Dr Akiwowo is a practitioner-researcher and Senior Lecturer in Textiles at Loughborough University, School of Design and Creative Arts.
I am a Senior Lecturer in Textiles and practitioner-researcher. I co-lead a CDT in 'Unequal Academic Citizenship: Opportunities and Barriers to Participation and Inclusion of Cultural Diversity and Intersecting Identities in Higher Education.' (CITHEI). My scholarship includes textile design and coloration; textile futures; cultural studies; diversity in HE and I hold a PhD from Loughborough University in digital laser-dyeing for polyester textiles. In 2021, I co-founded 'Diverse Voices in Textiles', a pedagogic initiative, endorsed by the Clothworkers’ Company, which addresses the lack of diversity in Textile Design HE and industry within the UK. I have held senior and external examiner positions at De Montfort University, as well as freelance, studio design and trend research roles within the Creative Industries. In 2023, I delivered a talk on 'Being the Change' to academics and senior leaders from multiple UK universities and non-academic stakeholders upon completing WHEN's (Women's Higher Education Network) '100 Black Women Professors Now' pilot leadership and development programme.
I have disseminated my practice and research internationally including the Korean Fashion Business Association, Seoul; Joshibi University of Art and Design in Tokyo, Japan; and the Design and Architecture Gallery in Tallin, Estonia. Nationally, I have exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Royal Society of Arts, Science Museum, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Business Design Centre, London. I have contributed to subject-specific books and peer-reviewed journal articles within Textile Design; Fashion; Aesthetics; Technology; Innovation; Sustainability and Sportswear contexts. Publication output also includes an entry in Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, with the article, ‘Culture: A Retro-speculative Methodology for Contesting the Legacy of Colonialism and Race(ism) Performance in Women’s Sport.’
I contribute mainly to the undergraduate Textile Design programme. I teach across a range of modules and cohorts. I also contribute to shared modules across multiple programmes. My experience includes postgraduate taught curricular and delivery.
- Rare and Distinctive Collections (RAD), Cornell University, USA
- The Collections Resources Centre, Loughborough, UK
- Charnwood Arts, Loughborough, UK
- Society of Dyers and Colourists, Bradford, UK
- External Examiner: MSc Textile Design, Technology and Innovation, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK (2017-2021)
- External Examiner: MA Design, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK (2017-2018)
- Society of Dyers and Colourists – Introduction to Fabrics and Fibres; Colour Specification; Colour Management
- 2021: Inclusivity in Teaching Innovation Award, Loughborough University
- 2017: Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence (Team Award), Loughborough University; Doctoral College Research Bursary, Loughborough University
- 2015: Research Fund (SAED), Loughborough University
- 2011: Travel Bursary, Society of Dyers and Colourists
- 2010-2013: Collaborative Doctoral Award, PhD Studentship, Arts & Humanities Research Council
- 2006-2007: Research Preparation Master’s Award, Arts & Humanities Research Council
I hold university memberships on Council, Senate and the Governance and Nominations Committee. I am a member of the Design and Creative Arts Research and Innovation Committee and I am Co-Chair for the school EDI Committee.
I undertake PhD supervision and welcome prospective research proposals.