Nathalie Spencer Materials Researcher and Designer | The Dots
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Nathalie Spencer

Materials Researcher and DesignerLondon, United Kingdom
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Nathalie Spencer

Materials Researcher and DesignerLondon, United Kingdom
About me
I am a London based designer interested in sustainable material research. With a Distinction in MA Material Futures from Central Saint Martins and First Class Honours in BA Art and Design from the University of Leeds, my practice is material led and characterised by experimenting, sampling and refining. By researching humanity’s impact on the natural world, my work is defined by sustainable innovation and circular systems.
Projects
  • PINEAPPLE WOOL
    Designing a material that communicates the Stella McCartney brand’s ethos and ethical position, the project presents a vegan alternative to wool that was designed within the circular economy. The waste leaves of pineapples are collected before extracting the fibres and taking them through the traditional crafts associated with wool, such as spinning. This project formed the basis of my master's thesis 'Wool: Re-Crafted'. Photography and film by Nathalie Spencer.
  • WOOL: RE-CRAFTED
    The project presents a vegan alternative to wool by collecting the waste leaves of pineapples from markets and juice bars around London before extracting and processing the fibres into a textile. By perceiving waste as a design opportunity, an existing by-product is made into a sustainable and biodegradable vegan material. Through collaboration, the project uses craft as a catalyst to relocate the value of the material and revive the connections within the making process. At the core lies a more
  • E5 GROUND
    In the process of bread making, pieces of grain husk are separated from the flour when milled. This byproduct, called ‘bran’, is often discarded as a waste product, however its properties offer exciting design potential. Together with E5 Bakehouse, an artisan bakery in East London, Elissa Brunato and myself explored the materiality of this byproduct to pose possible applications for its use. In studying the systems that surround artisanal baking, we are proposing a new ‘in-house’ system that ena
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Projects credited in
  • MATERIAL FUTURES: Central Saint Martins
    Our work with educational institutions is important to us and so we’re especially excited about our upcoming partnership with Central Saint Martins’ Material Futures Course and the prospect of new initiatives and discoveries in our sustainability journey. From last month, we have been working closely with the first year MA students, challenging them to find alternatives to animal fibres and ways of making the fashion system more circular to sustain it for the future.
Work history
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    Materials Researcher & DesignerAnanas Anam
     - Strand, London WC2R 1LA, UKFull Time
    Lead role in the research, design and development of a new sustainable textile. This involved collaboration with research institutes and clients followed by analysis of trials and material samples as well as leading two university research projects to develop prototypes for potential products. Other roles included: - Assisting with preparations and developments with R&D trials - Colour trend forecasting and preparation for colour trials - Research in fibre blends - Art direction during photographic shoots - Designing and delivering presentations to the company - Designing an archive of textile samples for exhibitions - Authoring and designing a weekly internal R&D newsletter - Competitor mapping - Graphic design
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    R&D InternAnanas Anam
     - Strand, London WC2R 1LA, UKInternship
    Main responsibilities included the research in the applications and specifications for a new sustainable textile, based on ethically sourced pineapple leaf fibre. Other roles involved liaising with research institutes, universities and clients to carry out research and trials and assisting R+D trials with preparation and analysis of material tests and samples. Other roles included: - Support during photographic shoots - Ceating a materials sketchbook of samples - Competitor mapping - Designing and preparing presentations - Documenting and filing of samples - Graphic design
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Skills
  • Drawing
  • Adobe Indesign
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Painting
  • Material Design
  • Research
  • Competitor Research
  • Art Direction
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Organisation
  • Design Research
  • Weaving
  • Printmaking
  • Collaboration
Education
    Masters of Art in Material FuturesCentral Saint Martins (UAL)
     - London, United Kingdom
    Distinction
    BA Art and DesignUniversity of Leeds
     - Leeds, United Kingdom
    First Class Honours
Awards
    Maison/0 and LVMH Green Trail WinnerCentral Saint Martins (UAL)
    The best of sustainable innovation across the Central Saint Martins degree show.
    Jane Rapley ScholarshipCentral Saint Martins (UAL)