From Blog post

Workshop accepted for the Design Research Society Conference 2016

Our workshop - Design Ecologies: Products, Places & Communities - has been accepted for the 50th Anniversary Design Research Society Conference in Brighton, UK in June 2016.DRS_conference2016

Our workshop will consider potential strategies for revitalising traditional designs, products and practices. The Lancaster and Manchester team have carried out a detailed examination of what might be understood as a highly successful example of sustainment and/or revitalization. We conducted a 10 day field trip to Sante Fe and its environs in New Mexico (USA) to understand why, in this particular place, traditional craft practices are flourishing and are part of a thriving arts-based economy. The initial results of this research will be presented together with the researchers’ proposals for understanding traditional designs, products and practices within a broader appreciation of what we term a design ecologies.

Design ecologies comprise the interactions of a wide range of practices, organisations, resources, activities and connections that enable culturally significant designs, products and practices to flourish. In addition to these outer or externally verifiable factors, the workshop will also consider the priorities, perceptions, values and outlooks of those who are involved in the sustainment of these culturally significant traditions. Our research in design ecologies are strongly related to tradition, culture, localisation, sustainability, identity and spirituality.

Framed by an introductory presentation that will contextualise the concept of design ecologies, our 1.5 hour workshop will include a series of participatory activities that probe the ideas presented and invite participants to engage in group-based activities that lead to a series of distinct outcomes that will contribute to the development of a more broadly applicable strategy for the sustainment and/or revitalization of culturally significant designs, products and practices.

Registration details are due on 15 April 2016 on the DRS website

So much activity!

Post-itsI returned to the project last week after a very enjoyable nine months of maternity leave. Despite not doing any actual work on the project during that time, I seem to have accumulated lots of interesting stuff - mainly through Twitter - that I needed to digest.

I’ve just added various new papers and articles to my literature review database, and also added about 40 new entries to an enormous spreadsheet in which I’m gathering, and analysing, examples of culturally significant designs, products and practices being revitalised in different ways.

That’s reminded me just how many amazing projects, businesses and organisations I’ve come across since starting the research.

To help us share some of these examples, I’ve decided to tweet one every day, at noon - keep an eye on our Twitter feed to see them!