Crafting sustainable futures: the value of the service designer in activating meaningful social innovation from within textile artisan communities
conference contributionposted on 2017-04-27, 12:50 authored by Francesco Mazzarella, Val MitchellVal Mitchell, Carolina Escobar-Tello
In order to tackle complex sustainability challenges, top-down one-size-fits-all services and strategies do not always effectively address the needs of local communities. It is increasingly recognised that multi-disciplinary stakeholders need to draw on their local situated knowledge and cooperate towards achieving a social aim. With this in mind, and moving beyond the designer’s ‘parachuting’ into projects that do not grow or develop, this paper explores how the service designer can contribute to activate meaningful routes for the transition of textile artisans’ communities towards sustainable futures. This paper proposes a service design framework for understanding local contexts, making sense of visions for the future and reframing them into meaningful actionable realities. For the purpose of this paper, the theory is here presented through its application to a community of Nottingham lace artisans, chosen as unit of analysis for this participatory case study research.
This research and paper are supported by Loughborough Design School and funded by the AHRC Design Star CDT. The authors would like to express sincere gratitude to all the research participants who gave their valuable contribution to this study.