Zoë Hillyard is a Senior Lecture and Course Director for BA(Hons) Textile Design at Birmingham City University. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and has over 20 years of lecturing experience in both national and international contexts. Zoe is also an established textile artist craft practitioner working with consumer waste streams through the disciplines of textiles and ceramics, creating work exploring relationships to possessions. She is a member of the Contemporary Applied Arts gallery in London and a member of the Society of Designer Craftsman, undertaking commissions and exhibiting widely.
Zoe holds a first-class BA (Hons) in Textile Design (specialising in Embroidery) from Nottingham Trent University, and a MSc in Applied Development Studies from Reading University. At the beginning of her career Zoe worked in the fashion industry initially designing embroidered knitwear and establishing her own women’s accessory brand selling to the luxury market through stores like Libertys and Barneys New York. She also designed tailored knitwear for Marion Foale, exhibiting at London and Paris Fashion Weeks. Later, interested in global perspectives and the important role that craft plays within rural settings, Zoe spent a year working at the Mongolian Textile Institute on a Sustainable Livelihoods project building the resilience of nomadic households. The strong connection between materials, culture, nature and community remain core to her research interests. Zoe is a core member of MAT_er.Lab, the School of Fashion & Textile’s Biomaterial development space and has published in relation to circular design curriculum development.
Zoe brings a strong focus on sustainability and community spirit to the course. She is passionate about enabling every student to thrive, graduating as confident, skilled and resilient individual.