Self-funded PhD opportunities

Craft and Code: Materialising Data Through Textiles

  • Application end date: All year round
  • Funding Availability: Self-funded PhD students only
  • Department: School of Art and Design
  • PhD Supervisor: Dr Simone Gumtau & Dr Elaine Igoe

Project detail:

This is an opportunity to develop a practice-based PhD exploring methods of communicating data. We welcome applicants from the design discipline of textiles or other related fields of art, craft and design. Applicants with a data science background and appropriate experience in material craft or design are also invited to apply.

Contemporary culture is embracing the concept of data as a record, as a way of measuring, as a decision making tool and ultimately as a way of transformation. Designers need to find ways of eliciting meaning from vast data sets and exploring ways of communicating this creatively. Visualising data through material means rather than the graphic or pictorial, invites a sensory, multi-modal interaction with data, eliciting connections and experiences.

Textiles provide the opportunity for a continuous, tacit and haptic conduit of data. Stitches are marks and traces which can connect, join and merge. A tailored suit records the embodied information of its recipient and how it is worn. Practitioners such as Ele Carpenter and Nathalie Miebach have utilised embroidery and weaving to interpret and represent data sets and complex information. Emerging technologies in textiles and material design synthesise the material with the informational in new ways.

We are interested in exploring the gaps between the accurate, the evocative, the messy, the personal, the feminist and the artistic. (See Giorgia Lup & Stefanie Posavec’s ‘Dear Data’ project). This bursary invites an exploration of qualitative research methodologies through practice. This project will be aligned with the University of Portsmouth’s strategic research theme of ‘Future and Emerging Technologies’.

The candidate will be supervised by Royal Society of Arts Fellow, Dr Simone Gumtau and Royal College of Art doctoral graduate in textiles, Dr Elaine Igoe.

For more information about research in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries visit our Research and Innovation page.

How to apply:

To apply or make an enquiry, please visit postgraduate research: Art and Design

Applications should use our standard application forms and follow the instructions given under the ‘Research Degrees’ heading on the following webpage:

If you would like further guidance on applying for our bursaries or would like to ask any questions about the research topic please email Dr Simone Gumtau or Dr Elaine Igoe on or