Dr Jane Scott

Dr Jane Scott


I am a Senior Teaching Fellow specialising in knit design and technology. My work is located at the intersection of biomimicry, programmable materials and textile design and technology. As a knit specialist my research challenges the established understanding of smart materials; applying principles derived from plant biology to the development of programmable and environmentally responsive textile systems composed of natural and sustainable materials. My work has been exhibited internationally, and I have been invited to present my research at MIT, The Baltic, The University of Michigan, Make/Shift, The Microsoft Research Centre and the London Design Festival. In 2016 I recieved the Autodesk ACADIA Emerging Research Award for my project Programmable Knitting  at ACADIA2016 Posthuman Frontiers, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Research interests

My core research interests are; programmable material systems, responsive textiles, knitted fabric design, knit technology, and biomimicry. I am involved in a number of interdicsiplinary projects that postion textile design as a driver for sustainable materials innovation. Working across a range of technologies I collborate with deisgners, architects, engineers and programmers to develop innovations in knit as a material system for a variety of applications. A fascination with materials is fundamental to my work, and current research explores the potential for natural fibres to exhibit smart behaviours. In 2018 I was awarded best paper for research submitted to DRS2018 the biannual Design Research Society Conference.

I completed her PhD through The Textiles Futures Research Centre, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. My Director of Studies was Professor Carole Collet. During my Phd I designed RKS (the responsive knit system), which outlines a programmable material system for the design of responsive knitted fabrics. In 2016 my work was awarded the Autodesk ACADIA emerging Research Award ad it was also selected for inclusion in the influential book Active Matter, (Tibbits 2017). I have previously undertaken funded research investigating novel applications for seamless knit design in healthcare. This work focused on a shift in the relationship between design and technology, emphasising the importance of design as a means to innovate using knit technology. This research was undertaken in conjunction with commercial partners, to develop appropriate solutions for healthcare applications. 

In addition to technical innovation in materials and structures, there is a more conceptual strand to my research which interrogates the transformational role of knitted fabrics as site specific architectures. This research is exemplified through exhibition work and environmentally responsive installations.  I was instrumental in the development and implementation of a series of place based textile events across Yorkshire as part of The Yorkshire Year of the Textile funded by the Arts Council (2016-2017).  This research, produced in collaboration with Dr Elizabeth Gaston, included collaborations with poets, historians and the public producing new work including The Canopies Project, Inflection and The Knitting Machine. 

I act as a Public Engagement Champion for The University of Leeds and alongside my colleagues Dr Elizabeth Gaston and Mr Ian Rees, I was awarded the 2018 University of Leeds Public Engagement with Research Awards for disseminating Research Results.

Exhibition work includes: 

  • Hybrid 1: Biohm, OpenCell , London Design Festival 2018

  • Programmable Knitting, Burberry Material Futures, London Design Festival 2018

  • Growing Medium: MaterialDriven Material Innovation in The North, The Baltic, June-Septmber 2018.

  • Bloom: 17th International FABI Exhibition, Seoul, South Korea. (October 2017)

  • Adapt:Assemble:Act: Foyer Gallery, The Unversity of Leeds (2017)

  • Programmable Knitting: Posthuman Frontiers, ACADIA2016, The University of Michigan, October-November 2016.

  • Configure: Clothworkers South, The University of Leeds, Summer 2016.

  • Mutate: Responsive Knitted Textiles: RTD: Research Through Design, Microsoft Research Centre, The University of Cambridge March 2015.

  • Colonise: Leeds Dock, Leeds, February 2015.

  • Mutate: Responsive Textiles, Restless Futures, Lethaby Gallery, CSM, London Design Festive, 2014.

  • Knitted Hygromorph: Purls By the Sea, Belfry Arts Centre, Norfolk, 2011.

  • Transformable Textiles, Knit Happens, Scarborough Art Gallery, Scarborough, 2010.

  • Dynamic Textiles, Ephemeral Knitting, Merton House, Leeds 2009.

  • Knit Spirals, Re-development, City House, Leeds, 2008.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="http://www.njye5u.com/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Programmable Knitting, University of the Arts, London
  • MA Fashion and Textiles, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • PGCLTHE, The University of Leeds
  • BA Hons, Textile Design with French, The University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • ACADIA: Board of Directors, The Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture
  • DRS: Member of Design Research Society
  • FHEA: Fellowship, Higher Education Academy

Student education

As a Senior Teaching Fellow, I have extensive teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I teach in the areas of textile design practice, knit and knitwear technology.

I provide specialist teaching for structured textile design students implementing a wide range of technologies including Shima Seiki computerised knitting technologies. In addition, I teach in the areas of design research methodologies and studio practice. Within student education, I am particularly focused on developing new opportunities to integrate emerging technologies for textiles and fashion into the curriculum.

I act as module manager for undergraduate and postgraduate modules in the School of Design and have experience of designing modules, delivering content, assessment and administration for both lecture programmes and practice-based enquiry.

I supervise and assesses dissertations at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD level, with particular focus on knit design and technology, design futures, and biomimicry. 

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>