Jo-anne Kowalski rewrites the rules of the textile industry

Copenhagen-based textile designer Jo-anne Kowalski is continually learning and unlearning her way around her industry’s technologies.

Even with formal education in textiles from The Swedish School of Textiles, young textile designer Jo-anne Kowalski has learned that some rules should be unlearned in order to make innovative moves that no one has seen before.

She fuses electronics with textiles and fashion and admits that projects like teaching herself how to code have opened her mind to more than what is probably stipulated in a tertiary institution’s reading material. 

When she’s fortunate enough to get some free time, she doesn’t shy too far away from her love of textiles –spending time in her workshop in Denmark where is she is currently assembling a knitting machine from scratch. She continually constructs and deconstructs the device to study its complex makeup and sees this as a type of self-experiment. “I’m really into process, whether it is for design or art. I’m really interested in how people get to know things and how they react”, she explains. 

While the rest of us slowly unpack the role that wearable technology could have, Kowalski plays around with the idea of a sci-fi future in which electronics and fashion are not on opposite ends of the design spectrum.