Bill Naysmith Innovation Award

School of Design Textile Design

Maia Smyth (She/Her)

Additional Studio Project


This collection takes inspiration from a combined interest in the new era of 3D printed design, the nature that often inspires it and a fascination with material. The project looks at creating pieces that will enhance an interiors space by introducing unique, biomorphic elements created through fusing the practices of bamboo steam-bending and knitting.
My focus on undulating curves and shapes comes from my collection of imagery studying naturally occurring forms. Examining and drawing from these structures informed and inspired my decisions on shape and texture as I explored techniques to translate organic qualities into fabric. Integrating curved bamboo elements within my knit structures has allowed me to broaden my exploration of three-dimensional knitted forms. I have created a collection where both the knitted and bamboo elements work in harmony with each other to enhance and elevate their design features. By pushing the boundaries of what is expected from knitted textiles, it allows me to encourage people to question their perceptions around the knit practice.

Through use of varying scale and form, parts of my collection are flexible in their context, while some pieces have been designed for lighting purposes. Considering responsible design, I have knitted entirely from dead-stock yarns and limited the use of synthetic fibres to small amounts of elastic.

Additional Studio Project

Combining textiles and sculpture, Maiaro and Marly Merle merge their specialisms to create a wearable art piece inspired by forms found in nature. They bring a new 3-Dimensional form to flat knitted textiles, emphasising structure, shape, tone and form.
Together, both artists have developed a knitted fabric that stretches around a wire frame while still maintaining its structure. The two elements work in harmony with one another as they aim to emphasise the design of the other. These exaggerated constructions translate as an extension of the body; morphing the human form as it wanders the cusp between natures realm and the man made. Biomorphia attempts to accentuate and build upon the connection between the worlds of nature and design.