The research group futureTEX, an interdisciplinary consortium comprising design, research, and industry, explores innovative concepts and ideas for the future of the (East) German textile industry.

The subgroup “Experimental Material Research” in the department of textile and surface design, directed by professors Zane Berzina and Christiane Sauer, works in the textile prototyping lab to explore the potential of early and equally weighted integration of design in the development of prototypes.

The project futureTEX (www.futuretex2020.de) receives funding from the federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the program “Zwanzig20 – Partnerschaft für Innovation.” Companies, scientific institutions as well as industry and trade associations cooperate on developing a viable German textile industry from its roots as a traditional industry.

A focus is on the value-creating segments of technical textiles as a main pillar of the German textile industry. These demand a high research and development competence and enables innovation to ensure advantages over the competition. As a motor of innovation, superordinate strategies like open source and open innovation processes, visionary use case and new interdisciplinary network partnerships are examined.

The research group futureTEX has been active at weißensee academy since June 2017 with the project Textile Prototyping Lab, and has a total funding volume of 2.1 million Euros (as of June 2017).

06/2017 - 05/2020

Textile Prototyping Lab: the research and development project is a research alliance of five institutions from the fields of textile research, design, and industry. Its aim is to conceive, install, and test a laboratory for textile prototypes based on the idea of open innovation. The focus here is on bringing together textile designers and textile engineers early on in the development of textile prototypes. The TLP will be a lab where textile machines, a digital and analog library as well as well-organized know-how for modern und professional prototyping are available to designers and developers alike. During the duration, an open forum will be created to foster cross-sector exchange, especially with the industry.

Research group weißensee: conception, installation, and testing of the TLP, setup of the archive of material samples and creation of the material samples, design and realization of prototypes using high-performance textiles and smart textiles, public relations, and curating the Open Innovation Forum.


Research team weißensee: Prof. Zane Berzina (director), Essi-Johanna Glomb (artistic-scholarly associate), Katrin Münzberg (artistic-scholarly associate)