Kelly Cobb is an Associate Professor in The Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on sustainability in the fashion industry, fashion communication and creative strategy. She conducts creative research in textiles, addressing wicked problems (overconsumption/textile waste, health/well-being) through project-based works that vary in scope, yet all have the textile as a point of entry or common thread. Derived from practice (from touching, making, learning and doing in a studio) her approach to design research adopts fiber, weave, dye, print processes as both method and metaphor in the creation of new knowledge. Materiality is a way of thinking, informing us through relationship to nature, humanity and to each other and the world around us. Projects in which she has had the opportunity to put these ideas into action include:
- Leading product development research with a major athleticwear company to explore opportunities for “Made in the USA” production of athletic leisure wear.
- Global multi-disciplinary research conducted in collaboration with a vertically integrated denim producer, involved tracing the denim supply chain with the objective of demystifying it, from a Texas field, to a Guatemala factory, to a New York City showroom floor.
- Launching a mobile fashion workshop utilizing UD’s research tuk-tuk, introducing Philadelphia residents to upcycling as a means to capture from textile waste.
- Co-designing “wearable narrative” garments customizing textile print design to encourage recall in elderly people experiencing memory loss.
- Co-conducting Fashion “CSI” applying 3D simulation to virtually rebuild a fragmented 1890’s tea dress housed in the UD historic textile and dress collection.
- Visioning through material exploration, a compostable mushroom fabric.