Zoë Powell is a multi-disciplinary Designer-Maker, Researcher and Workshop Facilitator of Textiles and Biomaterials.
She is an event curator and host for British Council Sustainable Makers Assembly, 4th member of Uruguayan research collective Simbióticas Lab and visiting lecturer at CSM for the Material Futures project. From 2022 she will be continuing her research on biomaterials through the Science and Engineering Master of Research at University of Birmingham.
Since 2008, she has worked on research and community-driven projects internationally for a variety of industries including packaging, interiors, textiles and art. The focus of her work is centred around creatively using resources, circular design strategies and production techniques both digital and hand crafted.
Between 2020 and 2022, so was co-project lead on ‘Future Matters’, a cross-continental biomaterial collaboration between Johannesburg based Big Circle Studios and open source platform Materiom, who are working to prototype new models for a community-led circular economy.
Zoe also volunteers and works with non-profit organisations and some of these include: Biodesign Challenge and Biodesign Sprint, Global Bio Summit, UAL Sustainability Alumni Network and Professional Mentioning Scheme and she is a volunteer ambassador for Material Science working group DiscoverMaterials
Some of the areas in which Zoe is passionate about are:
- Mentoring for students and professionals
- Research on sustainable and ethical practice
- Biopolymer and bio-composite R&D using waste resources
- Textile development using innovative and regenerative practices
- Event curation and hosting
- Course and workshop planning, facilitation
- Commissions and Collaborations
- Sourcing & supply chain research and analysis, development & production
- Textile and garment sampling and fabrication: knitted, beaded, embroidered, lace
- Interior Commissions and upholstery: Traditional & Experimental
- Fine Art and Illustration
Since 2016, she has added ‘Best’ to her surname in memory of her late mother.
A note from Zoë: Please feel free to contact me about any proposals related to design , education or research (in english o en castellano)
I was born and raised in London into a family of artists. I have lived in the UAE, Peru, Uruguay and Spain. I studied at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication for a year and then I went on to before I graduated from BA Textile Design in 2010 from Central Saint Martins London.
I went on to intern for a number of companies and individuals such as Worn Again and People Tree. I then began on The Princes Trust business course for under 30’s and I was later accepted into their joint venture with Cockpit Arts, receiving a shared studio space for a year. I focused on upholstery skills as well as developing my designs using waste textiles.
During this time I also started volunteering with Architecture for Humanity UK and became greatly involved with the community projects and fundraising. Afterwards I travelled to Peru to work on a social enterprise project with artisans who are creating Alpaca products and I aided by working on the development and quality control aspects for their chosen markets. On returning to London I continued freelancing and working on commissions for interiors and fashion.
Later I moved to Barcelona to work in the textile industry and studied in the first year on the Fabricademy course at IAAC, which led me to study refocus on natural materials and innovative fabrication techniques.
My family background has led me to live in the Middle East and South America which in turn has helped be to have an open mind about life, learn a lot about languages and culture, an to come into contact with some very talented people. I’m now at the stage where I want to find like minded individuals to work with and for. The aim of my work now is looking at textile supply and production, focusing on the issue of waste going to landfills, being dumped and polluting both land and water environments and habitats. The goal is to reduce this waste by research into the issues, developing collection systems and then designing and making new products