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Traditional Maker Practices and Sustainable Futures. The implications of expertise

Walker, Stuart and Evans, Martyn and Mullagh, Louise (2019) Traditional Maker Practices and Sustainable Futures. The implications of expertise. The Design Journal, 22 (sup1). pp. 835-848. ISSN 1460-6925

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Abstract

This paper considers the contemporary position of traditional maker practices and their relationship to sustainability. It outlines the basis of the approach and insights from the field, and offers a range of initiatives where design can make a positive contribution to traditional production. Traditional maker practices are in steep decline in the UK and internationally; the kinds of knowledge promoted and valued in contemporary society tend to beat odds with those inherent to these kinds of practices. The paper considers the inadequacy of purely theoretical forms of knowledge and demonstrates the importance of values-guided practice, experience, skills,and tacit and situated knowledge. It shows the important links between traditional practices, sustainability and place, and, by citing a range of initiatives around the world, proposes directions for a more constructive way forward for small maker practices rooted in tradition.

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