© Tsai-Chun Huang, 2020

After graduating from National Taiwan University, and the Shih-Chien University, Tsai-Chun Huang acquired his Ph.D. from the Royal College of Art, London. His research focused on the history of pleats and innovation in pleating technology.

Before coming to London, he designed for theatres and TV shows in Taiwan. He won First Prize in Build a Dream Project (築夢計畫) from The Hakka Affairs Council in 2013 to sponsor his indigo research trip in 3 USA cities and Shanghai, China. During his Ph.D. research, he was invited to several design schools, including Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), PARSONS, New York University (NYU) in New York, Royal College of Art (RCA), Instituto Marangoni, London, to demonstrate innovative pleating method and to facilitate workshops. Recently, he has worked with European art festivals, such as Hull UK City of Culture 2017, and the Prague Quadrennial 2019.

Tsai-Chun’s research concentrates on the relationship between materials and body. Designing costumes for theatres, with the demands for ranges of movement and durability, has sharpened his observations of daily wear. He found that the expansion and contraction of pleats offer the potential for new ways of wearing. He learnt the technique of conventional pleating, becoming a studio technician in the longest standing pleating studio in the UK, Ciment Pleating Ltd.

Cutting-edge technology is also part of Tsai-Chun’s focus. Smart textiles will hugely alter the look and the function of garments. He contributed to the reactive textile research team in Kyoto Design Lab, Kyoto Institute of Technology in 2016, co-developing smart textiles with pleats. At the same time, he would like to return to fundamental principles of body based design in fashion and textile research, without blindly chasing technology. Considering people’s life style and habits, how do smart textiles interact with human body? Why do we need these smart textiles? Have these smart textiles simply become a trend? These critical questions have helped him to reflect on his research.

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