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Do I need to have any knowledge of bio-Inspired design?

Experience in biologically informed design is not necessary.

However, we are looking for practitioners that are interested in learning from biology and have ambition to innovate sustainable textile design.

What type of Makers are we looking for?

We are looking for a range of textile practitioners. This means we are looking for designers that create textiles by hand or by machine. They can be craft based makers, industrial based makers or those that overlap both sectors.

In addition, we require that you have access to the equipment to carry out this type of making.

Why do I need to have access to equipment?

Bio-Inspired textiles has a small budget to pay the successful applicants to work with them on this research. We want to know that the proposals you will be developing with us (stage one) can be realistically carried out.

For example, if you usually produce textile work on a domestic knitting machine, we would like to know if you own or have access this equipment.

If you have access to equipment that you want to use but would require training to use it, please outline how you plan to carry this out prior to or during the project.

What does 'to implement the creative work yourself (in its entirety)' mean?

Creative work refers to the design and creative thinking that goes into designing the bio-inspired textile samples.

This creative design work can then be translated into textiles either using industrial machinery (if you have access to it) or made by hand.

We want to make sure that the person applying to be one of our maker collaborators will undertake the creative design work themselves.

What does the fee include?

Selected participants will receive a fixed fee of £1,500 (inc. VAT). This is to cover:




Postage of the final artefacts

Other costs as a result of the project.

What is the difference between paid and voluntary participants?

The only difference between the paid and voluntary participants is in stage two of the process.


Voluntary participants will receive the same information and support as the those that are selected to receive a fee.


However, there will be no deadline to make artefacts and they are only required to submit digital images/videos of their work.

Can I apply if I live outside of the UK/EU?

Yes, we welcome applications from anyone across the world, however for tax reasons we are unable to pay a fee to these makers.

In this case you would have to apply for one of the voluntary positions and tick the box “Voluntary Application” on the application form.


We would like to highlight that makers that apply on a voluntary basis will still benefit from:

  • working at the intersection of design, materials engineering and biology.

  • developing knowledge and skills in bio-inspired sustainable design.

  • apply learnings into their own future practice, teaching and/or research.

What is the timeline for the project?

Applications Extended Deadline:

Midnight (BST) 30 June 2021


Successful Applicants notified:

July 2021


Stage one - Proposal preparation: September 2021


Stage two - Prototype development: October-November 2021

Application information




The Bio-Inspired Textiles (BIT) team is looking for skilled textile practitioners to attend online events and develop biologically informed textile artefacts in return for a fee.

Applications Extended deadline

Midnight (BST), 30 June 2021

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and supported by the Crafts Council, the Bio-Inspired Textiles (BIT) project aims to introduce nature-inspired design to sustainable and circular textile practice. BIT takes an integrated approach that addresses the disconnect between biomimetic research and stakeholders from the textile and fashion communities. 




Makers and designers with extensive experience in any textile discipline and access to their own making facilities.




The BIT team is looking for participants to engage in knowledge exchange with the BIT team through online workshops and to create innovative, biologically informed textile-based samples that will act as research demonstrators for the BIT project.  


After the initial application the selection process is divided into two stages:


Proposal preparation (September 2021)

A shortlist of the most suitable applicants (see ‘how to apply’ and ‘who can apply’ below) will be invited to create a project proposal in three phases.

All shortlisted applicants shall be invited to:

  1. Attend an online introductory workshop;

  2. Attend a one-to-one online session with the BIT team; and

  3. Submit a 500-word project proposal to the BIT team within a week of their individual one–to-one session.



Prototype development (October-November 2021)

Following the completion of Stage one, the BIT team will select a number of applicants to fund to carry out their proposed projects and create prototypes.

Successful applicants will:

  • receive a fixed fee of £1,500 (inc. VAT) to cover materials, time and any other costs related to the project;

  • have 6 weeks to develop the final artefacts in their project proposal submitted during Stage one; and  

  • be required to assign all intellectual property rights in any work which they create during the project to UAL. A licence will be granted back to applicants for certain purposes, details of which will be set out in UAL Terms and Conditions.

