Linda Worbin

Linda Worbin is a former design researcher and works currently as a Material and Innovation Developer for IKEA. In 2016, Worbin was appointed Professor in Textile Design at The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås. Her research investigates how dynamic textile expressions change with use and over time, using a combination of IT and textiles through practice based design research, suggesting new design methods, techniques and design variables leading to new physical appearances and alternative interactive textile possibilities. Today she takes research results into industrialization at the New Business and Innovation department at IKEA of Sweden in Älmhult, where the current and future IKEA range is developed.


Designing Dynamic Textile Patterns (2010)

Progress in chemistry, fibres and polymers technology provides textile designers with new expressive materials, making it possible to design dynamic textile patterns, where several different expressions are inherent in the same textile, textiles that, for example, could alternate between a striped and checkered pattern.

Textiles are traditionally designed and produced to keep a given, static expression during their life cycle; a striped pattern is supposed to keep its stripes. In the same way textile designers are trained to design for static expressions, where patterns and decorations are meant to last in a specific manner. However, things are changing. The textile designer now also deals with a new raw material, a dynamic textile, ready to be further designed, developed and/or programmed, depending on functional context. This transformation in practice is not an easy one for the designers. Designers need to learn how to design with these new materials and their specific qualities, to be able to develop the full expressional potential inherent in “smart textiles design”.

The intention of Worbin’s research is to display and discuss a methodology for designing dynamic textile patterns. Which, up to this point, is something that has mainly been seen in different experimental and conceptual prototypes, in artistic expressions and for commercial efforts and suchlike. In terms of basic experimental research, Worbin’s work explores the turn in textile design practice through a series of design experiments with focus on contributing to identifying and characterizing new design variables, new design methods and new design techniques as a foundation for dynamic textile patterns.