• This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Drs Zilka and Underwood - Cross Disciplinary

Drs Zilka and Underwood - Cross Disciplinary


Dr Jenny Underwood

Jenny Underwood is the Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, in the School of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT University, Melbourne Australia. Her research is practice-based and focused on methods for material circularity, responsible design innovation, and systems-based approaches to sustainability in the context of textiles, fashion and architecture. She is recognised internationally as a leading expert in advanced knit design and 3d seamless knitting technology. 

Dr Leanne Zilka

Dr Leanne Zilka is a registered architect and academic based in Melbourne, Australia. Her architecture practice, ZILKA Studio and her academic position at RMIT University in the School of Architecture and Urban Design is a multidisciplinary one that brings together architecture, fashion, textile design and material research that develops fabrication solutions utilising technologies and techniques from fashion and textile design to develop light weight solutions at the scale of buildings.

Using fashion and textile techniques but scaling them to building scale has been the focus of the research/design practice and now this knowledge is being applied to solving problems of retrofitting obsolete building facades, passive urban lighting, and using digital techniques to create efficiencies in the fabrication of complex forms. The benefits of looking broadly across disciplines allows for the adaption of technologies not common to construction that produce no waste as is the case of industrial 3d knitting machines.

Leannes most recent work includes the 2022 MPavilion with Allzone Architects, NGV commission for the ‘Sampling the Future’ exhibition, 5th Tamworth Textile Triennale commission, Floppy Logic book published by Actar.

Title: Cross disciplinary


Dr Leanne Zilka and Dr Jenny Underwood have been pursuing alternative ways of making building elements that utilize fashion techniques and technologies. This research has utilized these techniques and technologies to develop light weight solutions for the use in buildings. Given the climate crisis and that cities are largely constructed, retrofitting has become a favourable way to treat existing stock as we pivot away from new buildings.

Developing light weight solutions that able attach to interior or exteriors of buildings while utilizing technologies such as flexible solar cells, plant supportive materials, environmental sensors, and water harvesting, can make existing building stock reduce their carbon footprint and give back to their local environment.

This presentation will discuss the techniques that have been explored to date and then speculate on how buildings can adapt using this new hybrid cross disciplinary approach.

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.