Joan Farrer Portrait

Professor Joan Farrer

Associate Dean (Enterprise and Innovation)

PhD Supervisor

View my research outputs


Joan is a designer whose principle and co-investigator roles have included EU and UK applied research-funded projects where R+D innovations include wellbeing for the body and the environment. In 2000 her PhD was one of the first in Sustainable fashion textile global supply chain analysis, using cradle-to-cradle modelling of wool fiber production. Farrer has been College member, advisor, co-author and co-investigator for AHRC, EPSRC, Innovate UK and INTERREG funded projects. She reviews and writes for various trade and academic publications and holds 5 international journal advisory board posts.

Farrer is a designer who has worked with global brands, Government and NGO’s for decades, this has informed her trans-disciplinary research, which stems from deep practical commercial knowledge of the industrial retail sector, in Fashion, Textiles, Fibre, Materials, Product Design R+D and brand development. Her Sustainable, 'Smart' materials innovative research includes Art and Design collaborations with Physical and Biomedical science, Computing, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering. She and collaborators are developing new interdisciplinary funded proposals and publishing opportunities for pedagogic team research to inform the curriculum.

Research interests

  • DERMA (Design of Enabling-Regenerative Materials for Ageing) CO-I – The project will be engaged with the development of new healthcare technologies to improve the quality of life of the ageing.
  • PONToon (Partnership Opportunities using New Technologies Fostering Social Inclusion) PI – The project’s focus is jobs, social inclusion (urban and rural communities) underpinned by tools and methods from the digital economy. 
  • Barrier Solutions Melanoma prevention toolkit PI – The research aims to create ‘smart’ textiles combining computer intelligence and digital communication to provide ‘early warning systems’ of over-exposure to the sun.
  • SHAKES (Structural Health Autonomic Kinetics for Earth Shifts) PI – Textiles, architecture, computing and nanotechnology collaborators have developed an intelligent textile to be embedded into structural systems to sense movement and warn of potential structural failure.