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Workshop plant dyeing with Anne Hederer

From alpha to omega from avocado to onion skin

"Die Farben der Natur" (The colors of nature) was the title of a workshop on plant dyeing with Anne Hederer, textile designer and workshop leader at the Weißensee School of Art in Berlin. In four intensive days, students of textile studies at the University of Osnabrück experimented with plants such as walnut, mallow, coneflower or birch in different dyeing processes.

First of all, plants had to be harvested from the specially created dyeing plant bed in the Botanical Garden of the University of Osnabrück. The dyeing plant bed was the result of a fruitful intra-university cooperation with the Department of Biology. Many thanks go to Prof. Dr. Nico Dissmeyer as deputy director of the Botanical Garden and to Yvonne Bouillon as the technical director, who made it possible for the textile design to have its own bed. The dyeing plant bed was sown, nurtured and cared for by textile students from spring to summer.

 Anne Hederer expanded the harvest from the botanical garden for the workshop with a rich treasure chest full of plant dyes, from which the students drew for the experiments and test series. This resulted in deep reds from madder, delicate nudes tones from avocado, bright yellows from coneflower or birch, warm browns from walnut, and gentle tones from tagetes. Even black, the most difficult of all colorings, succeeded in the experiment.

Anne Hederer systematically introduced the students to the basics of cold and warm dyeing, bundle dying and shibori techniques with fascinating results. The series of experiments had to be recorded in dyeing diaries and measurement series.

The course was complemented by a parallel workshop on Makerculture with Lucia Schwalenberg, so that students could simultaneously dye yarns for their weaving experiments in the dyeing course.

A workshop for which the students enthusiastically wished for a continuation: Many thanks to Anne Hederer for her infectious enthusiasm.

Course management: Anne Hederer

Text and Photos: Lucia Schwalenberg

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Young Professionals

Textile Studies in young talent exhibition

Handwerksform Hannover is showing a "Young Professionals" exhibition with works by young creative people. Students of textile studies will present their work from the Beiderwand project, a cooperation with the Museumsweberei in Meldorf. With this exhibition, Handwerksform would like to show the public the versatility, innovative strength and creative power of young artists and students. New solutions in the use of materials, unusual, experimental and unconventional works from the fields of textiles, wood, ceramics, glass, jewellery, silverware and toys are represented in the exhibition as exhibits. At the same time, the exhibition will feature exhibits from the Young Collection, which was put together for the first time by the Federal Association of Arts and Crafts.

Opening: 16.09.2022, 8-10 pm by Thomas Gehre, President of the Hanover Chamber of Skilled Crafts and Dr. Sabine Wilp, Head of the Handwerksform Hanover

Exhibition duration: 17.09.-15.10.2022

Guided tours: 29.09.2022, 16.30 - 17.30 with Dipl. Des.in Lucia Schwalenberg with special focus on the works of students of textile studies at the University of Osnabrück. 13.10.2022, 16.30 - 17.30 with Dipl. Des. Rüdiger Tamm.

location: Handwerksform Hannover, Berliner Allee 17, 30175 Hannover

Opening times: Di-Fr 12-19.00, Sa 12-17.00

further Information: Prof.in Dr.in Bärbel Schmidt baerbel.schmidt@uni-osnabrueck.de

Dipl. Des.in Lucia Schwalenberg lucia.schwalenberg@uni-osnabrueck.de

Photos: Handwerksform Hannover (left and centre), Lucia Schwalenberg (right)

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Study TalkTextil

Textile Studies: Information from students for prospective students

Study TalkTextil is an offer by students for those interested in studying Textile Studies at the University of Osnabrück. The open offer is aimed at all those interested in studying Textile Studiesduring or after their Abitur, a voluntary year or a new orientation in their studies.

The discussions with students of Textile Studies take place online via BigBlueButton and serve to deepen or prepare a study consultation.