The final textile artefacts created by successful applicants will be used by UAL for education and research purposes and by submitting your application you agree that UAL shall own all physical outputs which you create during the project.



Stage one applicants whose proposals are not selected to progress to Stage two will be encouraged, if they wish, to continue taking part in the BIT project with the full support of the BIT team, on a voluntary, no fee, flexible basis.

Individuals working on a voluntary basis will be asked to grant a licence of their digital work for UAL to use for educational, research and promotional purposes. They will be asked to sign a short letter agreement with UAL for their role in the BIT project.




Applicants must:

  • Demonstrate extensive experience in textile design, craft/making or industrial background in any textile sector.

  • Have high-level practical skills in any of the associated disciplines (textiles, fashion design, weaving, embroidery, knitting) or similar, and experience in producing textiles professionally whether for research, exhibitions, or industry.

  • Have access to their own making facilities.

  • Be experienced collaborators.

  • Be comfortable with working remotely and attending online events.

  • Be resident in the UK or EU.


We aspire to remove barriers and be open to all by strongly encouraging applications from individuals currently underrepresented in the creative and cultural sectors. This includes, but is not limited to, people of African or Caribbean heritage; Arabic heritage; Latin American heritage; East Asian, South Asian and South East Asian heritage; people from traveller communities; disabled people; LGBTQIA+ people and people from a low-income background. 



Please read all the supporting information on this page, browse the project’s website, and watch the application guidance video before completing an application by midnight (BST), 30 June 2021.


Complete the application form online 

All applications require:

  • A portfolio with up to four examples of recent projects with high-quality images and descriptions (project / page as four individual jpg files)

  • A statement outlining what you wish to achieve by taking part in this project.

  • A copy of your CV (max. 2 sides of A4 as a Word or PDF document)

  • A link to your website and/or social media (optional)

We also accept video/audio files as an alternative to text-based documents and applications that have been written or spoken by someone else on the applicant’s behalf.


Successful applications will clearly demonstrate: 

  • your textile practice specialism from a design and technical perspective and that you have training relevant to the opportunity. This can include photographs or moving image of recent works, collaborative projects or work-in-progress.

  • that you have access to textile making/processing facilities which you can use for the project

  • your practical or research skills in any aspect of the textiles sector

  • your interest in learning from biology, curiosity and ambition to innovate sustainable textile design - experience in biologically informed design is not necessary.

  • how you could act as an advocate for the project, communicate your textile activities and support the project’s communication activities.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Cathryn.  




Selected participants will be expected to: 

  • Attend and actively take part in the workshop and one-to-one follow-up meetings in Stage one; and

  • Develop a proposal that will be reviewed on a competitive basis.

If you are selected to progress to Stage two:

  • you will be expected to access your own facilities to implement the creative work yourself (in its entirety) within a set period;

  • you will have full control over the creative process but are expected to record progress using photography and/or film;

  • you will be expected to act as advocates for the BIT research project during active participation and when using the resources after the project completion; and

  • you must create digital and physical copies of each conceptual prototype for BIT that could be exhibited publicly and be used for education and research purposes.


Funding is conditional on the relevant tax review being made by UAL and successful applicants signing up to UAL’s Terms and Conditions.



Dr Veronika Kapsali, Principal Investigator of BIT, Cathryn Hall, Postdoctoral Research Fellow of BIT, and Alma Daskalaki, Innovation Manager Crafts Council.

We are aiming to notify all selected applicants by the end of July 2021.



This is an exciting opportunity to join the BIT community and engage with the team, receive priority access to resources, news, events and future collaborative opportunities.

Whether engaged on a funded or voluntary basis, applicants:

  • will gain experience of working at the intersection of design, materials engineering and biology.

  • will develop knowledge and skills in bio-inspired sustainable design.

  • will get to apply learnings into their own future practice, teaching and/or research.



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