“To create new knowledge with transdisciplinary research in fashion and lifestyle textile designs with the aim to achieve creative economy and generate added value at an international level and to modernize cultural capital, elevating the community through employment and sustainable income” are the key concepts and aims in the research of Professor Dr. Patcha U-Tiswannakul, Head of Fashion and Creative Arts Research Unit, Department of Creative Arts, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Chulalongkorn University, a recipient of the National Research Awards in Philosophy 2023 from the National Research Council of Thailand.                                                                                                                             

Prof. Dr. Patcha U-Tiswannakul, Head of Fashion and Creative Arts Research Unit, Department of Creative Arts, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Chulalongkorn University, is an expert in transdisciplinary innovation research on sustainable fashion and lifestyle textile design. Using transdisciplinary concepts, she transforms cultural heritage into unique fashion products that contributes to the country’s economy. Prof. Dr. Patcha’s research aims to pave the way for sustainable fashion innovation with an emphasis on recycling materials that are agriculturally valueless into creative textile, which caters to the trend and generates sustainable income to the community. The research can be implemented in creative economy and published nationally and internationally, creating academic, social, and economic benefits.                                                              

On the subject of transdisciplinary innovation, Prof. Dr. Patcha explained that it serves as a model for modernizing the country’s natural heritage and cultural capital, to be used in expanding the economy and benefiting Thailand’s scholars, designers, and entrepreneurs. The knowledge is passed on through experimentation and training, which can be applied in regional communities both in Thailand and overseas. The research also elevates jobs, increases income, and decreases production costs, as well as contributes to international trade. This corresponds with the policy to connect research to government agencies and allow the private sector to apply the knowledge in fashion innovation development to create added value.  

According to Prof. Dr. Patcha, the Fashion and Creative Arts Research Unit, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts, Chulalongkorn University, serves as a pool of researchers, full-time lecturers in the department, and designers who are alumni of the graduate programs who come together to develop pathways for sustainability in the country’s fashion industry. The unit subscribes to the concept of “pioneering and daring to think and experiment on something different to create sustainable innovations.”  Future research plans emphasize innovative research and expansion into creative economy for sustainable development. The key is a systematic creation of fashion innovation from developing textile to designing fashion products in order to offer guidelines for increasing commercial value and generating income and employment for the people in the community. It is also a way to serve society with the knowledge from research in accordance with Chulalongkorn University’s policy and the country’s strategy to develop the creative economy industry.

“Researchers who wish to succeed must always bear in mind that success is not an end, obstacles are not problems and mistakes provide lessons to be learned. How can we make our work accepted and supported by the government and the private sector? We need to empower ourselves and be curious to learn. We should collaborate to create research that benefits society at large and contributes to sustainable creative economy, as well as has exemplary work processes that can help and strengthen the works of newer researchers,” she concluded.