Susan Barnwell


M.A. Interdisciplinary Studies York University

NDD National Diploma of Design ATC

Art Teachers Diploma, London University, Institute of Education

N.D.D. (National Diploma of Design), Stafford, College of Art, England

Phone: 416-979-5000

Ex. 7067


KHS 55 F


I bring brings a multifaceted approach to design and research. I have experienced the fantasy of theatre and television costume production in England, worked as a fashion editor of a daily newspaper in Hong Kong and taught at Universities in Asia and North America. I have worked with museums on costume reconstruction and with hospital research teams designing clothing and accessories for breast cancer survivors with lymphedema. Explored cultural space with aging populations in Tokyo and empowerment with sex trade workers in Toronto I have travelled extensively; lived in Hong Kong and Tokyo, visited remote villages in the highlands of New Guinea, explored the high mountain passes of Tibet, travelled the camel route from Kandahar to Kabul and experienced cultural diversity of the minority groups of China. I remain an avid collector of design information and an observer of cultures.

Recent Professional Projects

2015 – Ongoing - Book Proposal, Issey Miyake: One hundred Garment; Six Countries; One Woman - which explores the design philosophy of Issey Miyake in relation to Japanese culture.

2013 – 2012 Out of the Shadows An inclusive research/design project supported by the School of Fashion at Ryerson University; the All Saints Community Centre; Street Health, and persons actively working in the sex trade industry in Toronto. The project's objective was to empower sex trade workers and educate design students as to the realities of marginal life in the local community. Conference paper, Out of the Shadows, presented at, the Include Asia 2013, July 2013, Hong Kong Design Centre, Hong Kong, China. Global Challenges and Local Solutions in Inclusive Design. Received best paper award.

2011 – 2010 Neighborhood, Age and Cultural Space. Field research into the area of Sugamo in Tokyo. Through the Toronto office of the Japan foundation meetings were arranged with the town council, designers, citizens, university student’s commercial food and product venders in Sugamo. The future and expansion of the area was debated. Information was used in the preparation of papers, Neighborhood, Age and Cultural Space, presented at the Include 11, conference at the RCA in London, 2011. Old Older, Oldest: When Green is not Enough, the School of Visual Arts National Conference, New York USA. October 2010. Old, Older Oldest: Fashioning Japanese Culture, CAG Conference, Niagara Falls, October 2014.

2010 -2007 Lymphedema Lines: Clothing and Accessories for Breast Cancer Patients at Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto Canada, working with a team of researchers to determine challenges faced by breast cancer survivors with lymphedema. The data collected was used to design a line of accessories and clothing. The second stage of the project was the development of a Modular Bag with a Therapeutic Arm Sling for Cancer Survivors with Lymphedema. US and Canadian design patents were issued for the bag in December 2008; team members included Sandra Tullio-Pow, Ryerson and Joyce Nyhof-Young, Princess Margaret Hospital. Various conference papers presentations, information on request

Publications & Exhibitions

Papers Presented at Refereed Conferences Spectres and Ethereal Space - The New Dimension, Podium Presentation, IFTI Polimoda Conference, Florence Italy, May 2015.

Barnwell S, Old, Older, Oldest:

Social Innovation and the Fashioning of Japanese Culture. Podium Presentation, Landscapes of Aging, Canadian Association on Gerontology Conference, Niagara Falls, USA, October 2014. S. Barnwell, Out of the Shadows.

Podium Presentation, Include Asia 2013: Global Challenges and Local Solutions. Helen Hamlyn Centre, Royal College of Art, London UK, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Design Centre July 22-3 2013. Awarded Best Paper.

S. Barnwell. A Visual Dialogue. Podium Presentation, Collaboration in the Arts. The School of Visual Arts National Conference, New York USA. October 2013.

Barnwell S, Barnwell M, Futures Past, Futures Present, Podium Presentation, Crafting the Future: 10th European Academy of Design Conference, Gothenburg, Finland, April 17-19 2013. S. Barnwell.

The Socialization of Information – From Cave Painting to ipad, Podium Presentation, WORDIMAGE IMAGE WORD. The School of Visual Arts National Conference, New York USA. October 2012.

Barnwell S, Barnwell M, Neighbourhood, Age and Cultural Space. Prodium Presentation, Include 2011: Inclusive design making social innovation happen. Helen Hamlyn Centre, Royal College of Art, London UK, i8-20, April 2011.

Previous MRPs Supervised

“Interpretation of Denim by Haute Couture Designers” by Soumojit Mukhopadhyay. 2013.

"Recreation of “Precious Memories: Using Origami, Embroidery and 3D Printing”"by Xiao Xi Li. In progress.

Program Streams: 

Fashion Communication

Fashion Design

MA Fashion