Creative Arts


Dr Kerri Akiwowo

Photo of Dr Kerri Akiwowo

Lecturer, Textiles

Dr Kerri Akiwowo is a Textile Practitioner-Researcher and Lecturer in Textiles at the School of the Arts, English and Drama. Her PhD is in Digital laser-dyeing: coloration and patterning techniques for polyester textiles, attained at Loughborough University in 2015. More broadly, her creative practice, research and pedagogical approach encompasses:  Textile Design; Textile Patterning and Coloration Processes; Textiles for Apparel; Dress History; Digital Design Technologies; and Research Informed Teaching within Design Education.  Kerri has formerly held both technical and academic posts including: Research Associate at the Textile Futures Research Group (now Centre/TFRC), University of the Arts London; Dye Technician in the School of Fashion and Textiles at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design; Print Technician at London College of Fashion; and Senior Lecturer in Printed Textile Design at De Montfort University. Kerri currently contributes to the undergraduate programme at Loughborough University - BA (Hons) Textiles: Innovation and Design through: studio teaching, lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, assessment, enterprise activity, collaboration, project supervision; and as Module Leader, Academic Advisor and Personal Tutor. Kerri also delivers lectures to the postgraduate taught programme - MA Art & Design (Studio Practice) and has co-supervised postgraduate research studies. External facing activities include: student recruitment, university wide open days, student competitions, collaboration, Première Vision Designs, Paris and New Designers, London. Kerri is a member of the Textile Design Research Group  at Loughborough University.

In her research, Kerri primarily focuses on new design processes and materials, existing and emerging digital technologies, smart fabrics, performance sportswear and technical textiles, experimental approaches in printed textiles, patterning and surface design and functional aesthetics.  Current areas of investigation include: integrated digital practice for textile design research and development; digital laser-dye coloration and patterning approaches for textiles and garments; hybrid garment identities explored through novel fibres and textile design interpretations; and thermo-chromic and liquid crystal temperature sensitive screen-printing technologies for textiles, wearable displays and sports apparel. Kerri has disseminated her practice and research nationally and internationally via conferences, seminars, symposia, journal papers, book contributions and exhibitions. Exhibited works include showing at: The Roundhouse; the Institute of Contemporary Arts; the Science Museum (all London); Loughborough University; and the Design and Architecture Gallery in Tallin, Estonia.

As a practitioner, Kerri has worked as a freelance and studio textile designer specialising in screen and digitally printed textiles, hand painted textiles, novel surface techniques and textile finishes for denim; and engineered placement design for lace and embroidered fashion. In this capacity, she sold designs to fashion and apparel labels such as Miu Miu, Victoria Secret and Next. Former enterprise activity includes designing and creating textile products for the home and body, selling items directly to the public and through retail channels. Kerri set up a Limited ‘Ltd.’ Company (now dissolved) and has previously owned a UK registered trademark under class 24 – Textiles, bedding, cushions; and class 25 – Clothing, footwear, head gear. Kerri currently claims unregistered trademark, Digital Laser Dyed Textiles™. Her textile designs and conceptual explorations have attracted attention from organisations such as global trend forecaster WGSN; The Future Laboratory; The Design and Technology Association; the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IMO3); as well as international apparel brands such as Triumph and Speedo. She has worked with fellow textile designers, fashion designers, textile consultants, materials specialists, engineers, scientists, historians and a professional chartered society in both discipline specific and interdisciplinary contexts. 

SAA612 - Design Development for Textiles

SAA613 - Textiles: Process and Exploration

SAA921 - Drawing: Discourses and Debates (Academic Guidance and Professional Development)

SAB621 - Materials, Processes and Conceptual Application

SAB622 - Sampling and Textile Manufacture

SAB933 - Textile Futures

SAC634 - Textile Research Report

Kerri is currently undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) at Loughborough University. This qualification will also lead to becoming an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Integrated digital practice for textile design research and development
Integrated digital practice (IDP) describes an applied approach to designing that underpins digital technologies, digital methods and digital techniques in the design process and physical outcomes. The overarching aim of the study is to achieve new digital pathways to design, design thinking and design dissemination. This project is endorsed by the Summer Vacation Student Bursary Scheme 2017 and is fully funded by the Graduate School Office at Loughborough University.


Digital laser-dyeing: coloration and patterning techniques for polyester textiles
Doctoral Thesis (2015), Loughborough University: a Collaborative Doctoral Award Studentship 2010-13, awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with industry partners, Society of Dyers and Colourists.

