Ursula Wagner is a textile designer, artist and researcher from Berlin, Germany. Since 2017, she is also an assistant professor for Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), USA. In her work she explores the interplay between material, technology and aesthetics, with a focus on sculptural and three-dimensional aspects of textile construction. While specializing in industrial weaving, Wagner's projects mainly involve an intersection between the textile field and other disciplines. She designs dynamic, three-dimensional fabrics and site-specific installation artwork for public and private interiors while exploring the potential and extending the limits of digital tools in the domain of textile creation and production.
Wagner studied Textile & Surface Design at Weissensee Academy of Art Berlin (KHB) and Hiroshima City University in Japan, and received a BFA & MFA from KHB. She has been teaching in the Textile and Surface Design Department of KHB, the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg, Germany and Shenzhen Polytechnic in China. As a research fellow at the Berlin University of the Arts, Wagner was engaged in a research project about smart homes, where she developed electronic and interactive textiles with several partners from industry, universities and research institutes. The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
In the recent years, Wagner worked with Italian weaving mills in Como, designed and produced custom-made fabrics for the fashion label PerretSchaad and collaborated with TheGreenEyl on a large-scale textile art installation for museum Grimmwelt in Kassel, Germany.
Wagner was awarded several grants and prizes including the Mart-Stam-Prize, the Elsa-Neumann-Scholarship (NaFöG) of the Berlin State, a DesignFarmBerlin grant and a research grant by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for her studies in Japan. In 2012 she was selected to participate in the European Textile Trainee Programme of the TextielMuseum in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Her artworks have been acquired by private and public collections, such as Grimmwelt Kassel, Germany and TextielMuseum Tilburg, NL.
Photo: Luise Illigen