︎︎ Dr KitKat


Living Research: Exploring making & craft cultures in China
British Council
2018, 2019

In 2018, I joined a British Council delegation of makers and researchers for the Living Research project in China. We began fieldwork in the cities of Chengdu in the province of Sichuan and Xi'an in the Shaanxi province, investigating the local circumstances of over 40 collective spaces for making, craft and design in both regions, from corporate design labs to open hardware factories and rural villages focused on maintaining intangible cultural heritage. Our first field study analysed the close relationship between maker cultures and government policy, and the makerspaces and technology spaces positioned as catalysts for economic transformation. In 2019, our research team was awarded a £15,000 grant from the British Council to return to Chengdu, where the socio-ecological model of the circular economy was being instituted through compulsory recycling laws for the first time, to explore how people enacted circularity in their daily lives. We facilitated participatory workshops and interviewed locals to explore the possibilities and limits of new economic models with makers, crafters, designers, businesses and government officials.

i want to dance for the renewal of the world.” - robin well kimmerer