Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Craft and sustainable development: reflections on Scottish craft and pathways to sustainability

Craft and sustainable development: reflections on Scottish craft and pathways to sustainability
By Emilia Ferraro, Rehema White, Eoin Cox, Jan Bebbington and Sandra Wilson




1. Introduction
This paper discusses the potential contributions of craft to the transition to more sustainable societies. Craft, we argue, offers a number of leverage points where links between its economic and educational models and pathways to sustainability emerge. The paper, thus, contributes both to alternative and more creative definitions of “sustainability”, and to current debates on the “persistence” of craft and its role in “modern” societies (cf. Greenhalgh, 2006). Craft, we believe, can be seen no longer as existing against or in spite of modernity; on the contrary, in the context of sustainable development, it clearly emerges as “a modern way of thinking otherwise” (Adamson, 2009:5).
We begin with an introductory debate on the definitions of craft and the changing meaning of sustainable development over time. Using the data of a scoping study we undertook on the craft sector in Fife, East Scotland, we then discuss the common ground and leverage points between craft and sustainable development and make some concluding comments.
A remark about the authors is in order here. ‘We’ are three scholars in sustainable development, one scholar in art and design and the owner of a craft gallery. ‘We’ are at the same time two professional craft practitioners (one in jewellery and metal design and the other in furniture design), one ‘novice’ and two ‘hobbyists’. All of u share interests in and multiple engagements with sustainable development and craft that range from mainly theoretical to very practical involvement. It is this interdisciplinary background and array of different personal experiences that inform the discussion of both craft and sustainability put forward in this paper. Read complete paper

Full paper published in craft+design enquiry ; Issue 3 Sustainability in craft and design

Image:  Forms of craft enterprise discipline in Scotland

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