Lecturer focuses on future of fashion in Finland

QUT fashion lecturer Dr Madeline Taylor in art studio. | Newsreel
QUT fashion lecturer Dr Madeline Taylor off to Finland thanks to a prestigious Fellowship. | Photo: Supplied by QUT

A QUT fashion lecturer and acclaimed theatre costume designer will spend 2025 in Finland on a fellowship funded by the European Union to explore new technologies in her field.

Dr Madeline Taylor from the Brisbane university’s School of Design has been awarded a prestigious Marie Curie-Sklodowska Postdoctoral Fellowship to travel to Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland.

Under the mentorship of Professor Sofia Pantouvaki, she will join the Costume in Focus research centre and complete a project investigating how costume practitioners are embedding Industry 4.0 technologies such as 3D printing and digital patternmaking into their work.

The fellowship builds on her 20-year career as a theatre costumer and her previous research in the field, which is the focus of a new book by Dr Taylor – Costumers at Work – about costume technician’s creative and emotional labour to be published in September by Routledge.

“Much of my recent research has been on the emotional intelligence required to collaborate effectively in design realisation,” Dr Taylor said.

“This extraordinary opportunity will expand that research into a new realm; one in which new technologies are transforming the industry.

“Ranked sixth in the world for art and design, Aalto University leads in project-relevant areas of digitalisation and materials and sustainable use of natural resources. I look forward to bringing back significant new knowledge and expertise to embed into QUT’s Fashion and broader Design programs.”

Dr Taylor joined QUT 12 years ago and has been responsible for creating learning resources, planning, and delivering lectures, seminars and studio classes. She has also been instrumental in the researching and writing of multiple new units.

Her teaching experience draws on two decades of industry practice, primarily in live performance, and work as a co-director of The Stitchery Collective, a Brisbane and Melbourne-based design collective focused on the social and cultural aspects of fashion.

Dr Taylor’s early career included roles like Wardrobe Coordinator for Queensland Theatre Company where she oversaw the production of costumes for a nine-show main stage season, along with several education and touring productions.

She was also production coordinator for Brisbane Powerhouse and the Australian Editor of the World Scenography Project.

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships are among Europe’s most competitive research grants, aimed at supporting the best and most promising researchers.

This round, the European Union funded scheme received 8039 applications and the success rate was just 15 per cent.

Selected applicants cover all scientific disciplines, represent nearly 80 nationalities and will work in 45 countries in Europe and the rest of the world.

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