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Craft and sustainable development

Craft and sustainable development : reflections on Scottish craft and pathways to sustainability

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalCraft + Design Enquiry
Journal publication date2011


Sustainable development is more than a concern with climate change and/or recycling. It is a concern for the longevity of all forms of life, for social equity and for the environment conceived as a context of relationships that exists and take on meaning in relation to the beings who inhabit it. It thus calls for the explicit acknowledgement that the transition to more sustainable societies requires a major change and reorientation of ways of thinking; lifestyles; consumer patterns and values.

This paper, based upon data from Scotland identifies a number of "leverage points" where, through the application of theories on the nature of craft and philosophies underlying strong modes of sustainable futures, links between craft economic and educational models, and pathways to sustainability through building resilient communities, emerge. In this way, it contributes to current debates on the "persistence" of craft in "modern" societies (cf. Greenhalgh, 2006) not against or in spite of modernity but, on the contrary, as " a modern way of thinking otherwise" (Adamson, 2010:5).

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