Kate Whittaker

Kate Whittaker

Master of Creative Technologies student
Bachelor of Design in Textile Design

Spending time in AUT’s Textile Design Lab helped her find her path, says Kate Whittaker who came to AUT to study textile design and is now enrolled in a Master of Creative Technologies.

“AUT’s Textile Design Lab has digital knitting and felting machines and other amazing machinery that would normally not be accessible to students. I’ve discovered my love for programming and textiles. My lecturer Dr Donna Cleveland also played a massive role in helping me find out who I am as a creative. Eventually I’d love a career that involves using emerging creative technologies for digital knitwear creation and designs.”

Kate is already well on the way to achieving this goal.

“At the end of 2019, I had the amazing experience of being able to represent AUT at the Society of Dyers and Colourists’ colour competition, which was held in Xiamen, China. I was chosen to represent both Australia and New Zealand. I’m also proud to have been chosen to present some of my work at the Zero Waste Digital Summit in November 2020.”

Textiles that stimulate the senses
For her Master of Creative Technologies research, Kate is exploring the aesthetic potential of tactile and sensory materials to stimulate engagement and memory.

“My research will explore and combine different textile design methods, materials and technologies to enhance sensory engagement. The significance of tactility and sensory engagement to the imagination of both the creator and the audience are a key focus of the project.

“I love that the field of creative technologies gives me the opportunity to push my creative process further. I wanted to learn another way of creating and researching, and that is exactly what the Master of Creative Technologies offers.”

Kate’s research is supervised by Dr Donna Cleveland and Professor Frances Joseph.

A space to create and connect
Taking on postgraduate study during the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t always been easy, Kate admits.

”The biggest challenge I've faced during my time doing postgraduate study was changing to online learning because of COVID-19 and the lockdown in New Zealand. During that time, I was forced to be away from the machinery I need for my research, but AUT and my supervisors were really helpful in making sure that I could continue my studies and wasn’t completely stuck.”

She would highly recommend the Master of Creative Technologies to other students, says Kate who expects to complete her studies in July 2021.

“The creative technologies master’s degree offers so many experiences but also gives you the space to create and connect with so many passionate people with areas of expertise. AUT offers such amazing faculties and the lecturers create a great space to learn and grow in. I also appreciate that everyone at AUT is always willing to help with anything you need. AUT has a way of making it feel like home.”

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