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Robert and Lisa Sainsbury fellows

Charlotte Linton

Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow 2020 - 2021

PhD, University of Oxford, 2021

Charlotte Linton is an anthropologist and designer whose work is situated at the intersection of visual, material and economic anthropology, Japanese Studies and ethnoecology. She is particularly interested in the relationships that craftspeople have with the environments from which they extract and use resources during the production of handcrafted commodities, and how these relationships sustain local social, environmental and economic networks. She received a DPhil in Anthropology from the University of Oxford in 2021 with a thesis based on twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork on the island of Amami Ōshima, southern Japan where she worked as a dyer with a small textile dyeing workshop. The workshop is renowned for the process of dorozome (mud-dyeing) traditionally associated with the local kimono cloth Oshima tsumugi, with this natural dyeing process latterly being used in the production of contemporary designer textiles. Using visual, design and participant apprenticeship methodologies Charlotte’s research uses skills developed during her education and career as a fashion and textile designer to question the sustainability ideologies prevalent in the contemporary design world and their efficacy in small scale manufacturing settings. At the Sainsbury Institute, Charlotte will be working on a monograph and number of journal articles based on her DPhil thesis.