Melanie A. Sarantou

Melanie A. Sarantou
University of Lapland · Department of Industrial Design

PhD (Visual Arts), MTech (Fashion), MBA (Marketing)
Adjunct Professor, Social Design, University of Lapland.

About

54
Publications
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Introduction
Melanie Sarantou is Adjunct Professor at the University of Lapland, investigating the role of arts and narrative practices in social design.

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the fashion-related initiatives adopted by a Namibian nongovernmental organization (NGO)—Ombetja Yehinga Organization (OYO)—between 2006 and 2009. This NGO used fashion-based activities and performances to promote important social messages to Namibian youth. The article uses collective autoethnographic (CAE), narrative accou...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses a design research project in which design practitioners and researchers collaborated to develop training guidelines and a toolset for astakeholder workshop to be implemented by partner organisations of the Arts on the Margins: Arts as Social Sculpture (AMASS; 2020–2023) project. It focuses on the learning experiences of the d...
Article
Full-text available
This article will introduce the Love Talks and Neighbourhood (later Love Talks) project, part of the AMASS, Acting on the Margin: Arts as Social Sculpture project. Love Talks was realised in Finnish Lapland in 2020, as part of an effort by local artists and art education students to explore how arts initiatives can build tolerant, community-focused...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents the design and research process of a design team of four designer-researchers, who are also the authors of this article and collaborated to develop training guidelines and a toolset for stakeholder workshops. The intention was to use the series of stakeholder workshops as a key method for developing policy recommendations abou...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter explores the role of photo and video documentation in an ‘artivist’ (Penley & Ross, 1991) project. Ephemeral textile art and activist performance art were used to remonstrate against the legal sanctioning of a Finnish environmental graffiti artist who propagates environmental action against the disappearance of salmon from the Kemi riv...
Article
Full-text available
Memory Box: A three-dimensional quilt as an arts-based method for recollective practices and memory work Caixa de Memória: Um quilt tridimensional como método baseado em artes para práticas de recolha e trabalho de memória Caja de Memoria: un quilt tridimensional como método basado en las artes para las prácticas de recolección y el trabajo de la m...
Article
This interdisciplinary article views meaning innovations as socially constructed and reflects on designing in the context of potential harmful consequences within information technology (IT) contexts. In the shift from products towards services, digital platforms and technology designers have gained a mediating and more strategic role while develop...
Book
Full-text available
Papers in this volume discuss successful pilot and experimental, art-based projects that reached out to sections of society with no or rare previous exposure to drama, music, or visual arts. The papers summarise previous research in their arts-based intervention area, identify success factors and risks and describe forms of assessment utilised and...
Chapter
Full-text available
https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/oa-edit/10.4324/9781003053408/arts-based-methods-decolonising-participatory-research-tiina-sepp%C3%A4l%C3%A4-melanie-sarantou-satu-miettinen?fbclid=IwAR35P5HOSpdZvCPQ5fl8SJBf5aiy_4l73DlEuVtF5UMSb85j-L7ux36tivE
Book
In an effort to challenge the ways in which colonial power relations and Eurocentric knowledges are reproduced in participatory research, this book explores whether and how it is possible to use arts-based methods for creating more horizontal and democratic research practices. In discussing both the transformative potential and limitations of arts...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter explores the role of embodied sauna practices and performance in the Finnish tradition of using a sauna. The ritual, which is usually enjoyed by Finnish people in the naked, is documented and re-evaluated from the perspective of cross-cultural use by people othern than Finnish and the role of this bodily ritual and fashion as ‘surrogat...
Chapter
This book provides a synthesis of current research and international best practice, including practitioner perspectives and a range of case study examples. It covers types of creative tourist, trends, designing and implementing creative tourism products, embedding activities in a community and place, and addressing sustainability challenges.
Book
Full-text available
This toolkit is intended to help artists and arts researchers to plan, organise, document and evaluate participatory arts projects in different contexts. Its publication evolved in the context of a Europe-wide research project funded by the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020. This research project – Acting on the Margins: Arts as Soc...
Article
The article explores the processes designer-makers and communities should engage in before using service design approaches to produce creative tourism experiences. These processes can yield insights into the inner processes and interactions with external environments of creative individuals and communities. Case studies from Finnish Lapland and Nam...
Conference Paper
This paper examines the participation of various healthcare specialists and representatives in three design sprints aimed to co-design healthcare services through service design approaches. The design sprints were executed during the spring of 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden; Tallinn, Estonia; and Rovaniemi, Finland, each lasting four to five days. This...
Book
