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Research centre
Communication and Computing Research Centre 


Community sustainability through making and trade

Working with creative social enterprises who are actively exploring ways of using local making and trade to challenge un-sustainable and exploitative production and consumption systems, this research seeks to investigate how community-based projects use making to enable more connected communities and to support more sustainable economic practices. The research looks for ways in which engaging in new forms of production and trade relates to thinking about broader issues of sustainability, wellbeing, community and consumption. Community partners have identified a need to evidence ways in which their activities affect the people that they work with, and particularly the effect of making as a transformative process for communities as well as individuals.

Drawing on arts and humanities methods to elicit and analyse complex stories this project will set up a series of interventions that use making as a research method to explore how project participants relate their engagement in local making and trade to broader environmental and social concerns. The focus will be on creating a deep understanding of the two research partner organisations whilst relating this understanding to a wider community of related and comparable projects, developing a community of practice and sense of a ‘sector’ around this type of organisation.

Download the Create-Connect-Sustain Phase 1 report and Phase 2 proposal (PDF 430KB)

Researchers involved

Professor Andy Dearden - Professor of Interactive Systems Design

Related projects

Meanwhile Use as Performance: Security social value from vacant space - The project is an AHRC / RCUK Connected Communities follow on project...

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