Did you graduate no more than three years ago? Have you always wanted to work in the TextielLab? Or rather: experiment? You have until the end of the month to apply for the TextielLab’s Advanced Textile Programme, an exciting opportunity to develop your textile talent.
The TextielLab is an influencer – of careers, that is. Many of those who take part in an educational programme, do an internship or complete their graduation project in the lab continue working in textile design, with great success. Think of Borre Akkersdijk, Aliki van der Kruijs, Lenneke Langenhuijsen, Satu Maaranen or Robin Pleun Maas. As students, they were already using the machines in the lab and were so inspired by what they discovered that they wanted to know more. To give even more young designers the opportunity to specialise and professionalise in this field, the TextielLab is launching a new programme for up-and-coming talent in March.
The pilot for this Advanced Textile Programme is open to six young makers who will focus on sustainable weaving and knitting for ten weeks. A key component of the programme is experimenting, learning and exchanging knowledge. “The aim isn’t to make an end product but to research techniques, materials and concepts,” says project leader Michelle Baggerman. “The starting point may be small, but we expect participants to have an inquiring attitude that promotes in-depth research. The outcomes can’t be predicted in advance.”
Shades of sustainability
During the first four weeks of the programme, participants will work remotely while they are prepared for their lab time through online presentations and workshops, an overview of the theme – ‘shades of sustainability’ – and innovative weaving and knitting techniques. This is followed by two weeks in the lab itself, allowing plenty of time to experiment on the machines. “You’ll have access to everything we offer – the machines, the library, the yarn bank, the Sample Studio, the collection,” says Baggerman. “But also to the professionals in and around the lab, which makes the programme extra valuable. Participants will be assisted by several ‘masters’, including an established artist, an industry expert and a product developer. We’re extremely happy that Otobong Nkanga will be the artist supervising this first edition. She will help to select the participants, respond to their work during the work period and give a lecture about her own work. In short: this is a fantastic opportunity to work with an exceptional team of experts in a unique place.”
“A fantastic opportunity to work with an exceptional team of experts in a unique place.” – Michelle Baggerman
The details can be found on textiellab.nl. We have purposely kept the programme accessible, both in terms of personal contribution and qualifications. “We want to be a springboard for young makers. Your portfolio and motivation are more important than a diploma,” says Baggerman. “Find out beforehand what the lab and museum have to offer, think about how you want to make use of this offering and what you think you can bring.” When assessing the applications, specialisations and background will also be taken into account, to ensure a diverse group of participants who can learn from each other. The selected participants will be announced in May. Applications are currently limited to Europe, but the aim is to expand this to other regions in the coming years. The programme is still being developed, and the pilot in the TextielLab will feed into this development.
The actual work programme will run from mid-September to the end of November. It will be concluded with a joint presentation, and the TextielMuseum will disseminate the results widely. Because exchanging knowledge is an important component – both with each other and the masters in the lab – the entire process will be carefully documented. “Every year, we want to build on what was done and discovered in the previous years, creating a community of potential future masters,” says Baggerman. “The road from student to professional isn’t an easy one. This programme aims to lend a helping hand.”