As a designer with a passion for innovation, sustainability and working with people, I love making things, and making things happen!
Through my practice I aim to bring colourful textile joy and meaningful enquiry together: I’ve created locally woven product ranges and interior décor informed by traditional craft industries; explored advanced sportswear and performance textiles; experimented with innovative hand and digital craft techniques; researched practices, cultures and meanings of traditional textiles; and worked with communities to share the positive power of making, using technology, craft, humour and sport as participatory tools to engage audiences.
My main area of research interest is in textile design for health, wellbeing and sustainability. I have led industrial and academic textile research projects in medical and sportswear applications, applying a creative, proactive approach to getting things done and an inquiring sensitivity to developing commercial, user focussed solutions. My recent role as Research Fellow in Clothing Longevity at Nottingham Trent University is part of a wider DEFRA / WRAP funded initiative exploring how to embed sustainable design strategies into the fashion and textiles industry, and I have worked on a wide range of community projects / workshop activities.
2014 - current
Lecturer in Textile Design, Nottingham Trent University
2016 - 2018
Sustainable Clothing Research Coordinator, Nottingham Trent University
2014 - 2016
Research Fellow in Clothing Longevity, Nottingham Trent University
2015 - 2016
'Darning Clothes, Weaving Conversations' workshop, supported by Zero Waste Scotland as part of the Love Your Clothes campaign. At Creative Carbon Scotland / GALA 2015 all day event 'Glasgow's Green: Imagining a sustainable city' at Glasgow Tramway.
Weaving Shetland Tweed workshop with Shielagh Tacey, Shetland Wool Week
Hand-weaving at Weaving Truth with Trust, Govan Church
Love Your Clothes workshops coordinator and facilitator, John Lewis, for Zero Waste Scotland
Drop In & Darn! Participatory workshops at Highland Wool Festival, for Zero Waste Scotland
Selected Artist-in-Residence, Creative Carbon Scotland Mull Weekend Residency: Art & Sustainability
Community Engagement Facilitator: Yarn Bomb Bute!
Design in Action ‘Chiasma’ workshop facilitator, Glasgow School of Art
DesignSpeck workshop assistant, GSA/ DJCAD
2012 – 2014
Visiting Lecturer in Fashion and Textiles, Glasgow School of Art
Maker-in-residence (WEAVATHON), Barony Centre, West Kilbride
2010 – 2012
Lecturer in Textiles, Design & Craft, Professional Practice & Employability, DJCAD, Dundee Uni
2009 – 2014
Peer-mentor, NESTA Starter for 6 business innovation programme
Weaver-in-residence, Centre for the Creative Industries, Shetland
Weave designer, JJ Spectrum silk weavers, India
Weave designer, Angelo Vasino, Italy
Design studio assistant, Linton Tweeds, Carlisle
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS
2009 Blueprint & 100% Design Award for the Most Promising New Designer
2009 The Incorporation of Weavers of Glasgow Scholarship: Backstrap weaving, Mayan textiles and Culture
2008 Awarded NESTA business innovation grant funding
2006 The Althea McNish Prize for the use of colour in textile design, RCA
2006 Distinction for MA Thesis exploring The Role of Humour and Textiles in Art
2006 Finalist, RCA Helen Hamlyn Design for Our Future Selves Award, in collaboration with vehicle designer Joel Bridge
2003 Texprint Weave Prize
2003 Incorporation of Weavers of Glasgow Award for Innovation, GSA
MCLAREN, A., HARDY, D.A. and HUGHES-RILEY, T., 2017. Electronic textiles and product lifetimes: exploring design strategies for product longevity. In: BAKKER, C. and MUGGE, R., eds., Product Lifetimes And The Environment (PLATE) Conference proceedings [Delft University of Technology], Delft, Netherlands, 8-10 November 2017. Delft University of Technology & IOS Press: online. Pp. 473 - 476. ISBN 978-1-61499-820-4. DOI: 10.3233/978-1-61499-820-4-473 http://ebooks.iospress.nl/volumearticle/47923
MCLAREN, A., STEVENSON, F. and VALENTINE, L., 2017. Collaborative user-centred textile design research for healthcare: improving wellbeing and increasing performance. In: Intersections: Collaborations In Textile Design Research Conference, Loughborough University London, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 13 September 2017. Proceedings. London: Loughborough University.