Dates and access link via studytalktextil@uos.de

Further Information: Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt baerbel.schmidt@uni-osnabrueck.de; general study guidance https://www.zsb-os.de/

Photos: Lucia Schwalenberg

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Scientiests for Future Osnabrück

(Fashion) Borrowing instead of buying: Presentation of the university didactic clothing rental service Fairo Moda

The university didactic clothing rental service Fairo Moda is the topic of a talk by Lesley-Ann Baldwin at Scientists for Future Osnabrück. At Fairo Moda, students and members of the University of Osnabrück can borrow women's outerwear. The principle is similar to that of a library, only with clothes instead of books. The intention of the student enterprise Fairo Moda is to shape an alternative textile consumption idea at our university.

The lecture is part of a series of events by Scientists for Future on climate change and climate protection. The aim is to make scientific findings and possible actions for a sustainable way of life accessible. In addition to technical solutions (e.g. renewable energies), the lectures will deal with legal, economic and social aspects that are essential for political implementation and the creation of structural conditions for effective climate protection.

Date: 18 May 2022

Time: 7.00 - 9.00 pm

Location:  University of Osnabrück/Building1/Lecture Hall E01, Kolpingstr. 7,, Osnabrück

Further Information: Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt baerbel.schmidt@uni-osnabrueck.de; Lesley-Ann Baldwin lesley-ann.baldwin@uni-osnabrueck.de

Photo: Lesley-Ann Baldwin

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Table Talks

Textile students show work at Atelier Paletot Mode im Loft

Students from the Department of Textile Studies show semester work under the direction of Annette E. Schneider in the Mode im Loft studio. The textile objects were created in the winter semester in the seminar "Tischdecke - Gedeckter Tisch - Tischgespräche". The content of the seminar was the theme of togetherness and coming together at the table to eat, exchange and talk. The starting material was white, used table linen. Tools were sewing machine and sewing needle. A joint exhibition was created from the individual works.

Date: 12 June 2022

Opening time: 11.30 - 16.00 a.m.

Opening: 11.30 a.m. with introduction and tour, solidarity action in favour of the refugee aid organisation EXIL e.V. Osnabrück

Location: Paletot Mode im Loft, Martinihöfe, Martinistraße 82 – 88, 49078 Osnabrück

Admission is free. A donation for refugee aid is requested.n.

Students: Vanessa Birke, Nadine Buitkamp-Wittrock, Carlotta Gödeker, Katharina Kortlücke, Rebecca Röhrs, Elena Rohsmannek

Further Information: Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt baerbel.schmidt@uni-osnabrueck.de

Photo: Annette E. Schneider

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Blue Jeans

Exhibition opens in the Museumsquartier Osnabrück

"Blue Jeans heute - Umweltsünden und die Suche nach nachhaltigen Alternativen" is the title of the theme room that textile students from the University of Osnabrück have designed for a Blue Jeans exhibition in the Museumsquartier Osnabrück. The co-curator of the exhibition, Anne Marie Juli, together with students of Textile Studies, questions the dark side of jeans production, the system of sustainability seals and sheds light on textile innovations and reuse. The students' exhibits complement the artistic and thematic examination of the topic of blue jeans.

The show includes artistic positions by Ian Berry, Hans Eijkelboom and Wang Bing, among others, as well as an oil painting from the 17th century by the artist "Der Meister der Blue Jeans", which shows a begging woman with two children in a skirt made of blue jeans fabric. Advertising posters and photographs of celebrities in blue jeans from Marilyn Monroe to Joseph Beuys to James Dean and depictions of American gold miners or cowboys extend the exhibition until 10 July 2022.

Admission for students of the university as cooperation partner of the exhibition is free..

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday/holiday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Location: Museumsquartier Osnabrück, Lotter Straße 2, 49078 Osnabrück

Further Information: Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt baerbel.schmidt@uni-osnabrueck.de

Photos: Lucia Schwalenberg

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3rd network meeting of the study and career counsellors

The Department of Textile Studies introduces itself

At the 3rd network meeting of study and career counsellors of the RD NSB and neighbouring agencies on 04 May 2022, Alexandra Wilker and Lesley-Ann Baldwin successfully presented Textile Studies as an attractive subject for prospective students.

