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.

Julia Valle Noronha

Julia Valle-Noronha

Doctor of Arts, Assistant Professor in Fashion Design
julia.valle at

I am a designer-researcher-educator that understands fashion as a major force in driving change towards more responsible futures. My research interest explores this potential especially from the perspectives of fashion design and wearing practices, as well as education. Brazilian born and raised, I approach the field from an outlook that praises diversity and holds being with the earth at its core.

Natalia Särmäkari

Natalia Särmäkari

Doctor of Arts, Post-doctoral Researcher
natalia.sarmakari at

Research funded by: Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland

Natalia is a fashion and design researcher, working in the Intimacy in Data-Driven Culture consortium. Her research focuses on digital fashion, the designers' profession and alternative approaches to design authorship, including co-design and open-source fashion. Natalia explores how the fashion design field, increasingly interlinked with gaming and computer science, is shaped by the current technological environments. She also looks at the virtualization of museums and digital possibilities in preserving fashion design as a cultural heritage.
Natalia has a Doctor of Arts (DA) degree from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design. Initially trained as a fashion designer, Natalia holds MA from Aalto University and BA from Lahti Institute of Design. Natalia has a diverse pre-academia work experience in the fashion industry and beyond.


Anubhuti Bhatnagar

Doctor of Science, Post-doctoral Researcher
anubhuti.bhatnagar at

Research funded by: T-REX

I have always been interested in finding solutions for waste management. My research has been related to converting unutilized food and farm waste to new products like chemicals, fuels, or fertilizers. I have also been interested in calculating the potential impact of a technological intervention in waste management on the environment and society. My current research is related to assessing the social performance of various textile waste recycling methods developed to reintroduce this waste into the supply chain.

FTF Emmi

Emmi Pouta

Doctoral Researcher
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.

Ingvill Fossheim

Ingvill Fossheim

Doctoral Researcher
ingvill.fossheim at

Research funded by: BioColour research project

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. In addition to FTF I am also affiliated with the Costume in Focus research group.

Sofia Guridi Sotomayor

Sofia Guridi Sotomayor

Doctoral Researcher
sofia.guridisotomayor at

Research funded by: Bioinnovation Center Doctoral School

My research situates itself in the field of smart textiles, integrating sustainability concerns for the development of computational fabrics. Following a practice-based approach, I aim to explore the use of novel bio-based materials, proposing new alternatives for the creation of soft interactive interfaces capable of capturing and processing data. My background in contemporary design, textiles, digital technologies, and interdisciplinary collaboration facilitates the connection between myself and research groups from Arts, Electrical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.

Leonardo Hidalgo

Leonardo Hidalgo

Doctoral Researcher
leonardo.hidalgouribe at

Research funded by: Kalevala Koru Cultural Foundation

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 Researcher
aino.h.korhonen at

Research funded by: FINIX

My research examines the emergence, development and character of regenerative fashion as a social imaginary for low-carbon futures in the fashion and textile industry. I am interested in how a notion of sustainability has been constituted in different ways in the sector, and how these definitions shape and structure the framing of actions needed for a more just and sustainable industry. 

Mohan Mithila

Mithila Mohan

Doctoral Researcher
mithila.mohan at

My background lies in textile and multi-functional material design. A weaver at heart, my practice often reflects a reverence for material experimentation and exploration. My research examines the principles of biomimicry within the practice of textile and sustainable design for developing dynamic shape-changing yarns and fabrics that respond to environmental stimuli. Adopting an iterative and reflective design approach and regarding textiles as hierarchical structures, much like plants, the research seeks to explore strategies that augment the behaviour of fibres and yarns through various fabric-construction parameters. In my practice I strive to find solutions with nature and aspire to blur the boundaries of traditional craft, design, and emerging technologies.

Noora Yau

Noora Yau

Doctoral Researcher
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.

Portrait of Elina Lewe

Elina Lewe

Doctoral Researcher
elina.lewe at

Research funded by: FINIX and T-REX research project

I have a background in sustainable business development and social sciences. My research focuses on consumer behaviour in the textile sector, looking into perceived values and risks and how these relate to the consumer's participation in circular textile practices, like repairing, recycling or purchasing second-hand textile products. The objective is to understand the consumer behaviour of different consumer groups and based on that to develop frameworks for consumer-centered activities that support and engage consumers in making more ethical consumption choices.

Kasia Gorniak portrait

Kasia Gorniak

Doctoral Researcher
kasia.gorniak at

Research funded by T-REX Project 

I have a background in fashion and knitwear design, focusing on outcomes formed through participatory and performative processes. My research is based on circularity and citizen engagement in fashion and textile design. I am interested in facilitating and utilising dialogue and shared social experiences as a method and as material for meaningful fashion design practice.  


Elina Määttänen portrait

Elina Määttänen

Doctoral Researcher
elina.maattanen at

I’m a fashion designer/maker, with a background from fashion houses and contemporary brands to engaging interdisciplinary art projects. As a doctoral researcher, I’m researching how closing the outflow from the wardrobe could affect the lived experience with already-owned clothes. My design practice is re-designing made-to-measure clothes using existing unused clothing from the person's wardrobe. The goal is to bring calmness to the wardrobe. Engaging the public about clothes, personal style and dressing, not driven by brands and consumption is important to me, so as part of my research, I’m hosting a podcast. 

Former members

  • Kirsti Cura | Post-doctoral Researcher/D.Sc. (Chem), FINIX, T-REX, Mistery
  • Elena Ilén | Post-doctoral Researcher/D.Sc. (Tech), Rhythm In Infants Brains, Sunpowered Textiles
  • Maarit Aakko | Post-doctoral Researcher/D.A., Finix project
  • Anna-Mari Almila | Visiting Researcher/Ph.D.
  • Sari Berglund | Doctoral Candidate, Trash-2-Cash project
  • Namkyu Chun | D.A.
  • Marium Durrani |Post-doctoral Researcher/D.A., Biocolour Research Project
  • Camilla Groth |Post-doctoral Researcher/D.A., RIB project
  • Olga Gurova | Visiting Post-doctoral Researcher/Ph.D.
  • Anja-Lisa Hirscher | Doctoral Candidate
  • Tiina Härkäsalmi | Research Fellow/D.A., DWoC project
  • Heidi Härkönen | Visiting Researcher
  • Sheenam Jain |Post-doctoral Researcher/Ph.D., Finix
  • Barbara Jansen | Visiting Post-doctoral Researcher/Ph.D.
  • Essi Karell | Doctoral Candidate, Trash-2-Cash project, Finix, New Cotton project
  • Cindy Kohtala | Post-doctoral 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
  • Pirita Lauri | Doctoral Researcher
  • Natalia Moreira | Doctor of Philosophy, Post-Doctoral Researcher

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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Sofia Ilmonen Biocolour
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