Dr Kate Goldsworthy at Making Futures conference

Dr Kate Goldsworthy presented her work at the Making Futures conference at Plymouth College of Art & Design on Thursday 26th of September. Her paper, titled ‘Designing Cyclability; re-active and pro-active approaches to lifecycle design’ explored the role of design within a cyclability framework, through mapping the varied lifecycle journeys implied by each case-study. The headline topic for this 2013 conference edition was Interfaces between craft knowledge and design: new opportunities for social innovation and sustainable practice.

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. In doing so, the conference tries to explore whether these imperatives present opportunities for the crafts to redefine and reconstitute themselves as more centrally productive forces in society.

In addition, the conference hosted three workshops that amplified and explored particular facets associated with the craft-design theme:

  • Workshop1: Craftwork as Problem-solving: (in collaboration with the School of Oriental and African Studies)
  • Workshop 2: Crafting with Digital Technologies: (in collaboration with the School of Materials, The Royal College of Art)
  • Workshop 3: Transformative Practices in / through Textiles: (in collaboration with the EC funded Crysalis network)


The Making Futures series is underpinned by seven indicative thematic fields, and the workshops and abstracts that have been selected to be part of this event were relevant within any of the following suggested lines of investigation:

  • Sustainability Innovation & Activism
  • Social Innovation & Community Activism
  • Craft in an Expanded Field
  • The Post-Fordist Political Economy and Critical Perspectives on Consumerism
  • Translations & Dialogues Across Local-Global Divides
  • Materials & Processes of Making – from Traditional Approaches to the Crafts of Advanced Technological Manufactures
  • Re-conceptualising Craft Knowledge & Education