This interdisciplinary article explores the nature of language in design managers´ strategic contexts. Taken-for-granted assumptions behind language influence the way cues are selected and elaborated on through actors´ frames to ultimately become meanings. Language suggests and passes on cues and frames through which strategizing evolves. The desig...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper focuses on three design sprints aimed at co-designing healthcare services by employing service design methods and co-design approaches. The design sprints each lasted for 4-5 days, consisting of multiple teams and involving healthcare professionals, students, end-users, and facilitators from the service design field. The design sprints w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Coping strategies have become increasingly important for businesses, especially those operating in geographical peripheries. This paper explores ways of creating more meaningful, sustainable, responsible, long term and, thus, successful business. It draws on design and art-driven, and lean start-up approaches, and combines adaptation, tolerance and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The issue of demographic ageing is becoming one of the biggest challenges in contemporary societies, and various professional, academic and political fields have been called upon to find solutions for easing the tension demographic ageing creates in aged care. This paper investigates how elderly people’s past experiences can inform the design proce...
Article
Full-text available
The articles discuses improvisatory processes through the recognition and actuation of affordances within specific environments and situations. The synergistic relationships between resourcefulness and improvisation, and people’s interactions within their given environments, will be addressed through two arts-based activities that were conducted wi...
Article
This article addresses the role of social innovation in ageing communities. Two cases are considered, namely the Life 2.0 project that focuses on generating information and communication technology services for ageing individuals and groups across Europe, while the second case is a project that was conducted with the BoAi aged care facility in Chin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Abstract: Identities and notions of the in-betweenness of designers in management positions in Silicon Valley might be shaped by one another given changing sensemaking contexts. As organising becomes less bounded with shorter job tenures designers have been constructing their identities in interactions with diverse stakeholders. Tools, skills and v...
Article
Full-text available
The Hero's Journey is an embodied game activity based on the monomyth of Joseph Campbell (1949). This participatory art-based activity served as a research instrument in a development context in southern Africa with marginalised San youth. One of the outcomes of employing this art-based activity in research was the development of the GRACE model wh...
Chapter
Full-text available
The significance of laps, specifically women’s laps, as bodily spheres in which making, learning and other informal activities take place remains predominantly unrecognised. The relationship between making, bodily spaces, places and laps is explored herein through self-portrayals of the three authors, or artist-researchers, each of whom provide per...
Article
This paper addresses the social phenomenon of ageing and emphasizes the importance of past experiences of ageing individuals when creating new solutions to deal with the issue of elderly care. Thus, this paper explores what role the ageing community can play in creating new service solutions for social innovation in senior care and also looks to as...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the role of improvisation in design thinking for product design processes and design research methods. Improvisation is often at the core of practice-based and participatory design, permitting flexibility. The role of improvisation in the performing arts has received considerable academic attention, however its role in design pr...
Article
This article proposes a design perspective on strategizing by presenting a Model of Positive Strategic Sensemaking for Meaningfulness. Theory elaboration is used drawing from three related disciplinary fields; strategizing, sensemaking and design. It is proposed that positive and human-centred design facilitation enhances strategizing as an ongoing...
Article
Full-text available
The research investigates the role of service design and improvisation as decolonising practice. It is based on case study research with a focus group consisting of Namibian artists, designers, artisans and arts organisations who participated in artistic and cultural exchange activities of the Art South-South Trust (ASST), a start-up Namibian not f...
Article
Full-text available
Complexity is a key characteristic of many participatory and community-oriented design activities. Designers’ varied roles are being transformed as they have to manage the complexities and entanglements associated with global societal, technological and environmental change. As design turns towards a social mode of operation and application, this s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The research investigates the role of service design and improvisation as decolonising practice. It is based on case study research with a focus group consisting of Namibian artists, designers, artisans and arts organisations who participated in artistic and cultural exchange activities of the Art South-South Trust (ASST), a start-up Namibian not f...
Article
Full-text available
Arts-based research (ABR), its potential for participation and collaboration, can create insights and understanding of complex societal structures. It can also be used as an approach to find mindful solutions with peripheral communities. The paper argues that ABR, supported by practical collaborative processes, can offer suitable approaches to desi...