Garment ID
Garment ID focuses on hybrid garment identities through surface pattern, new concepts for fabrics, functional materials and clothing. The work proposes a new type of aesthetic for contemporary textiles and garments by application of novel digital and applied surface design methods and finishing techniques.

Motion Response Sportswear
Motion Response Sportswear explores thermochromic and liquid crystal temperature sensitive colour technology as a form of wearable display with particular emphasis on performance sportswear and fitness apparel. (Funded by the AHRC, Research Preparation Master’s Award 2006-7).

Exhibitions & Symposia

Speaker: Sports and Performance’, Interdisciplinary Textiles Seminar Series with Sports Technology Institute, 20 January. Hosted by: Textile Design Research Group, School of the Arts, Loughborough University, UK

Speaker: Digital laser-dye patterning for PET textiles’, IASDR Interplay Conference 2015, 2-5 November, Brisbane, Australia

Exhibitor: Textile Research in Process: Two (TRIP 2), 10-15 August, Tallinn, Estonia

Speaker: ‘Laser-dyed fibres’, FTC Research Event, 2 May, Nottingham Trent University, UK

Speaker: ‘Smart Textiles’, Materials Research School Seminar, November, Loughborough University, UK

Speaker: ‘Textiles and Sustainability’, Textile Thinking for Sustainable Materials Networking Event, 2-3 May, Loughborough University, UK

Speaker/Exhibitor: Textile Research in Process (TRIP) Symposium, 16-17 November, Loughborough University, UK

Speaker: 5th Annual Smart Fabrics Conference, 10-12 March, Rome, Italy

Exhibitor: Another Side of Fashion: The Fashion for Smart Materials Conference and Workshop Event, 18-19 September, Dana Centre, Science Museum London, UK

Exhibitor: Textile Futures Salon: What Future for Living Textiles, Textile Futures Research Group, 23-24 October, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK

External and External Facing Activities:


  • Engaging with local fashion and textile archive, The Collections Resource Centre on the ‘Integrated digital practice for textile design research and development’ project (March 2017 – Ongoing)
  • Doctoral thesis externally examined by Professor J. R. Campbell, Director of the Fashion School and TechStyleLAB at Kent State University, Ohio (May 2015)


  • Peer reviewer: full paper submissions to Intersections: A Conference Exploring Collaboration in Textile Design Research, 13 September 2017, Loughborough University in London (July 2017)
  • Invited reviewer: Estonian Research Council – application for postdoctoral research project worth €34,650 per year (2017)


  • External Examiner for postgraduate course: MSc Textile Design, Technology and Innovation, De Montfort University (September 2017 – Ongoing)
  • External Examiner for postgraduate course (negotiated project): MA Design, De Montfort University (May 2017 – Ongoing)

Professional Training

  • Society of Dyers and Colourists Industry Courses:
    • Introduction to Fabric and Fibres
    • Colour Specification
    • Colour Management

Professional Membership

  • Society of Dyers and Colourists (Corporate)
  • The Textile Society (Individual)
  • IET: The Institution of Engineering and Technology (Individual)
  • Linkedin


  • Invited Judge: Cotton USA: Innovation Competition (student project) alongside panel judges Kerry Walton - Course Programme Director and Stephanie Thiers-Ratcliffe - International Marketing Manager, Cotton USA (June 2017)
  • Commendation: ‘Highly Commended’ Design Directions competition entry, Royal Society of Arts (March 2005)

June 2017

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence: Academic Team Award, Loughborough University

Staff awarded for Enterprise and the Curriculum: Kerry Walton, Jan Shenton, Jenny Pinski, Tina Frank and Kerri Akiwowo

May 2017

Graduate School Summer Vacation Bursary 2017, Loughborough University

Research project endorsed:‘Integrated digital practice for textile design research and development’

October 2015

School of Arts, English and Drama Research Fund, Loughborough University

Award made for conference travel – IASDR Conference 2015: Interplay between design, science, technology and the arts, Brisbane, Australia

February 2011

Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC) Travel Bursary

Awarded to promote industrial/academic collaboration with Loughborough University through doctoral study

September 2010

Arts and Humanities Research Council: Collaborative Doctoral Award Studentship (2010-2013)

Fully funded (FTE) PhD programme of study at Loughborough University through an interdisciplinary, cross-departmental project involving: textile design; optical laser engineering; dyeing chemistry and industry partnership with the SDC

September 2006

Arts & Humanities Research Council: Research Preparation Master’s Award

Awarded during full-time postgraduate study: MA Design for Textile Futures, completed at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London