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Making Futures Conference
Plymouth, September 2013
“The aims of Making Futures are to investigate contemporary craft as a ‘change agent’ within 21st century society – particularly in relation to global environmental and sustainability issues, social equity, social innovation and socially embedded practices including social entrepreneurialism.”
The conference had a range of national and international speakers including Gareth Neal (http://garethneal.co.uk/ ) discussing his work and going Carbon Neutral in his latest project. Also, Rosy Greenlees (http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/) spoke about the input of the Crafts Council and the importance of sustainability. The full programme of speakers can be found at http://makingfutures.plymouthart.ac.uk/mf3.php?pageID=11
Kirsteen Aubrey and Helen Felcey presented a paper on “Socially Responsible Projects: How Craft and Design Education can impact on our understanding of health and wellbeing in the urban environment.”
Their paper explored the challenges arising from the national and global backdrop of an ageing society. Working within the context of Manchester, and informed by its history as a deprived urban area, Manchester School of Art has responded by evolving and delivering craft and design projects which have local and potential for international impact.The paper sought to raise awareness of the importance in developing design approaches that take into consideration the many facets of human interaction with the urban environment and materiality.
Since 2009, Manchester School of Art has evolved and delivered a series of craft and design projects where social responsibility, integrity and professional excellence are placed at the heart of the curriculum. The paper explored the importance of developing close partnerships with Manchester City Council (MCC), health organisations and communities, highlighting how this network supports and informs our active research and is underpinned by social and situated learning theories. As a result we have embraced these objectives and responded with projects which are defined by hands-on project work with the community.
We illustrated the rationale behind these projects, the methodologies adopted and evaluated the impact of collaborations and engagement opportunities with sensitive issues and social groups.In so doing we highlighted the drivers for further participatory projects where craft and design support society. The paper aimed to inform and initiate future (more global) partnerships that can work to address critical social issues through craft and design education.
Check out the Making Futures website for further information! http://makingfutures.plymouthart.ac.uk/mf3.php?pageID=11