Dr. Jen Ballie

Jen's journey began within textile design but has organically become more interdisciplinary over time, drawing upon the fields of user experience, interaction and service design. To develop a portfolio of projects and prototypes exploring sustainable design and the circular economy and health and wellbeing. 

Within a world proliferated with too much stuff, Jen's passionate about the roles and responsibilities of the designer and seeks to explore how we can add value to the every day lived experience through design. Through an inclusive approach to practice, she has experience of collaborating with other designers, citizens, NGO’s, SME’s and big brands. This work focuses on the themes of; material culture, sustainability, health and wellbeing and the concept of the circular economy. 

Jen has a BDes in Textile Design and Masters of Design with distinction from Duncan of Jordanstone, College of Art and Design, Dundee University (2008). During her Masters she was successful for a PhD scholarship call linked to Textile Futures Research Consultancy (TFRC), funded by Neal's Yard. This research was undertaken at Chelsea College of Art & Design within the Textiles Environment Design (TED) Research Unit. .

Research Interests

Jen's research interests include: design activism, social innovation and focuses on the ever changing role of the design practitioner. Her PhD Research was titled 'e-Co-Textile Design: how can textile design and making, combined with social media tools, achieve a more sustainable fast fashion future?

Currently, the dialogue between a brand and user ends at the point of purchase and further work is required. This research explores how the designer might play a role in nurturing agency from the user and promoting a paradigm where clothing can be changed, adapted and improved over time. A series of design interventions emerged exploring; modular clothing that be reconfigured over time, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) textile techniques, open source and downloadable fashion and accessory patterns and mobile maker spaces to produce small accessories for fashion. 

These interventions have been designed and delivered within public events and festivals to demonstrate how consumers participation within the design process might reduce our consumption of throwaway fashion. Examples include the Victoria and Albert Museum FRIDAY NIGHT LATES, Marks and Spencers 'Shwop Lab' and events within the London Design Festival.

Research Positions

Following a Sustainability Research Fellow position at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion (2011). Jen undertook a Post-Doctoral Research position within Design in Action (DiA), an AHRC funded Knowledge Exchange (KE) Hub (2011-15). And is currently a Research Fellow within the Institute of Design Innovation within the Glasgow School of Art (2015 - present). She supervises both PhD and Masters students and delivers guest lectures within undergraduate courses across the UK.