Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor

Ms Sarah Taylor BA (Hons), PGDip, MPhil

Research Fellow


Sarah is a design practitioner and researcher with expertise in the area of smart, light-emitting textiles. Since her pioneering research investigating the properties of fibre optics for application within woven textile structures (1995) she has continued to innovate through the use of optical fibre, digital technologies and textile practice.

She has exhibited at national and international venues over the last 25 years including the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Haywood Gallery in London, the National Museum of Scotland and the Museum of Kyoto in Japan. Her work has been shown in major exhibitions including, as a finalist nominee for the 2002 Jerwood Applied Arts Prize: Textiles and during the first touring exhibition of the V&A Dundee, Design in Motion (2015) which showcased award winning design work, Digital Lace (ICWC 2014). Her work is in public collections including the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the Museum of Scotland, and has featured in prominent design publications including Art Textiles of the World Volume 3, Techno Textiles and two editions of the International Design Year Book.

Sarah has worked in design education for 20 years and as Reader at Heriot-Watt University and University of Brighton (2003 – 2011). She was Depute Research Director at Heriot-Watt with responsibility for coordinating the design submission for the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 and was a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Peer Review College.

She studied Textile Design at Winchester School of Art including 3 months at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Holland. Her degree work was awarded two prizes acknowledging innovation and creativity within the subject. She gained a Textile Institute Scholarship to undertake a postgraduate diploma in textile design at Heriot-Watt University and was funded by the university to undertake an MPhil research degree.

Research Areas


External Examining/Validations

  • Open College of the Arts: BA (Hons) Textile Specialist
  • University for the Creative Arts, Farnham: BA (Hons) Textiles for Fashion & Interiors
  • University of Huddersfield, School of Art, Design & Architecture: MSc Textiles
  • University of the Arts, Chelsea College of Art & Design: BA (Hons) Constructed Textiles


Fellowships and Awards

  • International Symposium of Wearable Computers Design Exhibition Jury Award: Fibre Art


Grant Reviewer

  • AHRC Peer Review College Member
  • EPSRC Reviewer


Invited Speaker

  • 80th World Conference of the Textile Institute, Manchester
  • 2nd International Textile, Clothing and Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • A Twist in the Yarn, Technology Conference Publication, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Art of the Stitch Symposium, V&A Museum, London
  • Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Study Day, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
  • Research presentation: Tainan Women’s College of Arts and Technology, Taiwan
  • Research presentation: Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou, China
  • Research presentation: National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
  • The Otsuka Textile Design Institute, Tokyo
  • The Play of Light and Music on Fabric in Fashion Study Day, the Costume Society, Winchester School of Art
  • Pecha Kucha presentation: Surface Design Show, Business Design Centre, London
  • Light Up Workshop, Craft Council's UK Digital Innovation in Craft event: Make:Shift:Do, University of Dundee.
  • Light-emitting Workshop as part of China’s Creative Communities: Making Value and The Value(s) of Making: Makerversity, Somerset House.
  • The 12th European Textile Network Conference: New Technologies and Materials
  • WearComp-CommunicationWear Technology Symposium, Modeschule, Vienna
  • Vocabularies of Cloth Symposium, Jerwood 2002 speakers, Heriot-Watt University
  • Invited guest lecturer, Tokyo Zokei University, Japan
  • eTextiles workshop: Generate Light and Energy, Paillard Centre d’Art Contemporain & Résidence
  • Fibre Optic Workshop in collaboration with Prof Reiko Sudo, Tokyo Zokei University, Japan
  • Fibreface Conference, Turku Polytechnic of Southwest Finland, Mynamaki


Non-Napier PhD or MSc by Research supervisions

  • Internal Examiner: Investigating Patterns, Motifs and the Reproduction Techniques of Ikat Limar
  • Internal Examiner: The Investigation of hand woven products and motifs in the Sultanate of Oman in order to rejuvenate a local market.
  • Main Supervisor: PhD An investigation of the design potential of thermochromic dyes systems on textiles used with electronics