Department of Design

FTF researchers

Meet the members of Fashion/Textile Futures research group and learn about their research interests. Full research profiles, including publications, projects and other research activities, can be accessed by clicking the names.
Kirsi Niinimäki

Group leader

Kirsi Niinimäki

Associate Professor in Design, especially Fashion Research
kirsi.niinimaki at

Throughout my research I aim towards a new, holistic understanding in the field of sustainable fashion and textiles and therefore I investigate the connection between design, manufacturing systems, business models and consumption habits.

Pirjo Kääriäinen

Pirjo Kääriäinen

Professor of Practice, Design driven fibre innovation
pirjo.kaariainen at

I see design as a strategic tool for sustainable future. My professional background is in Scandinavian textile industry and commerce, and in recent years I have gained experience in renewing design education in the Aalto University. Currently I am focusing on developing new materials and production methods through multidisciplinary collaboration between design and science.

FTF Namkyu

Namkyu Chun

Doctor of Arts, Post-Doctoral Researcher
namkyu.chun at

With my transdisciplinary background, I have been interested in critically engaging with discourses on design practices while questioning the social role of the (fashion) design profession. Further expanding this interest, currently, I am working as a postdoctoral researcher for the EU funded research project Creative Practices for Transformational Futures (CreaTures). In addition, I am actively involving in interdisciplinary education, especially MA thesis process, at Aalto University's Department of Design.

FTF Marium

Marium Durrani

Doctor of Arts, Post-Doctoral Researcher
marium.durrani at

My research resides at the cusp of social anthropology, design and environmental sustainability. I began my work as a Post-doctoral Researcher in January, 2020 and since then I have been involved in a broad range of tasks. Presently, I teach Knowledge Making in Fashion and Textile Design and Sustainable Fashion and Textile Design to MA students. I allocate my research time between doing research for the BioColour project and expanding on the insights generated through my doctoral work. My doctoral research was a multi-sited ethnography that explored everyday user practices of garment mending situated in self-organized communal repair events. The dissertation is available for download at Aalto University Shop.

FTF Elina

Elina Ilén

Project Specialist
elina.ilen at

I am D.Sc. (Tech) in fiber materials, having a long experience and deep interest in R&D of wearable textile electronics and functional clothing, added with high enthusiasm for more sustainable material use for circular economy. I am currently working as a coordinator and Post-Doctoral researcher in two projects. Academy of Finland funded project Rhythm In Infants Brains (RIB) (2018-2020) applies textile based wearable technology for medical research and diagnostics by detecting neurological disorders of infants. Second project is Business Finland funded project, Sun-powered Textiles (2019-2021), which integrates solar cell technologies into textiles in order to create autonomously operating textile electronics products.


Sheenam Jain

Sheenam Jain

Doctor of Philosophy, Post-Doctoral Researcher
sheenam.jain at

Being a Ph.D. graduate in Automation and Textile Management, my research has been interdisciplinary in itself i.e. combining technological and managerial aspects to identify solutions to the issues faced by the fashion and textile industry, specifically in the context of Sustainability.

In my professional career, I spent several hours understanding the different issues pertaining to the fashion and textile industry, which helped in uncovering several factors that makes this industry an excellent candidate for the application of new data-driven business models. 

During my current role as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Design, I will be allocating my time between the FINIX project and developing additional skills to create data-driven solutions for the fashion and textile industry.

Natalia Moreira

Natalia Moreira

Doctor of Science, Post-Doctoral Researcher
natalia.moreira at

PhD in Sustainability by the University of Manchester (UK), I have been a product enthusiast for as far as I can remember. I am an interdisciplinary researcher and project manager with focus on product development, sustainable consumption and circular economy. I have had the pleasure of working with fashion and sustainable textiles for action-oriented projects, focusing my research on multi-stakeholder worldviews (trying to ensure my research has reach beyond academia).

Ingvill Fossheim

Ingvill Fossheim

Doctoral Candidate
ingvill.fossheim at

My research is located at the intersection of contemporary costume design, systems thinking, and biobased material development. Through costume design praxis it explores ways in which natural colourants and biofabricated matter can afford new aesthetic qualities to an artistic work, as well as induce meaning and value beyond the scope of the live performative event. I work in the research project BioColour. In addition to FTF I am also affiliated with the Costume in Focus research group.

