Jenny Underwood

Associate Professor Jenny Underwood

Associate Professor

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Dr Jenny Underwood is an innovator, collaborator, and textile design researcher working at the nexus of design, art, technology, and science.

Overview

Jenny is the Associate Dean, Fashion and Textiles Technology, in the School of Fashion and Textiles. In this role, she provides strategic and academic leadership for the fashion and textiles technology discipline and has overseen the creation of the Bachelor of Fashion and Textiles (Sustainable Innovation) degree. She is also the Chair of Learning and Teaching for the School.

 

Jenny’s research focuses on material-led design strategies to create surfaces, systems and experiences for bodies and environments, and fashion and textiles education for sustainability. She is also an experienced senior supervisor, having supervised some of the first practice-based research PhDs, within the field of fashion and textile design internationally.

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Research

Jenny’s research is practice-based and interdisciplinary at the nexus of design, art, technology, and science. She is recognised internationally for her interdisciplinarity and as the leading expert in 3d seamless knitting. Her textile design practice brings together understandings of material behaviour, parametric design approaches, digital fabrication, and physical prototyping within the context of architecture, speculative and critical design, and fashion. What emerges are material-led design strategies to create complex forms that are lightweight, flexible, and efficient at scale.

Jenny also researches and writes on fashion and textiles education for sustainability. Her current focus is on how relational connections between disciplines within fashion and textiles centred on place and materials, can support transformative learning experiences.

Research keywords

Design innovation, Interdisciplinary methods, Textile design, Digital fashion technologies, 3d knitting, Fashion and textiles sustainability, Education for Sustainability

Research output summary

30

Publications

4

Projects

3

Awards

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Supervisor interest areas

  • Fashion and textile design practice
  • Sustainability
  • Design innovation
  • Interdisciplinary methods
  • Digital fashion technologies
  • 3d knitting
  • Education for Sustainability

Supervisor projects

  • Garcia, C. (PhD) Fashion Futures: a collective and interdisciplinary approach to futures thinking in transitional times.
  • Bardalai, R. (PhD) Material-Touch-Emotion
  • Samie, Y. (PhD) Unwanted Textiles in the Urban City: a Case Study on Metropolitan Melbourne
  • Morley, J. (PhD) Relational Fashion
  • Kennedy, K. (PhD) A body neutral inclusive practice for dress and clothing
  • Adams, L. (Masters by Research) Shared visions: co-creating a culture of change through values and practice in education
  • Lynas, E. (2019) (PhD) Post-material making: explorations for a materially connected textile design practice
  • Carroll, L. (2019) (Masters by Research) Embedding Surface Imagery: Exploring a hybrid textile design practice – the Desktop Atelier
  • Ketelsen, L. (2019) (Masters by Research) Anti-Fragile: A textile design practice to hypothesise a future scenario for sustainable fashion
  • Adams, L. (2019) (PhD) The Practice of ‘Handmade’ in the Contemporary Designer-Maker Marketplaces of Melbourne
  • Gavrilenko, O. (2016) (Masters by Research) Engineered repeating prints: computer-aided design approaches to achieving continuity of repeating print across a garment using digital engineered print method
  • Brien, P. (2015) (Masters by Research) Re-Enchanting Fashion: An Ecocentric Approach
  • Senanayake, R. (2013) (Masters by Research) Fashion Design for the Emerging Creative Economy of Sri Lanka

Feature publications

Fibre Architecture: a soft simultaneity design practice

Journal: Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice (RFTD), Taylor & Francis, United Kingdom, pp. 1-19

Underwood, J. and Zilka, L. (2021).

Knitted Architecture

Future Prototyping Exhibition, Dulux Gallery Melbourne University, Melbourne, Australia

Zilka, L. and Underwood, J. (2020).

Parametric Stitching: Co-designing with Machines

Artificial Intelligence on Fashion and Textiles, Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 213-219

Underwood, J. (2019).  

