Self Assembly - Philippa Brock

Self Assembly, Philippa Brock, 2008. Image © Nick Moss

Object Details

Date of making
Date of acquisition
Textiles: Woven on industrial loom
Silk organza, polyester, elastermeric
L2000mm x W1300mm
Collection Number

Maker Details

Stroud, England
Place Trained
Royal College of Art, London, MA (by Project) Woven Textiles, 1991-1993; 1991 Goldsmiths College, London, BA (Hons) Textiles, 1988-1991
94 Balfron Tower, St. Leonards Rd, London, E14 0QT, England
website -->


This object inspired new work by...


Philippa Brock is a member of the Textiles Futures Research Centre. Self Assembly is one of a series of 12 works that were the result a two year collaboration between textile and fashion designers from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Science Nobel Laureates, entitled ‘Nobel Textiles: Marrying scientific discovery to design’.

Brock, who previously qualified as nurse, was particularly inspired by Sir Aaron Klug’s work into discovering the 3-D structure of viruses using 2-D information. Self Assembly is a series of large scale jacquard woven pieces, in which, as with the research of Sir Aaron Klug, Brock explores methods of transforming 2-D weaving approaches into 3-D models - creating self-folding/forming experimental textile pieces.

Two of Brock’s works, inspired by her experimentation with paper-folding techniques, are being shown in the Crafts Council’s touring exhibition ‘Lab Craft: Digital Adventures in Contemporary Craft’.

Read more about related loans and exhibitions

Philippa Brock

“The inspiration behind the pieces was Sir Aaron Klug’s Nobel Prize paper exploring the results of X-ray crystallography tilting methods which allowed him to work out the structure of helical and spherical viruses through 2D–3D Fourier transform methods. The concept of self-assembly is used to explain virus formation.

The woven pieces in this collection self-assembled through yarn and structure interactions when tension was taken off the CAD/CAM industrial jacquard power loom, transforming 2D flat pattern into 3D fabric.

This was an opportunity to develop works based on science concepts, with only the loom constraints to work to. The final collection consisted of approximately 15 works exploring a range of self-assembly techniques. All the works can be applied to product end uses.”

Philippa Brock

Philippa Brock, Woven Textiles Specialist Subject Leader, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London. Member of the Textile Futures Research Group

From the Archive

Crafts Council Acquisition Information Sheet

~ Tweet about this object ~



View all tweets -->

Share this object