC, Habitat, Arts Council, Ruthin Craft Centre, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre and NHS Trusts. Rachel’s work is held in the collections of the V&A, London and The Whitworth, Manchester.

Rachel undertook a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning from 2016-17 the result of which was the development of learning models for interdisciplinary collaborative pedagogy. The outcomes of this research have been published within The Design Journal and at international conferences including The European Design Academy Conference in Rome 2017 and at The Canadian Craft Biennale 2017.

Since 2017 Rachel has been part of the Tai Lue Crafting Futures Research Project led within MMU by Principle Investigator Steve Dixon and working with Alison Welsh, Head of Research at The Manchester Fashion Institute and Jasper Chadprajong, Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Fashion Institute. Crafting Futures is a long-term British Council Project which aims at revitalising identities and Textiles of the Tai Lue community in Pua District, Nan Province in the North of Thailand. Rachel is working specifically on research which is investigating: The extent to which design thinking can support the maintenance of cultural identity through the development of sustainable learning models within community-based craft practice.


Academic Development Blog

A wordpress blog has been devised to document Rachel's Pedagogic Development Practice and Academic development and study undertaken. Rachel is currently studying for an MA in Higher Education, the progress of which is also documented on this blog. Details…

Armitt Museum, Ambleside 2016

Rachel Kelly was commissioned by the Armitt Museum, Ambleside with support from the Museums Consortium, to design a site specific surface installation to create and define a Family Learning Area within the Museum. Created using transparent vinyl's the installation responds to the scientific and botanical library collection in particular the notebooks of students at Charlotte Mason College at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Details…

Artists Stories Residency at Ruthin Craft Centre October 2015

Rachel Kelly was invited to undertake a 4 day residency at Ruthin Craft Centre. the main aim was to enable Rachel to explore new ideas for wall coverings and to enable the participants to take part in the process of creating a site specific feature wall. Details…

Creative Practitioner at Lakeland Arts Trust, 2013-16

In 2013 Rachel was invited to become a creative practitioner at the Lakeland Arts Trust, one of the leading independent museum and gallery trusts in the UK. Working between The Abbot Hall Gallery and Blackwell The Arts and Crafts House Rachel has devised creative workshops and participatory works to develop engagement and learning within these contexts. Details…

Fabrics of Life at MOMA 2008

Nobel Textiles was exhibited at MOMA New York within The Design for the Elastic Mind Exhibition. https://www. Details…

Florence Mine Public Design Commission and Residency 2011-2012

Florence Mine, Egremont. West Cumbria. Details…

Kaber Barn Project 2014

A Rachel Kelly design commission to add a surface decoration scheme to new barn conversion, featuring bespoke wall sticker installation, internal and external glass sticker design and a handprinted wallpaper. http://www. Details…

Nobel Textiles 'Fabrics of Life' Project 2007-2009

‘Fabrics of Life’ is all about the interface between the science of design and the designs of science. The first project in the series, Nobel textiles, a journey into scientific discovery through future textiles, celebrates 90 years of MRC research institutes in 2007 Rachel Kelly was one of the commissioned designers and celebrated the work of Nobel Prize winning scientist Sir Tim Hunt; The project supported by The Medical Research Council and University of the Arts, London The Fabrics of Life project outcome, exhibition and conference, was held at the I. Details…

Pairings II Conversations and Collaborations 2012

Janet Haigh and Rachel Kelly are both textile practitioners who have been invited by Stroud International Textiles to take part in Pairings II Conversations and Collaborations. Pairings – conversations & collaborations is a Stroud International Textiles major exhibition with linked sympsoium supported by Arts Council England, Stroud District Council. Details…

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2016-2017

A Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2016-2017 was awarded by MMU Centre of Teaching and Learning Excellence Project Title: Ikebana: A Collaborative Pedagogy Project Outputs: Conference Presentation and Papers, Academic Workshops and Learning Tool Publication.. Details…

Significance Touring Exhibition 2016-17

Significance is a project co-ordinated by Alice Kettle and Jane McKeating and brought to fruition by staff and students from Manchester School of Art to celebrate the significance of the Gawthorpe Textile Collection. In selecting a textile from the Gawthorpe collection, I was drawn to an unfinished embroidery sample. Details…

Small Research Project via Crafts Research Centre 2014

Project: Sustainable Silk Screen Image Making for Studio Based Printed Textile Design. This project aims to evaluate the use of sustainable silk screen image making for studio based printed textile design through the practical testing of sustainable silk screen making products as opposed to traditional photostencil processes. Details…

Testing The Field Residency Film 2017

The film captures what the project was about. We had a range of participants from art/design/science faculties and took them to the wilderness to learn. Details…


Rachel Kelly is a member of the Crafts Research Group.

A selection of recent research outputs.


Kelly, RMC., 2017. Ikebana - Collaborative Practice Models, Loughborough University in London, 13/9/2017.

Gawthorpe Etched WallpaperGawthorpe Etched and Digitally Printed Paper SamplesDetail fo Gawthorpe Wallpaper by Rachel KellyGawthorpe Wallpaper

Kelly, R., 2016. Significance, Knit and Stitch Shows at Alexandra Palace and Harrogate, Oct-Nov 2016.

Kyoto Wallpaper SampleKyoto Wallpaper Detail with TurquoiseReview in Crafts by Emma Crichton MillarKyoto Wallpaper DetailKyoto Wallpaper by Rachel KellyKyoto Wallpaper by Rachel Kelly

Kelly, R., 2015. W is for Wallpaper, Ruthin Craft Centre, 23 Sept - 22 November 2015.

Kelly, RMC., 2015. W is for Wallpaper, Ruthin Craft Centre: The Centre for Applied Arts, 26/9/2015 - 22/11/2015.

