Ms Alia Parker

MPhil Art, Design & Media (UNSW); Master of Fashion & Textiles - Entrepreneurship (RMIT); Bachelor of Design (UNSW)
Lecturer, Design
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

Research interests include the intersection of design and science across practice, history and theory; bio-design; more-than-human design; posthuman ethics; affect; philosophies of care and biosemiotics. Transdisciplinary and collaborative design practices spanning contemporary textile, fashion, graphic, digital and biological approaches. Material interests in biomaterials and anthropogenic waste. Experimental, critical, future-oriented making practices that are speculative in nature or partner with industry. Interest in non-charismatic organisms such as fungi and bacteria and ecological processes that have metaphorical and applied effects in design, such as complexity, symbiosis, repair and decomposition.

 

Biography

Alia Parker is a transdisciplinary designer and researcher. Her creative practice and scholarship is concerned with the intersection of contemporary design and science investigating the ethical, relational and material possibilities that arise when working with more-than-human organisms in design contexts. Alia’s critical bio-design practice employs experimental methodologies in textiles, fashion, biology, installation and moving image, underpinned by posthuman ethics, philosophies of care and biosemiotics. She often works with myco-remediating species of fungi and waste matter to explore themes and processes of repair, transformation, and digestion. Through her work she proposes paradigmatic shifts to how we co-design with biotic and abiotic systems in the context of Anthropogenic ecologies. She draws on design histories and speculative futures to generate affirmative ways of working in times of ecological precarity.

Alia has exhibited and presented her work widely, most recently in TEXTURE at Canberra Contemporary Art Space (2023); she won first prize in the wearable category for the Northern Beaches Environmental Art and Design Prize at Manly Art Gallery and Museum (2022); Biomateriality at the Delmar Gallery, Sydney (2022); Bankstown Biennale: Symbiosis at Bankstown Art Centre (2020); The Matter of Objects and Materiality at Lane Cove Gallery (2019); and has shown her work at significant national design institutions and events such as Sydney Design Festival, Melbourne Design Festival, the Museum of Applied Arts and Science, the Australian Design Centre and Sydney Craft Week. With Stephen Loo, Alia’s writing ‘Counterpointing Care: Performing with fungi in three (in)different acts’ has recently been published in Performance Research Journal (27, On Care). For over ten years, Alia worked as a designer, maker and researcher in the ethical fashion and textile industry in New York, Melbourne and Sydney.

 

Researcher's projects

PUBLICATIONS

Alia Parker and Stephen Loo, ‘Counterpointing Care: performing with fungi in three (in)different acts’, Performance Research – On Care, Volume 27, Issue 4, (forthcoming May 2023).

Alia Parker, Catalog Essay for Kath Fries’ exhibition ‘Embrace’ at Our Neon Foe, Leichhardt, May 2021, ISBN: 978-0-6488927-2-4.

CONFERENCE & SYMPOSIUM PAPERS & PANELS & WORKSHOPS

‘Collective Digestion: How to Share a Multispecies Meal’ paper and performance, Tastes of Justice: the Politics of Food-Art Practices in Asia and Australia panel, AAANZ: Demonstrations, Dec 2022.

‘Mycelium Intelligence: networks rooted in Circularity’ invited panelist, hosted by Dr Clara Vuletich, RawAssembly- Sustainable Materials Industry Sourcing Event, Hanover House, Melbourne, May 2022.

‘Narratives in the Exhibition of Design: Materials, Processes and Contemporary Challenges’ paper, co-authored with Katherine Moline, Carly Vickers, Harriet Watts and Bic Tieu, REAL/MATERIAL/ETHEREAL, the 2nd Annual Design Research Conference, Monash University, Dec 2019.

‘Mycelial Futures’, workshop, University of Tasmania - School of Architecture, April 2019.

‘Entanglements of the Body & Fungi in Experimental Fashion’ paper, 'What’s Going On?: A Discourse on Fashion, Design and Sustainability’, Global Fashion Conference 2018, University of Arts London and Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London, Nov 2018.                                        

‘Textile Tactics: Speculate, Debate, Make’ hosted panel discussion and workshop, Sydney Design Festival, held at UNSW Art & Design, March 2018.

‘Textile Tactics: Speculate, Debate, Make’ workshop for Reigning Men Public Program, MAASive Lates program, MAAS museum, Sydney, June 2018. 

‘Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion Local Assembly’, workshop, Critical Fashion Studies Conference, School of Culture and Communication Faculty of Arts, Boyd Community Hub, Assembly Hall, Melbourne, Feb 2020.

‘The Matter of Objects and Materiality’ panel discussion with Kath Fries and Kate Brown, hosted by Rachael Kiang at Gallery Lane Cove on 30 March 2019.

‘Ideas Intersecting: Innovation and Design’ panel discussion chaired by Katherine Moline, Sydney Design Festival, at The Black Box UNSW A&D, March 2019.

‘Thinking Through Making: New Strategies in Design Education and Research’ panel discussion, hosted by Trent Jansen and Guy Keulemans at UNSW Art & Design, Oct 2018.

SELECT EXHIBITIONS

‘TEXTURE’ exhibition, Multispecies Patchwork (2023), mixed media, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Parkes ACT, Feb 2023.

‘Threads that Connect Us’ exhibition, Habitat Rioting (2022), mixed media, Embroiderers Guild of NSW, Sydney, Nov 2022.

‘!Do Something’ exhibition, Fruiting Home (2022), wearable installation, UNSW Library, Sydney, Sept 2022.

‘Northern Beaches Environmental Art & Design Prize’ exhibition, Myconstellation Jacket (2022), Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney, Aug 2022.

‘Raw Assembly, ‘Raw to a T’ exhibition, Fruiting Home (2022), installation, Hanover House Melbourne, May 2022.

‘Biomateriality’ exhibition (2022), mixed media installation, Delmar Gallery, Sydney, May 2022.

‘Eucalyptusdom’ public program, Can’t See the Forest for the Fungi (2022), video, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Feb 2022.

‘Bankstown Biennale, Symbiosis’ exhibition, See you in the Symbiocene (2020), mixed media installation, Bankstown Art Centre, Sydney, Sept 2020.

‘Speculative Care’ performance and exhibition (2019), Black Box UNSW Art & Design, Oct 2019.               

‘The Matter of Objects and Materiality’ exhibition, Mycelial Un/making (2019), mixed media installation, Gallery Lane Cove, Sydney, March 2019.

‘Ideas Intersecting: Innovation and Design’ digital exhibition, Collaborative Un/Making (2019), video, Black Box UNSW Art & Design and Australian Design Centre, Sydney Design Festival, March 2019.  

‘Thinking Through Making: New Strategies in Design Education and Research’ exhibition (2018), Making with Others (2018), AD Space UNSW Art & Design, Sydney Craft Week, Oct 2018.

‘Not Set’ exhibition (2018), mixed media installation, Wellington st. Projects, Chippendale, Sydney, Jul 2018.

Alia Parker and Skye Wagner, ‘Working Title’ exhibition (2018), AD Space, UNSW Art & Design, March 2018.

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Updated:  14 April 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers