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Making: Archives/Making: Impact - The Creative use of Archives within Textile Design Education and Practice

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-07-25, 21:37 authored by Hannah Maughan

This paper reports on Making: Archives, a 2nd year Falmouth University Textile Design project co-created by Senior Lecturer Hannah Maughan and Senior Archivist Sarah.C.Jane. The project is designed to encourage students to reconnect with primary research materials and physical artefacts to counteract the over-reliance on digital resources, whilst showcasing the potential of archive collections as conceptual and creative stimulus for textile design development and innovation. Falmouth’s Penryn campus houses University of Exeter in Cornwall, creating a unique shared archival service and eclectic range of collections. The project seeks to challenge the perceived notions of archives, and to promote the Universities often underused archival resources to new audiences (Jane and Maughan 2020). 


Expanding on its case study as an exemplar of pedagogic good practice in The National Archives and History UK’s Guide to Collaboration for Archives and Higher Education, (McNauty and O’Rourke 2018) the paper disseminates and reflects on extensive research and data drawn from student participants of the Making:Archives project during its 7 years period, illustrating the breadth of experience, engagement and response, whilst examining in particular the value of using non discipline specific archives and curriculum embedded archival pedagogy. 


With the COVID pandemic disrupting the 19/20 cycle mid project, shutting down access to archive and studio workshops, the paper considers the reaction to the specific challenges faced and the emerging opportunities, which subsequently shifts the project’s focus, adapting to an evolved, more inclusive, and diverse iteration. The paper shares perspectives on archive working strategies in the context of education, industry, and archive sectors. 

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