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 aalto.fi

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 aalto.fi

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.

Kirsti Cura

Kirsti Cura

Doctor of Philosophy, Post-doctoral Researcher
kirsti.cura at aalto.fi

Research funded by: FINIX

My professional background is from industry where I worked as a material specialist in global R&D projects. I have also worked as a project manager, chief specialist and a research team leader in circular textiles and plastics topics in academia. My research interests are circular textiles and plastics; development of optical identification of textile materials and compositions, understanding the requirements and development of sustainable recycling processes, and testing new applications of recycled textiles and plastics, At Aalto, my research focuses on collection, management and use of lifecycle information of textile supply chains towards more sustainable production of textiles.

FTF Elina

Elina Ilén

Project Specialist
elina.ilen at aalto.fi

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.

Natalia Moreira

Natalia Moreira

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

Research funded by: The New Cotton Project

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 aalto.fi

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 Candidate
sofia.guridisotomayor at aalto.fi

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 Candidate
leonardo.hidalgouribe at aalto.fi

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 Candidate
aino.h.korhonen at aalto.fi

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. 

Pirita Lauri

Pirita Lauri

Doctoral Candidate
pirita.lauri at aalto.fi

Research currently funded by: Jenny and Antti Wihuri foundation

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 aalto.fi

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 aalto.fi

Research currently funded by: IDA-Intimacy in Data-Driven Culture project, The Strategic Research Council (SRC) of the Academy of Finland

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 aalto.fi

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.

Open positions

Former members

  • 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

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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