Here is the most important information from the short lecture:

 Flyer Textile Studies

 Online guide Textile Studies

 Power Point Presentation from 04.05.2022

Further Information: Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt baerbel.schmidt@uni-osnabrueck.de / Alexandra Wilker alexandra.wilker@uni-osnabrueck.de

Photo: Lucia Schwalenberg

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Universitätsgesellschaft Osnabrück

Funding for phd project

Under the motto "We inspire ideas", the Universitätsgesellschaft Osnabrück e. V. supports young academics and research projects by students and lecturers at the University of Osnabrück. The aim is to promote special research achievements and make them visible.

In Textile Studies, the University Society supports the phd project "The Beiderwand weaving workshop Meldorf as a textile place of remembrance". The phd project of research assistant Lucia Schwalenberg under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt researches the history and heritage of pattern of the museum weaving workshop in Meldorf.

Part of the workshop is a historically grown heritage of pattern with complex jacquard punch cards, historical looms, machines and devices as well as an archive of fabric drawings and samples. Beiderwand is a complex weaving technique with pictorial patterns using jacquard looms. The aim of founding the museum workshop in Meldorf was to preserve and pass on the knowledge of the complex technique of weaving. The research project focuses on the analysis of the sources at the Dithmarscher Landesmuseum Meldorf, the Museumsweberei Meldorf, the pattern archive and the technical equipment.

The purpose is to show the relevance and potential of this museum weaving workshop for the transmission of textile culture. The core is, to show whether and how textile places of remembrance contribute to the preservation, transmission and future of textile culture and textile knowledge.

Osnabrück has a strong textile-historical connection with its historical linen scale and its close proximity to the cloth-making region of Bramsche. The University has excellent technical equipment in the field of Textile Studies, including - uniquely for a subject area, that trains teachers in Germany - a historical punched card jacquard loom including a punch card machine as well as the latest technology of digital jacquard.

Many thanks to the Universitätsgesellschaft Osnabrück for the approval of the grant application for the archival research in the context of this phd project.

Further information: Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt, baerbel.schmidt@uni-osnabrueck.de

Dipl. journ./Dipl. des. Lucia Schwalenberg, lucia.schwalenberg@uni-osnabrueck.de

Universitätsgesellschaft Osnabrück e. V.

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Cooperation trip to Finland

Textile Studies, Craft Education and Makerspaces

External funding from the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony

Textile Studies, Craft Education and Makerspaces were the focus of a Textile Studies cooperation trip to Finland, involving visits to several Finnish universities and institutions. The collaborative project is funded entirely (€10,000) by the Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony under the INTENSIVinternational program to strengthen European cooperation. The project is now being continued by fleshing out cooperation and exploring opportunities for collaboration between Finnish universities, Osnabrück University (as the university in Lower Saxony) and the Textile Research Centre in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Internationalization is a key issue in Osnabrück University’s strategy process. The aim is to promote student exchange and nurture young international scholars. Research landscapes are to be established with individual countries, taking into account key research areas. In light of the university’s educational mandate and social responsibility, this is especially true for Teacher Education degree programs. The goal is to enhance the attractiveness of the location in the international higher education landscape, and to attract international students and scholars.

Osnabrück University’s Department of Textile Studies trains students to teach at primary and secondary schools (Grund-, Haupt- & Realschulen). Consequently, the department has a particular role to play in relation to sustainable education and creative skills. The Nordic countries have an understanding of creative education that goes far beyond school education in the form of “craft education”. The aim is to promote lifelong learning as an educational concept that is cross-generational, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary. Craft education finds particular expression in participatory makerspaces, as well as in university education. In Finland, international points of contact include universities in Rovaniemi, Turku/Rauma and Helsinki/Eespo.

