2014 | No More Stuff?

Central Saint Martins, LVMH Lecture Theatre, E003

In collaboration with CSM’s Socially Responsive Design Research Group we present the screening of Alexander Mackendrick’s 1951 comedy Man in the White Suit, followed by a panel discussion exploring some of its most provoking themes – dematerialization, disruptive innovation, sustainability, industry, labour – and more.

Alec Guinness stars as a research scientist working in Manchester’s textile mills. He creates what appears to be an everlasting cloth that does not need cleaning and never wears out. The negative ramifications of this new material for entrenched commercial and social interests become immediately apparent and the determined scientist finds himself chased through the streets of Manchester by representatives of the textiles industry.

While in 1951 the Academy award-nominated screenplay concluded that the textiles industry was not ready for ‘No More Stuff’, could it be that we are now? Are we any closer to embracing this call, seeing that our current production and consumption habits are seriously damaging our planet?  Or, are there any alternative strategies to be considered? The panel will examine these questions, asking above all what knowledge and skills are required of today’s designers to negotiate our changing world.

Panelists include Becky Earley (Textiles Sustainability and Design/Textiles Futures Research Centre, UAL), Barry Curtis  (Critical and Historical Studies, Royal College of Art), Cyndi Rhoades (Founder, Closed Loop Executive Officer, Worn Again), Claire Pajaczkowska (Royal College of Art) and James Wallman (Journalist, Trend Forecaster and Author of Stuffocation).

Chaired by Adam Thorpe (Socially Responsive Design Research Group/Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability Lab, UAL) and Marketa Uhlirova (Director, Fashion in Film).

The event is part of the Green Week. It is open to public with free entry but booking is essential.