Assistant Professor, Design and Computation Arts
Dr Miranda Smitheram is a design researcher, educator and artist, who explores themes of remediation and materiality. Originally from Aotearoa/New Zealand, she is currently Assistant Professor of Material Futures in the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University. Miranda is the Director of MaSH Lab, and Co-Director of the Textile and Materiality Research Cluster at Milieux Institute of Arts, Culture and Technology. Her research practice is tactile, haptic and embodied, and incorporates ancestral and speculative methods to work with ecosystems, socio-cultural matter, and nonhuman collaborators. Through this she explores developing new remediated and hybrid materials, to contribute to sustainable, relational and Indigenous futures.
Her current research explores decolonizing matter, and centres an ethics of care and relationality. Through unraveling ontologies and kinship of invasive plant species, Miranda frames possibilities of rematerializing these unwanted invaders through soft surface, biofabrication and textile applications to propose localized solutions through materiality. Miranda’s research moves between digital,virtual, and physical, with a particular interest in the ontologies and critical materiality that is revealed through the flux of these processes. Both her field research with flora and her digital research with materiality follow an ontological design approach. These mediated materials take shape as textile forms,structures and digital artworks that question the interaction and agency of human and more-than-human, place, and space in a post-anthropocentric context.
Dr Smitheram comes from an industry background in fashion and textile design with ten years of experience as a design team leader and fashion designer, in commercial multi-brand direction and as award-winning designer/business owner of her independent fashion label.
Miranda holds a Masters in Design,Masters in Philosophy with First Class Honours, and a PhD from the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies at Auckland University of Technology. Miranda’s PhD thesis explored ontology and aesthetics in digital and virtual materiality and involved novel interdisciplinary research charting the dynamics of cloth in motion capture. This doctoral research won the Dean’s Award for Excellence. Miranda was then awarded a two-year Māori Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Miranda has exhibited her work and presented research internationally in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Italy, Portugal, Estonia, Finland, Australia, and Canada.
Smitheram, M., & Joseph, F. (2020). Material-aesthetic collaborations: making-with the ecosystem. CoDesign, 16(4),293-310.
Joseph, F., Smitheram, M., Cleveland, D., Stephens, C., &Fisher, H. (2017). Digital materiality, embodied practices and fashionable interactions in the design of soft wearable technologies. International Journal of Design, 11(3. Special issue on Designing for Wearable and Fashionable Interactions), 7-15
Smitheram, M. (2016). The hand of the cloth: An ontological and aesthetic unfolding through digital and virtual materiality.
Smitheram, M. (2015). Imagining and imaging future fashion. CraftResearch, 6(2), 241-255.
Smitheram, M. (2015). The superfluous and the ephemeral:Consumerism, globalization and future fashion systems (Doctoral dissertation, Master Thesis. Accessed online, 12.07).
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