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Project 01

A New Silk Road

With Wuhan Textiles University and Macclesfield Silk Museum

The Silk Road was network of routes used by traders for over 1500 years and was one of the first examples of a global economy of exchange- stretching across continents from China through to Europe. This trading route was used not only to trade precious and rich commodities such as gems, spices and textiles but was also used to exchange knowledge including religious and philosophical ideas. Connecting people, cultures and communities; the term Silk Road is often used as a metaphor for exchange between diverse cultures.

Unit X is rooted in collaboration, cross-disciplinary practice and outward facing approaches to working and this project will be a collaborative project between Wuhan Textiles University, Macclesfield Silk Museum and Manchester School of Art students. The Silk Road is woven into the identity of many regions across the globe and closer to home, Macclesfield Silk industries played an important part in this chain of trade and exchange. For this project, students used the concept of ‘The Silk Road’ and the extensive Macclesfield Silk Museum archive as the starting point of inspiration.

Working in groups with students from Wuhan Textiles University in China they have exchanged ideas, creating a group concept/narrative to work from. The concept of contemporary, collaborative crafting is at the core of this brief, with a focus on textile processes. The project will center on developing surface application through combinations of techniques including embroidery, print, leather and 3D manipulation, using the study trip to Macclesfield Silk Museum as inspiration. A rich body of sampling will be created throughout the project, using materials and processes taught through workshops. This project is designed to foster collaboration, encouraging the clashing of cultures, crafts and processes whilst continuing to be conscious, thoughtful designers.

Keywords: Culture Clash, Sustainability, Craft, Textiles, Fashion, Conscious Design, Trans-National Exchange, Connection, Collaboration, Responsive