Finland Travel Diaries: Textile Studies, Craft Education and Makerspaces

Caption: Aalto University / entrance hall; University of Helsinki: Weaving Workshop with Professor Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen and Professor Sirpa Kokko; Urs Dierker explaining his circular costume design to Professor Bärbel Schmidt; Gloves / Rovaniemi Local Heritage Museum; Makerspace Völtila / Pirita Lauri with the TC2 digital Jacquard loom; handwoven woolen Ranuus (blankets) / Rovaniemi Local Heritage Museum; University of Turku / Rauma Campus / Craft Teacher Education; Jätermateraalikengät / Ana Nuutinen / Art Exhibition by staff from the University of Lapland / Arktikum Rovaniemi.

More information:

Professor Dr. Bärbel Schmidt, +49 541 969 4217, baerbel.schmidt@uni-osnabrueck.de

Dipl. Des. Lucia Schwalenberg, +49 541 969 4219 / +49 5103 706423, lucia.schwalenberg@uni-osnabrueck.de

Text and photos: Professor Dr. Bärbel Schmidt / Dipl. Des. Lucia Schwalenberg

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Preannouncement

Annual publication on textile education for sustainable development in progress

Following on from the 2020 Annual Volume of Textile Studies, offering insights into projects from the department, the next publication is underway. The new edition focuses on conceptual reflections on textile education for sustainable development by Alexandra Wilker; the project volume on the issue of inclusion and differentiation by Christine Löbbers; and master’s theses on the core curriculum and teaching textiles at primary school by Eyleen Huil and Elena Hardenberg.

Photo: Wolfgang Sparenberg

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Textiles guidance

Information for prospective students

The aim is to train future teachers whose amazement leads them to academic discourse on the diversity of textile culture, and to the recognition that knowledge is endless and learning is lifelong.

More information about the degree programs:

  • Bildung, Erziehung, Unterricht (BEU) Bachelor
  • Lehramt Grundschule (MEd) Master of Education
  • Lehramt Haupt- und Realschule (MEd) Master of Education 

Textile Studies flyer

Textile Studies virtual tour

Contact: Textiles Office

Photo: Linen project, Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt

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Borrow don't buy

Fairo Moda opens with a click & borrow approach

Fairo Moda will open its doors on June 1, 2021. The student-to-student clothing rental service with a background in higher education didactics is located on the City Center Campus in Building 52/E03, which can be accessed opposite Seminarstraße 33, Osnabrück.

It works along the lines of a library, but with clothes rather than books. Fairo Moda seeks to act in the spirit of the sharing economy (similar to the principle of car sharing) and to provide an opportunity for shared clothing. The project was initiated in the Department of Textile Studies. Vestimentary sustainability is a topic of intense investigation in the theoretical part of the program, which now also gives Osnabrück University students and staff the opportunity to engage in practical activities in the form of a clothing rental service.

Three items of clothing may be borrowed at one time. The service is free of charge. A 60 € deposit is payable on registration, which will be refunded when leaving the system. All or part of the deposit will be retained in case of loss or damage to the borrowed items.

Owing to the current situation, a soft opening will take place on June 1, 2021. A little opening ceremony is planned for a later date. It will take place once the coronavirus situation has eased and gatherings are possible again.

Tuesdays from 14:00 to 17:00 and Thursdays from 10:00 to 13:00.

If you are interested in participating in Fairo Moda or wish to book a click & borrow appointment, please join the “Fairo Moda: hochschuldidaktischer Kleidungsverleih” study group on STUD.IP:

https://studip.uni-osnabrueck.de/dispatch.php/course/studygroup/details/60ae495965fc53d02b3bab5f0063af01

Video on the directions to Fairo Moda

More information:

Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt, 0541 969-4217, baerbel.schmidt@uni-osnabrueck.de

Lesley-Ann Baldwin, fairomoda@uni-osnabrueck.de, lebaldwin@uni-osnabrueck.de

Photos und text: Lesley-Ann Baldwin

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Cooperation with the Draiflessen Collection

Haute Couture. 4 designers – 4 costumes – 4 teams of students

The Department of Textile Studies is set to cooperate with the Draiflessen Collection art museum in Mettingen for the first time, in summer semester 2021.