McLaren, A. & Goworek, H. (2017). Investigating the relationship between consumer attitudes and sustainable fashion product development. In Henninger, C., Alevizou, P., Goworek, H. and Ryding, D. (2017) Sustainability in Fashion: A Cradle To Upcycle Approach, Basingstoke: Palgrave
LITHERLAND, G. and MCLAREN, A., 2017. Woven Within the Surface: interconnected explorations of fine art linen canvas production. In: Intersections: Collaborations In Textile Design Research Conference, Loughborough University London, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 13 September 2017. Proceedings. London: Loughborough University.
MCLAREN, A., GOWOREK, H., COOPER, T., OXBORROW, L. and HILL, H., 2016. The effect of consumer attitudes on design for product longevity: the case of the fashion industry. In: P. LLOYD and E. BOHEMIA, eds., Proceedings of DRS 2016: Design + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking. 50th Anniversary Conference, Brighton, 27-30 June 2016. London: Design Research Society, pp. 3831-3846.
McLaren, A., Oxborrow, L., Cooper, T., Hill, H. and Goworek, H. (2015). Clothing Longevity Perspectives: exploring consumer expectations, consumption and use. Paper presented at PLATE (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) Conference, NTU (link to follow).
McLaren, A. and Mclauchlan, S. (2015). Crafting Sustainable Repairs: practice based approaches to extending the life of clothes. Paper presented at PLATE (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) Conference, NTU (link to follow).
OXBORROW, L. and MCLAREN, A., 2015. Extending the life of clothes. Textiles, 42 (3), pp. 6-9. ISSN 1367-1308
Work featured in: Davis and Martin (2012). Shibori Recreated
SELECTED TALKS, PRESENTATIONS, RESIDENCIES & EXHIBITIONS
Summer Lodge residency (2018), Invited Artist (in collaboration with Geoff Diego Litherland). Nottingham Trent University Fine Art Department. Residency working on ‘Within The Surface’, a textile design / fine art collaboration to grow, process, and spin flax, to hand-weave into linen canvas.
MCLAREN, A. (2016). Darn Stylish I & Darn Stylish II [darned garments]. Costume and Fashion in Context Symposium exhibition, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, 5-6 December 2016.
MCLAREN, A. (2016). Darning Clothes, Weaving Conversations: crafting sustainable fashion futures. Paper presented at Costume and Fashion in Context Symposium, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, 5-6 December 2016.
MCLAREN, A. (2016). Radical Parkhead. Weave Parkhead Exhibition, Imageo Gallery, Glasgow, 20-25 August 2016.
MCLAREN, A. AND HILL, H. (2016). Exploring Design & Testing for Clothing Longevity. Pecha Kucha presentation at Emperor's New Clothes conference, 8 September 2016, Leeds University, UK.
MCLAREN, A., (2015). Wear your heart on your sleeve - darning sampler exhibited at: PLATE Exhibition (Product Lifetimes And The Environment), Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, 17-19 June 2015.
Tiree Tech Wave residency (2016). Residency considering the social and philosophical challenges of technology by engaging directly with it: development of practical E-textiles sampling, including the creation of fabric speakers and collaborative interactive pieces with local community. Underpinning research into the social/ wellbeing benefits of E-textiles, and the sustainability challenges of working with mixed textile and electronic materials.
Home / Away introduced by Christopher Breward and Mairi MacKenzie (2014), Scotland Can Make It! events programme
Invited speaker at ‘Owning Creativity: How Intellectual Property relates to your creative business’ (2012), Cultural Enterprise Office
MCLAREN, A., (2011). If it wisnae for the weavers: from ancient craft to modern culture, Pecha Kucha presentation at Tramway Pecha Kucha series, Glasgow
See Me: I'm Being Creative (2011): featured in Scottish Government mental health campaign
Invited speaker, This Is... Central Station launch event (2009), Glasgow
Invited speaker at Scottish Arts Council showcase event (2009), Edinburgh