Top 12 references

Design Routes bookshelfAround this time last year, having spent the first few months of the project wading through mountains of literature, I made a list of my top 12 sources - books, journal articles and conference papers - for the Design Routes research.

While I’ve found loads of fascinating stuff via the literature review, I felt that these sources provided particularly valuable insights into our topic - revitalising ‘culturally significant’ designs, products and practices through design - from a range of perspectives.

(Why 12? Well, I was aiming for 10 but couldn’t bear to miss any of these out!)

I shared the list with the rest of the project team at that point, but thought it would be nice to dig it out now and share it on the blog.

I’ve provided links where available, though unfortunately they’re not all open access.

Journal articles and conference papers:

Cohen, E. (1989). The Commercialization of Ethnic Crafts. Journal of Design History, 2(2/3), 161–168.

Kasturi, P. B. (2005). Designing freedom. Design Issues, 21(4), 68–77.

McAuley, A., & Fillis, I. (2005). The Orkney based craft entrepreneur: remote yet global? Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 12(4), 498–509.

Nugraha, A. (2010). Transforming tradition for sustainability through “TCUSM” tool. Synnyt, 20–36. [open access]

Shand, P. (2002). Scenes from the colonial catwalk: cultural appropriation, intellectual property rights, and fashion. Cultural Analysis, 3, 47–88. [open access]

Taylor, L. (1997). State Involvement With Peasant Crafts in East/Central Europe 1947-97: the Cases of Poland and Romania. In T. Harrod (ed.) Obscure Objects of Desire: Reviewing the Crafts in the Twentieth Century. London: Crafts Council, pp. 53–65.


Borges, A. (2011). Design + craft: the Brazilian pathSão Paulo: Editora Terceiro Nome.

Clifford, S., & King, A. (Eds.). (1993). Local distinctiveness: place, particularity and identity. London: Common Ground.

Craft Revival Trust. (2005). Designers Meet Artisans: a practical guide. New Delhi. [open access pdf]

Heying, C. (2010). Brew to bikes: Portland’s artisan economy. Portland: Ooligan Press.

Howes, D. (Ed.). (1996). Cross-cultural consumption: global markets, local realities. London: Routledge.

Luckman, S. (2012). Locating cultural work: the politics and poetics of rural, regional and remote creativity. Palgrave Macmillan.

In addition to these 12 excellent sources, I should give a mention to the Making Futures conference, which has been organised by Plymouth College of Art every two years since 2009 and explores the relationship between crafts and sustainable futures. Delving into their archives has revealed many fascinating and valuable papers. The next edition, in September 2015, is sure to be just as relevant!

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