This Research & Knowledge Exchange Doctoral Project brief summarises our priority areas of research interest under the heading of: Textiles and Sustainable New Technology as a form of protection and shelter in natural disaster and conflict settings: A Design Response.

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with and in response to this brief.

Project brief details

The need for appropriate protective textiles, clothing, shelter and survival kits in natural disaster or conflict settings requires constant re-evaluation, prototype development and testing. This sustainable design research project is situated in relation to environmental disaster relief or in relation to conflict emergency to support local populations, displaced and vulnerable refugees.  

The objectives are to identify a particular context and to apply sustainable design practice to develop innovative, viable materials and prototypes for short-, mid-term deployment; textiles, clothing and shelter being research areas of focus. Key considerations; weather and climate, safety and security, health and well-being as well as social and cultural factors. 

The project will out of necessity align with required agency requirements operating in the field, for example in the case of displaced refugees the UNHCR. It may also resonate with UNIDO initiatives. It will connect with other types of government and non-governmental organisations as and when relevant. 

Design theory and practice in combination with humanities and science related disaster, crisis and conflict studies, as well as business and market studies are seen as essential methodological sources. Building resilience, action-orientated strategies, prototypes and market readiness are seen as solutions. 

Research with relevance to the African continent is of particular interest. 

Strategic alignment

Projects deriving from this brief are expected to sit within the Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy and the following department.

Department Fashion & Textiles Institute & School of Architecture, Design & Interiors

All successful research degree project proposals must emphasise a clear alignment between the project idea and our Research & Knowledge Exchange strategy. 

Project brief lead

Simon Clarke staff image
De Simon Clarke staff image

Project supervisor: Dr Simon A. Clarke

Dr Clarke has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in printed textiles. His Doctor of Philosophy titled: Motif, Pattern, Colour and Text in Contemporary Kanga Cloth: An Analysis and Personal Response, Birmingham City University involved anthropological research and creative practice driven by fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania and on Zanzibar. This was supported by a grant from the British Institute in Eastern Africa. His ongoing research and creative practice is inter, multi and trans-disciplinary and can be situated in relation to printed textiles, photography, digital and African arts.

Read more

How to apply

Apply for a Research MPhil or PhD

We welcome all research degree applications aligned with this Doctoral Project brief. ​To apply in response to this brief or learn about the application process click the button below.

Apply for a Research Degree
Students sit in a cafe


Project brief & project proposal enquiries

To discuss this project brief, ideas or project proposal responding to this brief, please contact: Dr Simon A Clarke.


Application enquiries

For all other application related enquires please contact the Research & Development team.


T01326 255831

Additional resources

Two women and a man seated at a desk with a laptop and print outs
Falmouth staff at table

Fund your Research Degree

See the options available to help you fund your research degree.

Fund your Research Degree
Students sat around a table in the AIR building
Students sat around table in AIR

Falmouth Doctoral Studentships

You can apply for a fully-funded Falmouth Doctoral Studentship as part of your research degree appli...

Falmouth Doctoral Studentships

Research & Knowledge Exchange

By stepping beyond disciplinary lines, harnessing creativity and working with communities, we delive...

Research & Knowledge Exchange
News_Make a Difference in Research: Workshop Success
Impact Training Workshop October 2013. Image courtesy of CommsConsult.

Doctoral Project Briefs

We invite MPhil and PhD project proposals that respond to a doctoral project brief.

Doctoral Project Briefs