Ganit Goldstein

Ganit Goldstein is a London-based fashion and textile designer specializing in the development of 3D fashion and smart textiles.

Ganit’s primary interest is in the intersection between craft and technology, and her work focuses predominantly on pioneering the use of 3D printing fabrication, incorporating 3D scanning to produce 3D textiles. Her design work includes shoes, jewellery, and wearables garments inspired by her study of Japanese ikat weaving at Tokyo University of the Arts. Goldstein is studying for an MA at the Royal College of Art in London, having graduated with honours from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem.

Ganit’s practice exemplifies her interdisciplinary approach to design, in which she mixes traditional and innovative techniques to combine groundbreaking materials research with pioneering developments in novel textile production.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am a 3D fashion designer and a textiles researcher exploring hybrid workflow between technology (3D printing & 3D scanning) and crafts (weaving, embroidery). These days I am studying for an MA at the Royal College of Arts in London, as part of the Soft System program, I am specializing in smart textile developments. For my BA, I graduate from the Bezalel Academy of Arts in Design in Jerusalem and majored in the department of Fashion and Jewelry.

For all my projects, I’ve been always driven to collaborate, aiming for the result of the hybrid Art & Tech to find new possibilities within the study of 3D printing fashion. Over the last years, I was lucky to participate in international exhibitions during Milan Design Week, New York Textile Month, Ars Electronica festival in Linz, Hong Kong Fashion Week, and more. In the following year, I got the horizon 2020 Re-FREAM grant, to work together with scientists and technology companies on developing new production methods and re-think how we can produce new fashion designs. As part of the grant, I launched my latest collection called ‘WeAreAble’, presenting the unique approach of using 3D body scan and 3D printing as a customized garment production using the transformation of body data to generate new textiles.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Never! Since finishing my BA, I have been always rolling between projects and exhibitions around the world which ultimately built my path in the Art & Tech worlds by achieving small steps that merged to my career as a 3D fashion designer. In many ways, I believe that in our times, there is a limited space to ‘plan’, but rather point the direction you want to see yourself in, and be open to challenges and opportunities that are not always in our mind from firstplace. I couldn’t imagine the pathway from the past few years, as it was a real dynamic route. I have been always driven to take risks and not stay in my comfort zone, and therefore, the opportunities merged through practice and collaborations along the time.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

From a technical point of view, the big challenge is always in the way I approach to combine languages of science and art with people I worked in, either if it is engineer or scientists or a designer. The combination of working methods are the key for unique designs, But it brings a lot of challenges along the way, especially when it is involves a lot of times ‘hacking’ machines and manipulate working methods. Sometimes there are limits and boarders, but we always found solutions through constantly research of new possibilities.

I think that one of the best working approach is to take those limits and use them in a manner that the disadvantages are serving as advantages- for example, using the support material in 3D printing as part of the design structure.  The ability to combine different approach from different times are opening the freedom of breaking the boundaries, and I believe that this is the right place to be as a designer working in any field of Art and industry.

From a personal perspective, I think the biggest challenge as a designer when deadlines are in the front, to find a balance between personal daily life and work. It takes time and experience to know your boarders and I feel that it is a challenge that each person is figuring out through the time, it is a personal journey to know the strengths and weaknesses. It may take a month or a year to realize how the routine and schedule best for each personality.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

In the following year, I’ve been working closely with a group of scientists and engineers to rethink fashion production part of the Re-FREAM horizon 2020 grant. For developing the processes, I worked in the labs and factories of the tech partners both in Austria and Israel, but Covid-19 changed the way we could work together physically. Although it was a hard mission to change our pathway to only virtual meetings, we managed to complete the project in a good shape, where we also introduce a complete virtual Reality application that can present the outcomes when public exhibitions are closed due to social distancing rules. To achieve this complex project as we imagined it to be, we needed to overcome so many challenges that we didn’t expected to happen due to the limitations of Covid-19. This was a real achievement from our side, to remain positive and continue working although many changes happened in between.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I think that the ability to combine different approaches from both artistic and technical skills  using different perspectives is really what built me as a researcher. I think that part of a success is not to be afraid from failures, and to be determined to build your own language in the field you are working on.  During my third year of my BA, I took part in an exchange student program, my decision was to apply for the opposite direction of what I was used to with the technological developments I worked on. I found my way to the Craft department ’Textile Art’ program at Tokyo University of the Arts. It was a different path than what I worked on in the past few years, and was a ‘risky’ choice, but I learned so much from stepping out of my expertise field, and that what made a real impact on my path.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

First of all, try to be an expert in what you do! I think that the drive to be as much professional in your field will extend the opportunities for a great career. In our times,  there are many opportunities to learn new techniques and skillsets through virtual studies, and to be independent on technical aspects is allowing to overcome the challenges and break the boundaries for future applications. Secondly, I am a great believer on ‘trial and error’ for problem-solving, not to be afraid to experiment and to make mistakes, it is sometimes what really drives great results. And my last advice is to follow your instincts, be patient and not too hard on yourself, Listen to yourself when it is not the right timing or the right path for your developments, you probably know from inside what really fit.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I think that in our current reality, there is still long way to go before women are no longer considered the minority in tech. It starts from the gap of un-even salary, in addition to fewer opportunities for promotions as a woman. I do believe that for each company the diversity of people from different backgrounds is extremely important, in both R&D and management. The variety of opinions will bring forwards to higher achievements for each company, no matter the field, versatile opinions always drives innovation and success.

There are currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I think that part of this low number is driven from education and confident for young generations of girls. So I would really focus on accelerating tech subjects for young woman, but in a unique manner that drives innovation and creativity, for example through CAD and experimenting with new materials. I would also encourage from young age to be part of fab-labs and experiments with the study of soft robotics through practice, and to offer new possibilities in ‘open studios’ to develop creative thinking. I believe that earning these skills from a young age will determine the change for woman in STEM and allow more confident to be involve in higher positions.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, eg Podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc?

I would recommend the emerging ‘Re-FREAM’ blog which demonstrates Art & Tech collaboration workflow of one year research between designers and scientists (https://www.re-fream.eu/blog/). The second suggestion I think that can be really useful to check is the ‘Soft Systems Research Group’ from RCA (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13836186/)

From book suggestions, if your field of research involves the study of new processes and new materials, I would recommend the book ‘Being material’ from MIT press which covers a lot of unique projects within the study of emerging technology (edited by Marie-Pier Boucher, Stefan Helmreich, Leila W. Kinney, Skylar Tibbits, Rebecca Uchill and Evan Ziporyn). The second suggestion will be the book ‘Why Materials Matter: Responsible Design for a Better World’ by Seetal Solanki that covering a many interesting projects in the field of sustainable and conscious design.

From virtual conferences recently, I would suggest to check the talk of Dezeen part of Dutch Design Week, with selected designers talking on the topic of relationship with products:  https://www.dezeen.com/2020/10/20/dezeen-dutch-design-week-2020-live-discussion-relationship-products/


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