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The University of Southampton

ARTD1129 Textile Contexts

Module Overview

This module introduces a range of contexts and theory informing future textiles. It will provide you with the contextual platform needed to practice challenging and creative textile design relevant to a future context. This module brings together wider art and design perspectives, to give you the opportunity to engage in analysis and to give you a foundation of references and context, underpinning the area of Fashion & Textile Design in a challenging and creative setting.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• to introduce you to the ways in which historical and contemporary context and theory inform future art and design practice focusing on textile design. • to introduce the ways in which thinkers and the wide range of practitioners engage with textiles • to encourage you to explore your own work through critical reflection on the debates and practices discussed in this module and see the applicability of these to your own practice

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • innovative practices, concepts and debates and different professional, cultural and technological contexts relevant to future textile design
  • how to evaluate and use visual research and study skills in relevant contexts
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • inform your practice by analysing and critically reflecting on contemporary issues
  • apply methods of enquiry and reflection, which will enable you to critically evaluate and relate ideas to an intended context.
  • develop your ideas by applying thinking, informed by a context of recent approaches to the practice and theory of textiles
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify, select and draw upon a range of sources to inform and challenge your thinking and writing
  • generate ideas, study independently and produce work to set deadlines
  • cite references and sources using the appropriate Harvard style referencing system


Textile Contexts is a Part 1 core module. It has been designed to facilitate your development of skills necessary for the critical development of well-informed perspectives of contemporary art and design with a focus and relevance for textiles. The perspectives and context provided by this module can also offer a career orientation for the next stages in studying textile design. In this module, we will explore how practice is informed by context and theory. In lectures, seminars and tutorials, we will look critically at art and design objects and events with their relevant texts. We will discuss major concepts and key positions and evaluate the relevance and significance of differing perspectives in art and design, and you will apply them accordingly to textile design. Through this work we will encourage you to explore practically how the current developments in art and design can inform your own textiles work. Lectures will be used to convey representations and information on the contemporary scene of art and design, focusing on textiles contexts. Seminars and group discussions will allow more detailed examination of particular themes and sources. You will be encouraged to access what material is available in the library and online to assist in gaining a wide perspective of the art and design context relevant to textiles.

Special Features

It is expected that students visit museums and galleries independently as an essential part of their learning. Additional study trips may be arranged as part of your learning experience, these are optional and reasonable adjustments will be made for students with special needs. Costs usually associated with study trips are travel to and from the destination, lunch and venue entrance fees. A typical trip will be to London by train (off peak) around £25 return per student with a student rail card.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • project briefings • lectures • tutorials Learning activities include: • seminars • tutorials • peer group learning • formative self-evaluation and critical reflection • Study skills hub • Independent research Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes In this module learning and teaching activities focus on helping you to investigate, question and analyse the nature of contemporary art and design contexts, its theory and how this influences discipline-specific practice, including Textile Design. Informal feedback will provide opportunities for peer group learning and self-evaluation. The summative assessment will be by way of an illustrated 2,000-word essay. This module’s learning and teaching methods are designed to help you broaden your understanding of contemporary issues within art and design and explore practical creative possibilities. By studying independently you will learn how to manage your time effectively outside the taught sessions.

Preparation for scheduled sessions24
Completion of assessment task42
Wider reading or practice60
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Hemmings. Jessica (2014). Cultural Threads. 

Fletcher, Kate (2008). Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys. 

Academic Integrity issues.

Bruzzi, Stella and Church Gibson, Pamela (2000). Fashion Cultures: Theories, Explorations and Analysis. 

Carroll D, Ed (1998). The States of theory: history, art and critical discourse. 

Hemmings. Jessica (2012). The Textile Reader. 

Danto, Arthur C (1998). The wake of art: criticism, philosophy, and the ends of taste. 

Gray C & Malins J (2004). Visualising Research. A Guide for Postgraduate Students in Art and Design. 

Pavitt, Jane (2008). Fear and Fashion in the Cold War. 

Blackboard. Panopto via Blackboard

Lury, Celia (2011). Consumer Culture. 

Kocur (Z) & Leung (S). Eds. (2004). Theory in contemporary art: from 1985 to the present. 

Davis, Fred (1992). Fashion, Culture and Identity. 

Benhabib Sevla (1992). Situating the self: gender, community and postmodernism in contemporary ethics. 

Marí B and Schaeffer Jean-Marie Eds (1998). Think art: theory and practice in the art of today. 

Harvard citing and referencing systems, including citethemright online resource.

Barnard, Malcolm (2002). Fashion as Communication. 

McEvilley t (1996). Capacity: history, the world, and the self in contemporary art criticism. 

The Academic Skills Library page for study skills support.

Wood P (2002). Art in theory 1900-2000: an anthology of changing ideas. 

Gordon. Beverly (2011). Textiles, the Whole Story: Uses, Meanings. 



Essay proposal


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  (2000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  (2000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Illustrated essay  (2000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


REQUIRED Cost for printing and photocopying USB Memory stick OPTIONAL Laptop Hard Drive Camera


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/ additional text as appropriate. You will be guided by your tutors to preparatory and ongoing relevant texts whether in print or available online. These will enable you to gain an appreciation of the contemporary theoretical and practical framework in which you are working and promote discipline-specific critical thinking.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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