The Draiflessen´s Collection fashion collection includes creations of famous designers such as Madeleine Vionnet, Christian Dior, Madame Grès and Cristóbal Balenciaga. Sharing ideas with a tailoring expert, a textile conservator and a fashion historian, four teams of students will each analyze a dress or an ensemble by Vionnet, Dior, Grès or Balenciaga, paying particular attention to the tailoring technique, and placing it in the context of the fashion designer’s oeuvre. Complementing the presentation in the Draiflessen Collection, students emulate the creations and translate them into a contemporary setting.

The results of the cooperation can be viewed in a presentation at the Draiflessen Collection in Mettingen from July 18 to October 31, 2021.

The project led by Dr. Maria Spitz, Draiflessen Collection, and Christine Löbbers, Textile Studies.

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Postcards and flyer

Information materials for prospective students

The Department of Textile Studies has created a series of postcards for prospective students.
Another recent addition is the new Textile Studies flyer.

Textile Studies postcards

Textile Studies flyer

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Heritage of Patterns

Digital Weaving Norway reports about a collaborative project with the Stiftung Mensch foundation

"German textile designer and weaver Lucia Schwalenberg was recently a part of the Beiderwand-Weaving Workshop where the participants explored the historic weave pattern. The workshop took place at the 'Stiftung Mensch' (Foundation Man), which is located in the authentic building-complex 'Altes Pastorat' in Meldorf, Schleswig-Holstein (Germany).

Lucia Schwalenberg, who was the project coordinator for this Workshop, has already headed similar projects at the Tuchmacher Museum Bramsche (Fabric Maker Museum in Bramsche) and at the Textile department at the University of Osnabrück. Below, she shares details about the Workshop ...

The Meldorf Beiderwand-Weaving Workshop is a cultural landmark which was founded 100 years ago as a part of "Dithmarscher Landesmuseum". Part of the Workshop heritage is their large number of jacquard patterns stored on punched cards, as well as their historic mechanical jacquard looms, their ancien weaving accessories and tools as well as an archive of drawings and woven samples. The workshop is operated by people with disabilities.

The foundation 'Stiftung Mensch' has made a complete inventory of their patterns, and relaunched the collection in order to prexerve the cultural treasure. They made technical descriptions and also carried out a systematical re-structuring of the workshop. The aim was to highlight the very special Beiderwand-patterns of the region

The pieces in the Beiderwand-collection of the Meldorf Museum Workshop have interesting names, such as Small and Big Tree of Life, Bernward, Phyramus and Thysbe, Bent Tulip, Small Tulip, Big Tulip, Unicorn, Hertzhorn, Bird pattern, Fishing Harbour, Small Sailing Boats, Gaushorn, Gotland, Deer, The Four Continents, Madonna and Jutland.

There are precious Beiderwand pieces originating from Meldorf in the following collections: The German National Museum in Nürnberg, the Schleswig-Holstein County Museum an Schloß Gottorf as well as in the Museums in Flensburg and Hamburg. In the 17th and 18th century Beiderwand-weavings became very popular, especially in Schleswig-Holstein, which is located in the nortern part of Germany/southern part of mainland Denmark/Jutland.

The patterns originate from 13th and 14th century damask patterns. Beiderwand-weavings were especially popular in farmhouse living rooms, where they were used as curtains as well as bed-covers on 'built-in'beds, the so-called 'Alcoves'. Typical materials in Beiderwand weavings is a linen yarn in the ground weft sytem an in both warp systems, ground warp and binding warp, and a coarse wool in the pattern weft. The weave structure is a type of double weave, with areas that are connected and areas that form pockets.