Leonardo Hidalgo

Leonardo Hidalgo

Doctoral Candidate
leonardo.hidalgouribe at

My research explores the practice of natural dyeing within a local context, and examines the intersections between traditional ecological knowledge, colour, aesthetics and textile design. I have a background in weaving, dyeing and printing for fashion and interior fabrics, developing textile collections and coordinating colour palettes. Through textile practice, I have been interested in navigating the relationships between culture, place, materials and colour. My research aims to integrate local knowledge with methods of using biocolours in textiles. 

Aino Korhonen

Aino Korhonen

Doctoral Candidate
aino.h.korhonen at

My research explores the impact of regenerative farming practices on textile – and fashion industry and the work of the designer, and how regaining focus on regional fiber systems effects design work and benefits from it. These are practices aiming to resist resource extractivism and looking to improve, rather than just sustain, communities and ecosystems. I am interested in the ways the industry can work towards just futures on raw material level and consequently provide more equitable distribution of designs benefits and burdens.

Pirita Lauri

Pirita Lauri

Doctoral Candidate
pirita.lauri at

My research joins a current and relevant discourse on the integration of design into materials sciences at the early stages of the development processes. The starting point of the research is located in the intersection of textile design and synthetic biology with the objective to explore this novel territory of living matter as a design medium. 

FTF Emmi

Emmi Pouta

Doctoral Candidate
emmi.pouta at

The aim of my research is to develop new methods to integrate electronics and sensor structures into woven fabrics as part of the weaving process. Although the new functions broaden the domain of textiles capabilities, the important basic qualities, such as the feel and the look of textile materials, will remain essential for the user. While electronic engineering and interaction design influence the textile design process, I want to understand how the embodied knowledge of a textile designer can be the solid foundation to explore this emerging field of eTextiles.

FTF Natalia

Natalia Särmäkari

Doctoral Candidate
natalia.sarmakari at

My research examines the nature of fashion designers' authorship in contemporary technological environments, contributing to the field of fashion studies and design research. My background is in fashion design and merchandising. Drawing on the theoretical foundations of sociological profession studies, authorship theories, and post-humanism, my empirical investigation focuses on the ”industry 4.0” fashion design cases that contest the professional designer-centered conventions and experiment with virtual 3D-fashion design as well as algorithmic design. I aim to provide insights into the discourse of fashion design authorship and new knowledge regarding the changing nature of the occupation.

Noora Yau

Noora Yau

Doctoral Candidate
noora.yau at

My research focuses on nanocellulose based structural color and its possibilities in art and design applications. I work in close collaboration with the BiCMAT research group from the Aalto School of Chemical Engineering. Together we aim to develop sustainable structural color from wood by combining design methods with material science.

Former members

Maarit Aakko | Postdoctoral Researcher/D.A., Finix project

Anna-Mari Almila | Visiting Researcher/Ph.D.

Sari Berglund | Doctoral Candidate, Trash-2-Cash project

Camilla Groth | Postdoctoral Researcher/D.A., RIB project

Olga Gurova | Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher/Ph.D.

Anja-Lisa Hirscher | Doctoral Candidate

Tiina Härkäsalmi | Research Fellow/D.A., DWoC project

Heidi Härkönen | Visiting Researcher

Barbara Jansen | Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher/Ph.D.

Essi Karell | Doctoral Candidate, Trash-2-Cash project, Finix, New Cotton project

Cindy Kohtala | Postdoctoral Researcher/D.A., Trash-2-Cash project

Oldouz Moslemian | Doctoral Candidate

Heidi Paavilainen | University Lecturer/D.A

Elina Palovuori | Designer in residence, Sun-powered Textiles project

Carlos Peralta | Post-Doctoral Researcher/Ph.D., DWoC project

Louise Ravnløkke | Visiting Researcher

Eugenia Smirnova | Research Assistant, Trash-2-Cash project

Marjaana Tanttu  | Doctoral Candidate, Trash-2-Cash project

Liisa Tervinen | Research Assistant, DWoC project

Julia Valle Noronha | Doctoral Candidate

Annamari Vänskä | Adjunct Professor of Fashion Research

Fashion/Textile Futures

The Fashion/Textile Futures research group explores new perspectives on human-centered design research. The group approaches research in the field of fashion, clothing and textiles in multi-faceted ways.

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A coat made of Ioncell. Design: Anna-Mari Leppisaari. Photo: Eeva Suorlahti
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