Book
Coping with complexities is an everyday reality for private, public and third sectors that face intricate, overlapping, obscuring and ever-changing challenges. Developments in technology and systems of value creation are driving a new need to understand, facilitate and manage complexity. The book proposes design and design research as a solution t...
Chapter
The book Managing Complexity and Creating Innovation through Design unpacks the intricate, overlapping, obscuring and shifting nature of complexities and complicatedness in relation to design and design research. These concepts need further exploration. Complicatedness and complexity are interrelated terms that are often convoluted ( Suh, 2005 ). N...
Article
Full-text available
This article addresses the issue of care for the residents of the BoAi aged-care institution in China. It focuses on experience (service) design and institutional aged-care from the perspective of design practice and design research. Design often starts from the current experience of the user. In this article an understanding of senior care include...
Article
Full-text available
This paper addresses the fields of social and service design in development contexts, practice-based and constructive design research. A framework for social design for services will be explored through the survey of existing literature, specifically by drawing on eight doctoral theses that were produced by the World Design research group. The work...
Article
This article discusses the artistic activity titled 'Conversations with the edge' that was executed by communities in Australia, Russia and Finland, and curated for an exhibition at the Helinä Rautavaara Museum in Espoo, Finland in 2017. This activity was created in the context of Margin to Margin: Women living on the edges of the world, a larger a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Art has the capacity to facilitate empowerment and wellbeing and serve as means for transformation of the community. This paper presents three case studies in which art processes enable identity construction while overcoming personal challenges and working through memories. Narratives are used to demonstrate how an artistic process creates a dialog...
Chapter
Full-text available
In October 2016, the Margin to Margin research group carried out two art and storytelling workshops with the Anangu Aboriginal communities of South and Western Australia and the Fibrespace Incorporated textile artist group of South Australia. Women artists and craft-makers from the various communities predominantly participated in two intensive art...
Conference Paper
This paper addresses the fields of social and service design in development contexts, practice-based and constructive design research. A framework for social design for services will be explored through the survey of existing literature, specifically by drawing on eight doctoral theses that were produced by the World Design research group. The work...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper explores the role of improvisation in design thinking for product design processes and design research methods. Improvisation is often at the core of practice-based and participatory design, permitting flexibility. The role of improvisation in the performing arts has received considerable academic attention, however its role in design pr...
Chapter
This paper explores the varied roles of women's laps, drawing on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Namibia during 2011 and in South Australia during 2016. This paper reflects on the role of women's laps as complex, hybrid spaces that sustain livelihoods and emotional wellbeing in marginalised communities. Although multiple and complex daily act...
Article
Improvisatory processes are considered synonymous with play, offering only second-best solutions to art and design problems. The role of improvisation in visual art processes is not widely discussed academically. This paper draws on a case study situated in Namibian art worlds to reflect on the role of improvisation in fluid and complex design and...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter is situated in practical service design. It discusses learning through action by employing established service design tools and processes, including learning through co-creation (Sanders & Stap- pers, 2008). Due to the iterative working approaches that involve co-design, testing and evaluation, ser- vice design enables continuous and p...
Conference Paper
The aim of this work¹ in progress presents a technology tool as a platform for exploring data from an art-based research project in geographically marginalised communities. The perspectives of the research participants on their identity processes and art making inspired the pursuit of a HCI-based (Human Computer Interaction-based) technological pla...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores identities that come about through the narratives different actors communicate in participatory art and design projects, as opposed to the roles assumed for and by them. This contributes to the discussion of equal engagement in participatory practices. The paper focuses on the notion of narrative identity in the context of two c...
Thesis
Full-text available
This study presents the first holistic mapping of Namibian craft and design through narrative and commerce. At the centre of this study are the people of the Namibian craft and design world. With a focus on an independent and postcolonial Namibia, this study considers the impact of social and environmental forces on artefact makers and their artefa...
Thesis
Full-text available
This dissertation sets out to describe the processes and dynamics at play in the development of a couture design range that attempts to engage with, and enhance notions of Namibian identity. While the end product of the practical work is a range of garments that speaks to and reflects a possible Namibian identity, the dissertation engages with...