The warp ratio is mostly 4:1 between ground warp and binding warp. The fabric surfaces show a high-contrast positive-negative image. The name Beiderwand (=two sides) may refer to the two distinctly different fabric surfaces resulting from the double-weave structure and the two materials. In the Germanic linguistic region, the root word -wand exists in other German words such as Leinwand, which means plain weave/tabby and Gewand, which means garment/robe. The origin of weaving stems from braiding, such as in Gewunden, meaning entwined of braided, such as walls braided from willows.

The patterns are either geometric, which means that they can be woven on few to many shafts, or ornamental/figurative, which means that they have to be woven on multishaft damast looms of jacquard-looms.

After having registered the traditional patterns, part two of the project was dedicated to the cooperation with the Textile Department of University Osnabrück: Guided by their university teacher Lucia Schwalenberg, the students started to develop timeless geometric Beiderwand designs. They were either contrasting black-and-white or with bright colour shades. They were woven with organic, natural tweed-yarns from Ireland, reminding of the originally handspun and hand-dyed yarns used in the historic textiles.

These new designs are right now in the process of being woven on the TC2 loom at the Textiles Department in Osnabrück. A small selection on the students' patterns shall then be transferred to punched cards for the jacquard looms at the Beiderwand-Workshop Meldof, so that the Workshop my add contemporary designs to their historic pattern treasure.

The transfer of files to jacquard hard cards became possible because oof the fortunate situation that workshop-leaderr Wolfgang Sternberg managed to retore both the card punching machine and the punched card sewing maching which were sitting in the Beiderwand-workshop Meldorf.

An exhibition with historic and contemporary Beiderwand-patterns is int he plannig for spring 2021 in teh Landesmuseum Dithmarschen in Meldorf. This unique project elegantly combines the great possibilities of the digital jacquard-loom TC2 and the historic, punched card jacquard technology preserved at Beiderwandweberei Meldorf.

About Lucia ...

After studying Journalism (LMU München, Germany) and Textile Design (Hochschule Hannover, Germany), Lucia completed the Shuttle Course at Kunsthochschule Linz/Textiles Zentrum Haslach, Austria. She works as a textile designer and weaving lexturer at Kunsthochschule Kassel and University Osnabrück. In University Osnabrück she is a research staff member at the Textiles Department. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation about 'Genius loci - textile places of commemoration'.

Hints to Beiderwand-sources are welcome to lucia.schwalenberg@uni-osnabrueck.de"

text: Digital Weaving Norway/Geetika Nautiyal

https://www.digitalweaving.no/heritage-of-patterns-beiderwand-weaving-workshop/

Photos: Lucia Schwalenberg

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Virtual tour for prospective students

Virtual tour of Textile Studies

Textile Studies virtual tour

Photo: Lucia Schwalenberg

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12th Osnabrück Science Forum

Professor Dr. Bärbel Schmidt: “Green Button. Is the ecological label just window dressing?

The university and Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung hosted an evening full of questions and answers at the 12th Osnabrück Science Forum in the sold-out Schlossaula on November 15th, 2019, in keeping with the theme of “Future. Questions. Answers.”

33 professors went on stage to give their scientific opinion on questions concerning the future that citizens of Osnabrück had asked. On stage, Professor Dr. Bärbel Schmidt answered the question asked by a reader concerning the Green Button: Is the ecological label just window dressing?

Presentation: Professor Dr. Susanne Menzel-Riedl, President of Osnabrück University and Ralf Geisenhanslüke, Editor-in-Chief of NOZ

Video: Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt talking about the Green Button

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The academic scarf of the University Osnabrück

Designed by Textile Studies students – now available at the Unishop

A symbol of academic achievement and close ties to Osnabrück University: the academic scarf combines university creativity and craftsmanship to produce a masterpiece. The scarf, woven from silk and cotton, was developed by Textile Studies students and produced locally on a Jacquard loom. The scarf was presented for the first time to doctoral and post-doctoral graduates of Osnabrück University at the 2019 doctoral graduation ceremony. The scarf is now available at the Unishop.

