Penelope Watkins

Associate Director of the LCF Centre for Fashion Science, MA and Ph.D. Coordinator, London College of Fashion

My interest is in 3D freeform object orientated design and application, integrating craft skills with science and new technologies, from body scanning to virtual CAD. My Ph.D. research aimed at developing a new model for block pattern construction. The variety of body contour shapes is infinite, but it is not just the static body that interests me. Rather, it is how a garment fits and moves with the body that I find deeply fascinating. Transferring the ability to move freely within the constraints of a flat pattern is complex, given the multiple factors to take into account: how closely the garment is expected to contour the body, the movement envisaged, the fabric parameters and personal fit preferences.

Drawing is vital in helping to shape and materialise my ideas for developing 2D pattern profiling for different body shape fits. The interaction occurring between the mind�s eye and the corresponding hand movement helps me while transferring the undulations of body�s shape. I then form the pattern pieces with regard to the implications for fit, and reverse the process forming a 3D garment.


Education and background
Professional experience

Penelope Watkins possesses a thorough experience of research and development in all the aspects of clothing design and production. From 2006 to 2008 she was part of the Fashion Science Research group, working on personalised fashion products designed for the individual body shape, in the context of sustainability. The project was funded by the EPSRC /AHRC Designing for the 21st Century scheme (PI Prof. Sandy Black), in collaboration with the Cambridge Engineering Design Centre. Penelope has received the DfES UK/Hong Kong Fellowships for Excellence, and a Research Fellowship in The Department of Automated and Mechanical Engineering at The Chinese University Hong Kong. From 2007 to 2009, she was researcher within EPSRC / AHRC Designing for the 21st Century scheme, working on considerate design. In 2008 and 2009, in co-collaboration with University of East London (UEL), she worked to develop Fabric Formworks, 3D fabric structures for concrete and earth construction. She is currently working on Mass-Customisation, a multidisciplinary and collaborative project, with partners spanning 11 European academic and business organizations. A parallel research is Digital Sensoria: Design through digital perceptual experience. The aim of this twoyear feasibility study (2009 -2011) is to give people a new language to communicate their sensory perceptions of real products in the digital world.

Selected exhibitions
Conferences and talks
Further information
Web links

Email address

[email protected]