The Rebel Tartan Project began in 2015. It aims to highlight political issues through the delivery of creative education, with collaboration, investigation and communication through design as driving factors. Students from several universities have collaborated, focusing on themes of Climate Change, or Human Trafficking. The brief is adapted for the individual universities involved, depending on numbers, course type and length of time available to take part. Students mainly work in mixed discipline teams, are encouraged to have regular discussions, and discuss work with partner universities through a shared google drive and through regular tutorials on Microsoft Teams. An online student seminar gives the universities an opportunity to see each other’s work and at the end of the project participants can apply to be selected for project exposure on the Arts Thread online platform. Students can also upload work onto the Rebel Tartan Project website. The Liberation Kilt co. tartans are licenced by UN House Scotland, and they have worked collaboratively over the past four years on climate and human trafficking events. Students use the tartan as a springboard for investigation, they take inspiration from the meaning behind the tartan and offer sustainable design solutions for the crises. Textiles, garments, illustrations, research, and films, were displayed at an exhibition, in Scotland 2021, as part of the fringe events for COP26, in collaboration with UNHS, Prof Giles Jackson of Liberation Kilt Co. and Roddy Millar CEO of Ideas for Leaders. The exhibition supported a conference focusing on the application of sustainable development goals in leadership circles. This project has grown, internationally; BUNKA Japan, Pearl Academy India, and Donghua University China joined the project in 2022, and FIT USA, is joining in 2023. Receiving positive feedback from all participants, this paper will discuss possible future directions for the project, in its continuing development.
Juliana Sissons is a designer and senior lecturer, at Nottingham Trent University, UK, and at several Universities internationally. Her fashion knitwear label focuses on the development of sculptural forms and her innovative work has sold in London and Los Angeles. As a ‘Designer in Residence’ at the V&A Museum, she has exhibited solo collections in the galleries as well as at the Fashion and Textile Museum, The British Fashion Council, The Textile Institute and The Craft Council UK. She has written two books and her work is published in several Fashion, Design and Art journals.