The students researched the background of academic clothing and explored symbols and design elements of the university and the city of Osnabrück. They drafted models, which were then refined in the digital image processing program, covered with fabric weaves and woven on the digital Jacquard loom. After presenting the results to the President’s Cabinet and the Communication department, a collaborative design emerged. The final design shows the university’s logo moving across the scarf, echoing the way that students successfully pass through the university. The silhouette of Osnabrück and the castle with the lettering “UOS” symbolizes the central location of the university. In the middle, the city’s Wheel of Peace joins with a lily, symbolizing wisdom and knowledge, as well as the castle garden – a central meeting place for students.

Students:
Sümeyye Asci, Pauline Becking, Julia Falke, Amelie Gieschler, Merve Kocaoglu, Lara Munsch, Naina Josefina Reuter, Julia Schaller, Rieke Scholle, Nesibe Türkaslan, Derya Tuztas.

Participating lecturers: Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt, Dipl. Des. Lucia Schwalenberg.

Photos: Ralf Orlowski (left above), Lucia Schwalenberg 

The academic scarf of University Osnabrück

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WFaOG1asos&feature=youtu.be

https://www.uni-osnabrueck.de/veranstaltungen/zentrale-veranstaltungen/promotionsfeier/

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Aus alt mach neu! Lesley-Ann Baldwin und Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt (v. l.) im Kleiderarchiv des Faches Textiles Gestalten.

Fairo Moda helps combat mass consumption

Textile student develops concept for a sustainable fashion industry

Never before have we owned so many items of clothing. Germans buy up to 60 new garments on average each year. Is it really necessary? This was the question that Lesley-Ann Baldwin, Textile Studies student at Osnabrück University, also asked herself. In response to this question, she developed a student-run company that she hopes will make a sustainable improvement to the fashion industry.

In the future, students should be able to borrow and swap clothes instead of throwing them away. But that is not all – Baldwin also plans to offer a module in her institute linked to the rental service to combining practice with teaching.

She says that the current fashion industry is one of the most environmentally damaging industries in the world. Resources are wasted through overproduction and short-lived trends. Nature is contaminated and polluted by pesticides, Baldwin states. “Society is aware of the serious problems in the textile industry, but they are not sufficiently addressed,” she criticized. The Fairo Moda rental service and the Sustainability Management module she plans for the Textile Studies are intended to raise awareness of these conditions. The aim is to locally encourage sustainable consumption behavior among students.

Baldwin has developed a detailed concept for Fairo Moda. Students will be able to borrow items for everyday wear and for special occasions from a central rental location on campus, and swap them during open hours: “The principle resembles that of a library – but with clothes rather than books.” Research assistants and students are to manage the operations of the Fairo Moda rental service, as well as activities in the areas of visual marketing and event planning. Donations of clothing are to be requested and secondhand items are to be purchased for the rental service. Baldwin is also keen to cooperate with sustainably producing local young designers. 

The envisaged Sustainability Management module aims to link Fairo Moda to university teaching. Professor Bärbel Schmidt accompanied and supported Baldwin in her work: “Interdisciplinary intersections evolve between practice and teaching. Seminars from the fields of business, biology or geography could also be integrated.” The module description could be incorporated in over 30 subjects – not only in teaching, but also in the area of professional skills development for the Dual Major Bachelor’s Degree. Seminars will engage students with ecological and economic issues as well as the fashion industry. Students could put their ideas into practice at Fairo Moda, or outside the university. “Our aim is to primarily help shape teaching theory,” Baldwin explained. “Future teachers should share their knowledge with the outside world and raise awareness among the younger generation for the issue of a fair, sustainable industry.” Schmidt supplemented: “We must take responsibility and think specifically about how we want to leave our planet to future generations.”

Photo: Elena Scholz
Text:
Marie Thiele

Informationen:
Prof. Dr. phil. Bärbel Schmidt, baerbel.schmidt@uni-osnabrueck.de
Lesley-Ann Baldwin, ebaldwin@uni-osnabrueck.de

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