Making Links Together: Valuing people and creativity

HANSON, Maria, CAVE, Laura and ZULAIKHA, Ellya (2019). Making Links Together: Valuing people and creativity. In: Making Futures VI – People, Place, Meaning: Crafting Social Worlds and Social Making, Plymouth, 19-20 Sep 2019. Plymouth College of Art. (Unpublished)

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The eighth United Nations sustainable development goal promotes inclusive and economic growth, employment and decent work for all (UN 2015) with a number of set targets to be reached by 2030. Creativity and innovation form part of the third target and are seen as key drivers in the strategy to develop and increase SME’s in specific overseas development contexts (ODC’s) by connecting communities and promoting local culture and craft. For this to be effective, understanding the identity and cultural relevance of crafted products, are fundamental in the design development of new products that will be meaningful to others. This presentation explores how the economic livelihoods of a defined group of craft producers in Indonesia can be improved by expanding upon already established linkages and collaborations. By using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods, (Swantz: 2008) involving co-creative workshops that are situated within the terrain of Design Anthropology, this research aims to empower through activities that enhance design and making practices. The project ‘Making Links: craft value chain’ was funded through Research England’s, Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF 2018-19). It builds upon an earlier AHRC funded, ‘Create-Connect-Sustain (Indonesia) project which had already established initial craft networks in the UK, Java and Bali. Craft makers within ODC’s are often seen as inferior to ‘designers.’ Making Links sought to empower craft makers by teaching design thinking through making in a shared studio/workshop environment underpinned by the principles of fair trade. The aim was to work within a specific context where potential had been identified by members of the in-country project team for the development of unique craft items for an international market. Project collaborators consist of a UK academic researcher; a UK fair-trade social entrepreneur; both trained and practiced within the field of jewellery and an Indonesian design academic with expertise in collaborative learning in the Indonesian rural craft industry. A Javanese design graduate with knowledge of sustainable craft cooperatives and a Balinese craft facilitator with European export market experience completed the team. Fieldwork was situated within Jombang, a rural area of East Java, with established artisanal skills in recycled glass bead making. Two thirds of the community work in this craft industry which has been in decline since 2000. Therefore, design innovation and new markets are pertinent to the long-term sustainability of the community (Zulaikha & Brereton 2011). The UK partners devised cumulative design activities, that engaged 18 artisans in an intensive 3-day co-creative workshop, resulting in four prototype collections of new jewellery products in glass and metal suitable for exhibiting and with export potential. Collaborative activities are continuing in order to achieve a long-term sustainable route to market. References Research England (2018) Global Challenge Research Fund. SWANTZ, M. L. (2008). Participatory Action Research as Practice. In REASON, P. & BRADBURY, H. (ed.), The SAGE Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice (Second ed., pp. 31- 48). London: SAGE Publications. United Nations. (2015) Sustainable development Goals. Zulaikha. E and Brereton. M (2011) “Innovation strategies for developing the traditional souvenir craft industry,” presented at the First International Postgraduate Conference on Engineering, Designing and Developing the Built Environment for Sustainable Wellbeing, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, 2011, pp. 53–58

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Art and Design Research Centre; Craft, Jewellery, Participatory Action Research, Co-creative design thinking, Fair Trade
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 05 May 2020 13:42
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 01:50

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