Key publications by year

  • Zilka, L. and Underwood, J. 2017, 'PleatPod', Domus Italy, Editoriale Domus, Milan, Italy
  • Underwood, J. 2017, 'Slow Fashion Studio: alternative approaches to fashion', Slow Fashion Studio: alternative approaches to fashion in conjunction with Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
  • Ramsgaard Thomsen, M. Tamke, M. Karmon, A. Underwood, J. Gengnagel, C. Stranghöner, N. and Uhlemann, J. 2016, 'Knit as bespoke material practice for architecture', in Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA 2016), Kathy Velikov, Sean Ahlquist, Matias del Campo, Geoffrey Thün (ed.), Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, Netherlands, pp. 280-289
  • Wilde, D., Underwood, J. 2015, ‘Crafting the Embodied Ideation of Wearables’, CHI2015 Workshop on Knowledge Production in Interaction Design. SIGHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Seoul, April, 2015.
  • Wilde, D. Underwood, J. and Pohlner, R. 2015, 'Crafting material innovation', in Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference of the Design Research Society Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG 2015), Anne Louise Bang, Jacob Buur, Irene Alma Lønne, Nithikul Nimkulrat (ed.), University of Southern Denmark, Kolding, Denmark, pp. 21-33
  • Underwood, J. and Kennedy, K. 2014, 'The Digital Fashion Futures project', The Future is Here, The Design Hub, Melbourne, Australia
  • Zilka, L. Underwood, J. and Whibley, S. 2014, 'Fibre Architecture and Assembled Projects and Zilka Studio', DIA Women in Design, 45 Downstairs, Australia
  • Zilka, L. and Underwood, J. 2014, 'Inner Glow: Textile and Architecture-Fibre Space Collaboration using New Glow Materials', Architect Victoria journal, Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter, Melbourne, Australia
  • Underwood, J. 2014, 'Lace wirework', DIA Women in Design, Fortyfivedownstairs gallery, Melbourne, Australia
  • Wilde, D. Underwood, J. and Pohlner, R. 2014, 'PKI Lab in the wild, Bolwell Edge Design Residency', Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
  • Salim, F. Burry, J. Peers, J. and Underwood, J. 2012, 'Augmented spatiality', in The International Journal of Architectural Computing, Multi-Science Publishing, United Kingdom, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 275-300 ISSN: 1478-0771
  • Underwood, J. (2009). Design of Shaped knitted preforms, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), RMIT University.
  • Underwood, J. 2009, 'Fashioning new structures', in The Body: Connections with Fashion. Conference Proceedings 2008. International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI), T.Guglielmino and M. Peel (ed.), International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI), Melbourne, Australia, pp. 302-309
  • Underwood, J. and Zilka, L. 2009, 'Fibre space', in The Body: Connections with Fashion - International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes Conference IFFTI 2008, T. Guglielmino and M. Peel (ed.), International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI), Melbourne, Australia, pp. 119-129
  • Underwood, J. 2009, 'Redesign: in pursuit of a sustainable future', in Fashion and Wellbeing? 11th Annual Conference for IFFTI, Elizabeth Rouse (ed.), London College of Fashion, London, UK, pp. 482-493
  • Underwood, J. Lynas, E. Adams, L. and Beale, C. 2009, 'Transformative textiles', in Cumulus 38 Degrees South 2009, Proceedings of the Cumulus Conference, L. Fennessy, R. Kerr, G. Melles, C. Thong, E.Wright (ed.), Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-10
  • Underwood, J. and Zilka, L. 2008, 'Croquis and maquettes: Reconsidering surface and form', in The 86th Textile Institute World Conference. Fashion and Textile: Heading Towards new Horizons, Prof. Xiaoming Tao (ed.), Institute of Textiles and Clothing, Hong Kong, pp. 741-750
  • Lynas, E. Prideaux, V. and Underwood, J. 2008, 'Technology for design's sake', in FINZ Education Conference 2008. The Future of Fashion, Associate Professor Frances Joseph (ed.), FINZ, New Zealand, pp. 1-16
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Feature projects

Knitted Architecture (Exhibition - Sampling the Future)

Commissioned by National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, and supported by RMIT University

Zilka, L., Underwood, J.

2021 - 2021

PleatPod

Commissioned by RMIT University, and supported by industry partner Autex, and Bollinger + Grohmann

Zilka, L., Underwood, J.

2017

Key projects by year

  • Hypnapod
    Patman, D., Boyde, M., Warren, M., Cyngler, R., Underwood, J.
    Invited to collaborate with Unconscious Collective, the project has been assisted through the Australia Council, Arts Tasmania, and MPavilion through the Naomi Milgrim Foundation
    2017 - 2019
  • PleatPod
    Zilka, L., Underwood, J.
    Commissioned by RMIT University, and supported by industry partner Autex, and Bollinger + Grohmann
    2017
  • PKI — the poetic kinaesthetic interface project
    Wilde, D., Underwood, J. and Pohlner, R.
    Supported by RMIT University and University of Southern Denmark, Kolding Arts Victoria, Besen Family
    Foundation and Sidney Myer Foundation. Special thanks to our choreographer/movers and everyone at the NGV
    2014 - 2018
  • Glow
    Zilka, L. Underwood. J
    We thank Prof David Mainwaring, Zoran Ouvuka from SPS Industries and support from RMIT University.
    2012 - 2013 
  • Dermoid III
    Burry, M., Tamke, M., Deleuran, A., Miller, A., Quinn, G., Underwood, J., Wilson, M., Evers, H., Paleologos, E.
    Supported by Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory (SIAL) RMIT University; Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA), Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Copenhagen and; the School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University.
    2012 - 2013
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Awards

Key awards by year

  • 2016 RMIT University Research Excellence - Team Award – Member of the Centre Advanced Materials and Performance Textiles
  • 2011 Green Gown Australasia Award for Learning & Teaching Award
  • 2011 Premier’s Sustainability Award (Tertiary Education category)
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Public and media engagements

2021

  • Panel discussion for ‘Collaborative and interdisciplinary way of working for fashion and textiles’ as part of ‘Critical conversations’ for IFFTI (International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institute), 10 March 2021.

2019

  • Quoted in ‘The Fashion Issue’ Australian Financial Review, 7 June 2019.
  • Panel discussion for ‘Supporting the new fashion ecosystem in conversation’, at the Creative State Summit, 30 May 2019.
  • Presentation ‘How technology is transforming the fashion industry’, Elite Talks in partnership with RMIT on the Future of Work, RMIT Story Hall, 8 April 2019.

2017

  • Podcast for ‘Slow Fashion studio’ the Fast Fashion Exhibition, RMIT Gallery, 22 July 2017.
  • Quoted in ‘Fast Fashion: The dark side of fashion’ Australian Arts Review, August 1 2017.
  • Interviewed for ‘Undressing Fashion’ Radio National, Blueprint for Living, 22 July 2017.
  • Interviewed for ‘Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion’, SBS Radio, 21 July 2017.
  • Quoted in ‘Fast fashion revolt after 11 fashion deaths’, Ragtrader, 11 July 2017.
  • Quoted in ‘Could slow fashion improve your health?’ Daily Life by Clare Press, Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, 19 July 2017.
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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.