Display Window Decoration by Rachel Kelly

Kelly, R., 2013. Junkshop Revolution, Bluecoat Display Centre, 2010 - Present.

Pairings II Conversations and Collaborations SIT 2012Pairings II Conversations and Collaborations SIT 2012Pairings II Conversations and Collaborations SIT 2012

Kelly, R. and Haigh, J., 2012. PAIRINGS II – conversations & collaborations, Museum in the Park, Stratford Park Stroud GL5 4AF, April 28th – May 27th 2012.

McKeating, J., 2012. Pairings II: conversations and collaborations, Stroud International Textiles, Park Gallery, Stroud, April - may 2012.

Kelly, R., 2011. Liverpool Design Show, St Georges Hall, Liverpool, 6-9 October 2011.

Window Installation at Irish Crafts Council, Kilkenny

Kelly, R., 2010. Embracing Technology, Craft Council of Ireland Galleries, Kilkenny, Ireland., 6 August- 20 October 2010.

Design for Elastic Mind Website image of Rachel Kelly Nobel Textiles ProjectNew Material by Rachel KellyStudy for short film by Rachel KellyEtched Glass Greenhouse by Rachel KellyGreenhouse Design for Fabrics of Life: a Nobel Textiles exhibition at ICA, London.

Kelly, R., 2008. Fabrics of Life, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, September 2008.


Window StickerBirds and Berries TapestryBirds and Berries Motif by Rachel Kelly for Blackwell Arts and Crafts House

Kelly, R., 2016. 'Birds and Berries Motif', Commissioned motif by Rachel Kelly for The Lakeland Arts Trust to celebrate Baillie Scott Centenary, Blackwell Arts and Cratfs House, Windemere, England, June 2015.

'Garden' Multi Paper Wall Sticker'Garden' in Grey Multi Paper Wall StickerVertical Gallery Mineral Window Decal  2016

Kelly, RMC., 2015. 'Mica and Gold Leaf Glass Decal', Manchester School of Art.


Lloyd-Jones, T., 2015. 'W is for Wallpaper', Ruthin Craft Centre.


Carpenter, A., Illingworth, S., Lloyd, T., Hall, A., Kelly, R., 2017. 'Testing The Field Film 2017'.

Internet Publications

Pairings II Conversations and Collaborations SIT 2012Pairings II Conversations and Collaborations SIT 2012Pairings II Conversations and Collaborations SIT 2012

Kelly, R. & Haigh, J., 2012. 'Haigh and Kelly Pairings 2012', Haigh and Kelly Pairings 2012,

Conference Papers

Kelly, RMC., Carpenter, A., Illingworth, S., Hall, A., 2018. 'Testing The Field: Transdisciplinary Learning in an Unfamiliar Environment', HEA STEM Conference 2018: Creativity in Teaching, Learning and Student Engagement, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 31/1/2018 - 1/2/2018.

Academic Development Blog SiteTesting The Field FilmIkebana Workshop with Educator Project Unit X Students 2017Middlewood Trust Collaborative Field Ikebana 2017

Kelly, RMC., 2017. 'Ikebana: a collaborative design pedagogy', Design for Next, 12th EAD Conference, Rome, 12/4/2017 - 14/4/2017, in The Design Journal, 20 (sup1), pp. S1093-S1105.

Kelly, RMC., 2017. 'Ikebana: A creative model for interdisciplinary pedagogy', Canadian Craft Biennial Conference Can Craft? Craft Can!, Burlington, Canada, 15/9/2017 - 16/9/2017.

Kelly, RMC., 2017. 'Ikebana: A Tool for Collaborative Art and Design Pedagogy', 20th GLAD Conference, Manchester School of Art, 6/4/2017 - 6/4/2017.

Kelly, RMC., 2017. 'Visualisation Models to Support Learning within Collaborative Textile Projects in Higher Education.', Textile Society's biennial research symposium: New Research Strategies IV, Wellcome Trust, London, 27/5/2017 - 27/5/2017.


Nerantzi, C., Baylis-Green, C., Thomas, R., 2016. 'Playing with the everyday', Manchester Metropolitan University.

Rachel Kelly Keynote Speaker at Making It Conference 2015

Kelly, R., 2015. 'Keynote Lecture at North West 'Making It' Conference 2015', Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

Kelly, R., 2013. 'Crafts Council Hothouse New Makers Keynote Presentation', Crafts Council Hothouse, St Johns Conference, Preston, 28 April 2013.

Kelly, R., 2010. 'Artists Talk at Embracing Technology Exhibition, National Craft Galleries, Ireland.', Crafts Council of Ireland Galleries, Kilkenny, Ireland..


Ikebana Workshop with Unit X Students 2016Ikebana Workshop with Unit X Students 2016Ikebana Poster

Kelly, RMC., 2016. 'Ikebana: A cross-disciplinary workshop exploring collaborative projects within Manchester School of Art', CELT Festival of Teaching and Learning, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Other Outputs

Ruthin Wall Installation 2015Ruthin Wallpaper DetailRuthin Artists Stories Wallpaper by Rachel KellyFinished wall detailWorkshop Participant/s

Kelly, R., 2015. 'Artists Residency at Ruthin Craft Centre: Centre for the Applied Arts.', Rachel Kelly was invited to undetrtake a residency to develop new work at Ruthin Crafts Centre in 2015.

Florence Mine Commission 2011-2012Florence Mine Commission 2011-2012Florence Mine Commission 2011-2012

Kelly, R., 2012. 'Artists Residency Commission at Florence Mine Arts Centre, Egremont Cumbria 2011-12', A printed textile commission which aims to provide effective and stimulating community engagement both within workshops at the Florence Mine, Egremont and ongoing within the Centre community..