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Cited By

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
Dialogues and Encounters in the Arctic (DEA) is an Interreg Nord and Lapin Liitto funded project led by the Sámi Education Institute (FIN) and involving partners from Umeå University (SE) and the University of Lapland (FIN). The purpose of this project is to initiate dialogue between the Arctic Indigenous peoples and researchers on challenges affecting the Arctic, the traditional economies, culture, societies, and ecosystems. It aims to strengthen the ability of Indigenous peoples to influence issues regarding their own culture. The project shares and documents knowledge and information on Arctic Indigenous livelihoods, languages and culture, and subjects affecting them. Themes like food sovereignty, environmental observations, Indigenous design and innovation and storytelling are explored through a series of workshops which will take place in both virtual and physical spaces, and in different educational environments with the Sámi community. The overall purpose is to create a pilot network-based model for research-community collaboration in the Arctic. This model will be based on the findings that emerge the workshops and by processing the dynamics of the players involved and the factors affecting Indigenous communities in the Arctic, and most specifically within the Sápmi area.
Project
The central problem AMASS addresses is that the arts has not been harnessed to address societal challenges through comparative and European-wide Research Innovation Action (RIA), analysis, synthesis and policy development. This untapped potential of the arts undermines joint action between different artistic genres and geographic locations, and thus the advancement of the EU as a stronger global actor, the fostering of fundamental rights based on mutual trust and democratic change within the EU. The overall objective of the project is to address this European-wide lack of synthesis of the potential of the arts that can lead to generating alternative or unconventional solutions to societal challenges and policy development. The aims thus will be to discover and analyse the underpinning structures that influence the functioning of arts in societal challenges (specifically SC6) through arts-based RIA. The challenges addressed by AMASS are geopolitically oriented: the future of work in creative, cultural and other sectors; radical ideologies and extremism; societal polarisation and stratification; lack of civil society participation; populism; migration. This project will identify, explore, collate, evaluate and analyse existing and new innovative productions, experiments and case studies from the perspective and the physical positioning of the European countries “on the margins”. AMASS, which is located in Europe’s culturally often underserved Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern regions, will set up 35 experiments in these peripheries to investigate the educational effects of the STEAM model in integrating the arts with science through participatory and multidisciplinary approaches. This will be accomplished through technologically enabled visual expression and problem-based learning that will offer solutions to the geopolitical challenges, and policy recommendations and development that will foster inclusive, innovative and reflective societies. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programmeunder the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programmeunder grant agreement No 870621. Aims · Developing multidisciplinary methods for capturing, assessing and harnessing the societal impact of the arts · Reducing isolation amongst women, children and minority groups from peripheral EU regions through various forms of participation in the arts · Educating women and children through various educational models and philosophies of participation that are informed by arts-based approaches · Evaluate and develop new policy frameworks for using arts to overcome societal challenges · Valuing and learning through alternative knowledge systems with the purpose of decolonising institutions, enable communication and implement policies Expected Results · Culturally marginalised and / or socially underprivileged groups will express their problems and collaborate on finding solutions through innovative arts education practices. Artists and art educators will be sensitised for and gain experience in catalysing social and educational empowerment. New methodologies developed will be used in their future educational and artistic work. · Tackle exclusion and various forms of poverty by formulating, experimenting with and testing innovative art-based practices aimed at mutual understanding, dialogue and civic participation. · Prioritise, recognise and promote the value of creativity within the peripheries of Europe. Acknowledge creative potentials and act on creative opportunities. Render audible and visible the voices from positions of marginality. · The integration of the arts in the strategic overall and regional goals and policy making processes of the EU that relates to the fight against exclusion, tackling a variety of poverty issues (cultural, educational, skills and so on), and youth unemployment.
Project
The central problem AMASS addresses is that the arts has not been harnessed to address societal challenges through comparative and European-wide Research Innovation Action (RIA), analysis, synthesis and policy development. This untapped potential of the arts undermines joint action between different artistic genres and geographic locations, and thus the advancement of the EU as a stronger global actor, the fostering of fundamental rights based on mutual trust and democratic change within the EU. The overall objective of the project is to address this European-wide lack of synthesis of the potential of the arts that can lead to generating alternative or unconventional solutions to societal challenges and policy development. The aims thus will be to discover and analyse the underpinning structures that influence the functioning of arts in societal challenges (specifically SC6) through arts-based RIA. The challenges addressed by AMASS are geopolitically oriented: the future of work in creative, cultural and other sectors; radical ideologies and extremism; societal polarisation and stratification; lack of civil society participation; populism; migration. this project will identify, explore, collate, evaluate and analyse existing and new innovative productions, experiments and case studies from the perspective and the physical positioning of the European countries “on the margins”. AMASS, which is located in Europe’s culturally often underserved Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern regions, will set up 35 experiments in these peripheries to investigate the educational effects of the STEAM model in integrating the arts with science through participatory and multidisciplinary approaches. This will be accomplished through technologically enabled visual expression and problem-based learning that will offer solutions to the geopolitical challenges, and policy recommendations and development that will foster inclusive, innovative and reflective societies. See: www.ulapland.fi/AMASS