Nithikul Nimkulrat
Nithikul Nimkulrat
Nithikul Nimkulrat
Associate Professor
Faculty of Design

Area(s) of Expertise

experiential knowledge, interdisciplinary practice, materialness, research through design, Textiles


Nithikul Nimkulrat is a practitioner-researcher who intertwines research with textile practice, focusing on experiential knowledge in craft processes in the context of design research. Prior to her current appointment as a Tenured Associate Professor at OCAD University, Nithikul has worked at Estonian Academy of Arts (Estonia, 2013–2018), Loughborough University (UK, 2011–2013), and Aalto University (Finland, 2004–2010), where she earned a doctorate in 2009. During her sabbatical year (2017–2018), Nithikul was based at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, Canada, as a designer-in-residence in Fall 2017, and in Spring 2018, she had a research stay funded by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) at Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin, Germany.

Nithikul's active involvement in international research networks can be recognised by her leading roles as the convenor of the Design Research Society (DRS) Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG) and the leader of the Cumulus Association's Fashion and Textile Working Group. She is also a member of the editorial board of Artifact: Journal of Design Practice. One of her recent publications is Crafting Textiles in the Digital Age published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2016.


1997 Bachelor of Industrial Design, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

2002 Master of Arts, Textile Art and Design, Aalto University, Finland

2009 Doctor of Arts, Design, Aalto University, Finland

Professional Experience

2018–present Associate Professor, OCAD University, Canada

2013–2018 Professor of Textile Design / Head of Department of Textile Design, Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia

2011–2013  Lecturer in Textiles / Multi-Media Textiles Pathway Leader, Loughborough University, UK

2010 Postdoctoral Researcher, Aalto University, Finland

2004–2009 Doctoral Researcher, Aalto University, Finland

2003–2012 Designer-Maker, Artist, Ini Creation, Finland (own company)

1997–2000 Industrial Textile Designer / R&D, Satin Textiles Co., Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand

Selected Exhibitions

2019–2020 Interwoven, EMMA Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland

2019 Research Through Design, Delft Science Museum, The Netherlands

2018 Bridges 2018 Math Art Exhibition, Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology, Sweden

2017 Intersections, Loughborough University, London, UK

2017 Bridges 2017 Math Art Exhibition, University of Waterloo, Canada

2017 Lace and Luxury, Salo Art Museum, Finland

2016 The Little Tree and Birds (solo exhibition), University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland

2016 Bridges 2016 Math Art Exhibition, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

2016 The White Forest (solo exhibition), Hop Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia

2015 TRIP two: Textiles Research in Process, Design and Architecture Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia

2015 Mind Scape, International Women’s Art Exhibition, The Gallery of Art and Design, Silpakorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

2015 Research Through Design, Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK

2014 Zeitgenössische textillkunst [Contemporary Textile Art], Kunstlerhaus, Nürnberg, Germany

2014 From Lausanne to Beijing, 8th International Fiber Art Biennale, 1895 Creative Cultural Industry Park, Nantong, China

2014 OrnaMENTAALNE, Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia

2014 Coded: Decoded, The Mall Galleries, London, UK

2013 9th International Baltic Minitextile Triennial, Ararat Regional Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia and Museum of Gdynia, Poland

Awards \ Grants

2016 Publishing Scholar of the Year (Honourable Mention), Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia

2010 Golden Peak Award, Finnish Professional Graphic Designers

2010 One of the Most Beautiful Books (Non-Fiction) of the Year 2009, Finnish Book Arts Committee

2008 Prize of the Public, 12th International Lace Biennial – Contemporary Art, St Gallen, Switzerland

2007 Prize of the Public, 12th International Lace Biennial – Contemporary Art, Heidelberg, Germany

2007 Distinguished Reviewer, Journal of Research Practice

2006 Silver Bobbin, 12th International Lace Biennial – Contemporary Art, Brussels, Belgium


2018 Public art proposal for Väre, new building of Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture

2011 Unique pieces for the 75th anniversary of Aalto Vase, Iittala Oyj, Finland

Selected Publications


Nimkulrat, N., Ræbild, U., & Piper, A. (eds.) (2018). Soft Landing [Cumulus Think Tank Publication Series]. Helsinki: Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Nimkulrat, N., Kane, F., & Waltan, K. (eds.) (2016). Crafting Textile in the Digital Age. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Nimkulrat, N. (2009). Paperness: Expressive Material in Textile Art from an Artist’s Viewpoint. Helsinki, Finland: University of Art and Design Helsinki.

Book Chapter

Nimkulrat, N., & Nurmi, T. (2019). Mathematical Design for Knotted Textiles. In B. Sriraman (ed.). Handbook of the Mathematics of the Arts and Sciences. Basel: Springer Nature. doi:

Journal Articles

Nimkulrat, N., & Matthews, J. (2017). Ways of Being Strands: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration Using Craft and Mathematics. Design Issues, 33(3). 59–72. doi: 

Nimkulrat, N. (2012). Hands-on Intellect: Integrating Craft Practice into Design Research. International Journal of Design, 6(3), 1–14.

Nimkulrat, N. (2007). The Role of Documentation in Practice-Led Research. Journal of Research Practice, 3(1), Article M6.

Professional Affiliations / Boards / Juries

2017–present Editorial Board Member, Artifact: Journal of Design Practice

2016–present Chair, Fashion and Textile Working Group, Cumulus Association

2016–present Member of Expert Panel Cult2, Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), Belgium

2014–2019 Editorial Board Member, Studies in Material Thinking

2013–2019 Elected Council Member, Design Research Society (DRS)

2012–present Convenor, Design Research Society (DRS) Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG)

2007–2019 Editorial Board Member, Journal of Research Practice

2003–present Member, Finnish Association of Designers Ornamo (Textile Artists TEXO, Artists O)