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Living Design. The future of sustainable maker enterprises

Mullagh, Louise and Walker, Stuart and Evans, Martyn (2019) Living Design. The future of sustainable maker enterprises. The Design Journal, 22 (sup1). pp. 849-862. ISSN 1460-6925


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This paper presents initial findings from Living Design, a project supported by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council. The research examines small and micro-enterprises in Cumbria, UK, and the potential for design to make a contribution to their sustainment and flourishing. The paper presents research carried out with enterprises in Cumbria, who use wool as their main material. We present three case studies of makers who create beautifully designed, wool-based goods and whose practice include the whole cycle from sourcing fleece locally and manufacturing of their products, to design, branding and retail. We explore how the enterprises exemplify sustainability principles and their contribution to a circular economy. We present our findings and the concept of Located Making-purposeful goods whose design, production or use is dependent on place-which is informing the development of guides for enterprises, researchers and organisations to embed sustainability principles into their practices.

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