A team of the Degree in Industrial Design Engineering travels to China to learn about the industry and prototype with advanced textiles


A team of students and professors of Elisava's Undergraduate Degree in Industrial Design Engineering, researchs and develops new proposals from the challenge 'Designing with Smart & Advanced Textiles (Beyond the Body)', working on the design and development of products related to the sector of advanced fabrics from the perspective and industrial technique, programming and vision of innovation that this advanced matter generates.

The mainstream industry of the large companies in this area has generated a great change in the way of designing and building sports shoes. This has provided a basis for research and innovation in smart and advanced textiles, technology that creates an interesting design opportunity that can be extrapolated to other industries. This project seeks to understand and experiment how they work to move traditional processes towards the new digital industry that will allow building from the engineering of materials.

In this context, a team of six students of the Undergraduate Degree in Industrial Design Engineering and the project director Jessica Fernandez have traveled to Dongguan (China) to learn straight from the horse’s mouth the technology of the project, the implementation of different materials and industrial development of their design proposal.

The K-Tech company, leader in the textile industrial sector with clients like Tommy Hilfiger, New Balance or Nike, has been the host of the Elisava team for three weeks. During this fieldtrip, our students have been able to explore systems and processes of innovation in mass production and enter the international ecosystem of industrial production in the textile, electronic and plastic injection industries.

K-Tech ( Changli Textile Technology CO. LTD )  one of the largest flat knitting factories in the world. Creating light weight yet sturdy shoes have obsessed the footwear industry for decades.  The original concept was to create a shoe that felt like a sock  but had support like a traditional one. Nowadays flat knitting technology allows us to design a engineered upper made in shape where the technicians can apply diferent materials, patterns, stiffness or even make it get a 3D shape. Flat knitting technology has endless possibilities and in Ktech we like to keep pushing the boundaries, not only working on shoes but on any type of products, on and off the body.

Among the activities carried out during the stay in China, the students have visited Salmon Technologe, a product factory using TPU injection, with the aim of understanding a new concept when it comes to making shoes and, in turn, implementing it in a product –a shoe sock­– previously designed by the students; the visit to the Sleader factory, where students have been able to tackle the manufacture of a whole shoe; or the visit to the manufacturer of Frequent Flyer backpacks and accessories, where they have been advised on the development of their prototypes. They have also made stops at Wargame, a factory specializing in plastic injection, where they have understood the importance of time in mass production; Ortholite, a company dedicated to the manufacture of templates for major brands; or Novilab Footwear, the supplier of Inditex shoes.

Most of the work has focused on K-Tech and, as a result, students have been able to learn from pattern programming to the manufacturing of products through steaming and laser cutting. Likewise, they have focused on applying the knowledge acquired about their Final Degree Projects (BA theses). As a result, all students have obtained a prototype of high quality and finish for their projects, completing an intense theoretical but also practical training



Daniel Rifaterra Solano
Gerard López Pie
Miquel Cos Martí
Nasim Nounou Ripoll
Nicolas Baques Borrell
Raquel Tresserra Adzet



Tutoring team

Jessica Fernández (Elisava)
Jordi Montaner (K-Tech)
Judit González (Elisava)
Marta González (Elisava)

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