Project code



School of Art, Design, and Performance

Start dates

October, February and April

Application deadline

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD studentship, to commence in October 2020 or February 2021. This practice-based PhD involves investigating the display of data through textiles, and is supervised by Royal Society of Arts Fellow, Dr Simone Gumtau, and Royal College of Art doctoral graduate in textiles Dr Elaine Igoe.

This PhD Project is ideal if you've studied textiles or other related fields of art, craft and design. Applicants with a data science background and appropriate experience in material craft or design would also be a great fit for this project.

Contemporary society generates and relies upon increasingly large amounts of data; finding new and convenient ways to store and communicate this information is a growing priority. This challenge has been picked up by designers, who are searching for meaning within these vast data sets and exploring how best to creatively communicate what they find.

The aim of this project is to go beyond graphical or pictorial depictions and find material ways of visualising data – and in the process, lead the viewer to deeper, more sensory connections and experiences with data.

Textiles provide the opportunity for a continuous, tacit and haptic conduit of data. Stitches are marks and traces which can connect, join and merge. A tailored suit records the embodied information of its recipient and how it is worn.

Practitioners such as Ele Carpenter and Nathalie Miebach have used textiles to interpret and represent data sets and complex information. Emerging technologies in textiles and material design are finding new ways to synthesise the material with the informational.

Throughout this project, you'll have access to the Faculty's facilities – including laser cutting, 3D printing and textile workshops – and a host of other cross-disciplinary facilities across the University.

In terms of project outcomes, we're particularly interested in exploring the gaps between the accurate, the evocative, the messy, the personal, the feminist and the artistic. (See Giorgia Lupi & Stefanie Posavec’s ‘Dear Data’ project).

This bursary invites an exploration of qualitative research methodologies through practice. This project will be aligned with the University of Portsmouth’s strategic research theme of ‘Future and Emerging Technologies’.

For more information about research in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries visit the University's Research pages.

Fees and funding

Visit the research subject area page for fees and funding information for this project.

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject.

Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. An online portfolio submission may be required as part of the selection process. All applicants are subject to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Make an enquiry

For administrative and admissions enquiries please contact

How to apply

Informal enquiries are encouraged and can be made to Dr Simone Gumtau ( and Dr Elaine Igoe (, quoting the project title.

Interview date: TBC

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.