Gina Pierce

Studio 23: A Common Thread

Studio brief

A Common Thread

Textiles surround us, but we are so familiar with their being part of the fabric of our society, we take them for granted. However, our sayings and stories demonstrate how they have woven their way into every part of our lives. In A Common Thread, we unpick and examine the importance of textiles and how they underpin culture, industry and global connections. We ask if the significance of textiles is overlooked and underrated because of their ubiquity, or because of their association with the feminine and domesticity.

This studio can support the Final Major Project by providing the opportunity to research in depth into the topic associated with practical work.

In the taught sessions we make a study of textiles, focusing on the following research themes:

  • Textile as narrative
    Our clothes, furnishings and domestic textiles can hold memories of family life, special events and cherished dreams, and we keep them for the stories they can tell. Meanwhile, textiles in archives can tell us about the lives of those who have vanished into history, but their clothing and possessions give an insight into their world.
  • Textile leading sustainability
    The global scale of textile production has forced the industry to address issues of pollution, sustainability of resources and worker conditions. With increasing public pressure, some of the most forward-thinking initiatives are emerging in the textile industry with transparency of production, the circular economic model and recycling all addressing the problem.
  • Textile as art and process
    The worlds of textiles, art and craft practices have areas of commonality which make for interesting study. We look at the concepts of perception and ‘value’ placed on craft and art in textile, and ask where skills and traditions belong in these hierarchies. 
  • Textile in architecture… and space
    Tents and fabric structures have existed for many years as portable and flexible housing. Yarns form fishing nets, ropes, suspension bridges, lift cables. Today the benefits of fabrics, yarns and textile construction techniques are appreciated in the most contemporary and forward-thinking architecture and smart textiles.

Indicative bibliography

  1. Sarah E Braddock Clarke and Marie O'Mahony, Techno Textiles 2 (Thames & Hudson, 2005)
  2. Jessica Hemmings, The Textile Reader (Berg, 2012)
  3. Jeffries, Wood Conroy & Clark (Eds), The Handbook of Textile Culture (Bloomsbury 2016)
  4. Marie O'Mahony, Advanced textiles for health and wellbeing (Thames & Hudson, 2011)
  5. Bradley Quinn, Textile Visionaries: innovation and sustainability in textile design (Laurence King, 2013)


Tutor Gina Pierce

Tutor Biography

Gina Pierce

Teaches on the BA (Hons) Textile Design

Gina Pierce's work seeks to celebrate the very small, the overlooked, neglected and forgotten details of everyday life and our surroundings.

Dissertation Studios

Studio 1: Another India

Harriet McKay

Studio 1: Another India will examine, reflect upon and critique the historic use of "exotic" motifs in design.

Studio 2: Contemporary Ecology

Nabil Ahmed

In Studio 2 we will explore environmental topics through the lens of art, architecture, spatial practice, media and design disciplines.

Studio 3: Music is the Weapon: Performance, Culture and the Music Industry

Christina Paine

Studio 3: Music is the Weapon: Performance, Culture and the Music Industry is an exploration of race, gender, class and more in music.

Studio 4: Not allowed

Emma Davenport

Studio 4: What Not to Wear? will investigate the roles that dress and fashion play in our workplaces.

Studio 5: Imperfect Theories

Ektoras Arkomanis

Studio 5: Imperfect Theories allows you to critically examine any work that can be seen as theory or presents an interesting relationship with theory.

Studio 6: Curating as a Spatial Practice: From the Wunderkammer to Installation art

Nico de Oliveira

Studio 6: This dissertation studio is designed to help students who are interested in curating as a broad subject, as well as those who wish to contextualise their own practice within the scope of displaying art.

Studio 7: Souvenir

Dr Lesley Stevenson

Studio 7: This studio is concerned with those objects that are lent a particular enchantment because of their relationship with the past.

Studio 8: Post – card

Edwina Attlee

Studio 8 will look at one element of that system – the picture postcard – from a number of different perspectives.

Studio 9: ‘The Form of the Text’

Danielle Hewitt

Studio 9: Together we will explore the space of criticism; acknowledging our point of encounter with objects, places, sites and processes and the relationship between text, writer and reader.

Studio 10: Constellating

Sinead Evans

As creative practitioners we digest and produce images every day – as citizens of the digital age we consume between hundreds and thousands of images each day. This dissertation studio will slim down your daily diet to one image.

Studio 11: Science Fiction Futurity

Luke Jones

Speculative descriptions of the future reveal a magnified — or distorted — reflection of the fears and desires of the present.

Studio 12: Alternative Fashioned Modernities

Lezley George

Much is happening in the world today that foregrounds questions pertinent to our identities in a globalised world.

Studio 13: Desire, Trauma, History

Jonathan Whitehall

How does the relationship of memory to fantasy affect history? What are the links between desire, sexuality and trauma? How are these relationships played out or negotiated in visual and written practice? These questions will form the beginning of our enquiries into artworks, films and literature.

Studio 14: Design and Nature: Forms of an Entanglement

Gabriele Oropallo

We will look at how the idea of nature has been constructed over time and place, and study its impact on design practice in an age marked by the sustainability imperative.

Studio 15: Music, Technology and Ideas

Lewis Jones

Studio 15: Music, Technology and Ideas encourages you to explore how and why we make music, including its origin, relationship to technology and more.

Studio 16: Narrative and Storytelling

Jon Baldwin

Studio 16: Narrative and Storytelling will see you produce storygraphs, storyboards and various forms of narrative analysis in the seminars.

Studio 17: Knowing Audiences

Jeremy Collins

Studio 17: Knowing Audiences will encourage you to study an audience group using qualitative research methods in your investigations.

Studio 18: Time and the Image

David Howells

This workshop will address some perennial problems of writing in the field of visual culture.

Studio 19: Material in Motion

Heidi Yeo

Studio 19: This studio will explore a reading of objects focusing on the interplay between materials, the objects they form and their context.

Studio 20: The Liminal

Andrew Hewish

This Dissertation Studio examines instances of the liminal as they occur in critical theory and culture, and is open to any topic and students from all disciplines.

Studio 21: Reading the library (and nothing but the library)

Joseph Kohlmaier

This year, Studio 21 will stage an unusual experiment. It will move, unpack, catalogue, and perform readings from one private library; and make this library, without exception, the single resource for all the research and writing in the studio.

Studio 22: Meaningful work

Paul Harper

Studio 22: Meaningful work explores the value of making and the idea of craft as meaningful work.

Studio 23: A Common Thread

Gina Pierce

Studio 23: In A Common Thread, we unpick and examine the importance of textiles and how they underpin culture, industry, and global connections.

Cass Studios archive by year