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p dir="ltr"> Sustainability has become a critical issue, calling for new conceptualizations of both problems and solutions. This special issue of the Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies, explore the concept of “Crafting Sustainability”. Sustainability is a hot topic in contemporary scholarly debates, with methodological, theoretical, and conceptual contributions from a wide array of research areas, also from Science and Technology Studies. Craft on the other hand has been less of a focal point, although all humans relate to craft on some level. </div
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NJSTS vol 5 issue 2 2017 Editorial: an introduction to crafting sustainability
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EDITORIAL:
AN INTRODUCTION TO CRAFTING SUSTAINABILITY
Exploring the Interconnections Between Sustainability and Craft
By special issue guest editors Roger Andre Søraa & Håkon Fyhn
Sustainability has become a critical issue, calling for new concep-
tualizations of both problems and solutions. This special issue of
the Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies explores the
concept of “Crafting Sustainability”. Sustainability is a hot topic in
contemporary scholarly debates, with methodological, theoretical,
and conceptual contributions from a wide array of research areas,
also from Science and Technology Studies. Craft on the other hand
has been less of a focal point, although all humans relate to craft
on some level.
The furniture we sit in, the houses we inhabit, the tools we use,
hobbies we might have etc. – all have a touch of craft included. As
humans, we are craftspeople as well as thinkers; craft is deeply em-
bedded at both societal and personal levels. Understanding how we
are impacted by craft can help us explore our own humanity. Maybe
something handheld, trustworthy and concrete, as crafted things
often are, can help ground us in an era of “fake news”, “anthropo-
cenic issues” and “epistemological battles”? Craft, as the process of
making provides a connection between people as makers and the
things made. Not only pottery and wooden furniture are crafted;
truth itself is at some level crafted.
STS has a long tradition of highlighting the craft aspect of phe-
nomena, such as the “doing of science” (Fujimura 1996[r]), laboratory
studies (Latour 1983[r]), and labor study traditions (Sørensen 1998[r]).
Science and Technology Studies is situated in a unique position for
analyzing cross-bred conceptualizations such as the merging of
Craft and Sustainability.
We are impacting the world through craft, and in this regard, craft
prompts a discussion on sustainability issues. As some of the arti-
cles in this issue suggest, craft can be seen as part of a sustainable
way forward. But also, the idea that sustainability is likewise a part
of craft needs to be taken into consideration. Although this is a
Nordic Journal of STS, given this issue’s many international case
studies we wish to emphasize that sustainability issues are global.
How can we understand craft connected to sustainability? By
keeping the focus radically interdisciplinary, we have, in good STS
tradition, attempted to open the black boxes of both craft and
sustainability.
In June 2017 we initiated and hosted the “Crafting Sustainability
Workshop” in the Norwegian city of Trondheim, in order to discuss
the connection between craft and sustainability. We invited 17
participants with wide interdisciplinary and international back-
grounds. During the workshop it became clear that the connection
between craft and sustainability is a very fertile topic. All the ar-
ticles in this special issue are based on presentations held during
this workshop.
At the workshop, we asked the participants to characterise both
“Craft” and “Sustainability”. This proved to be a task generating
a multitude of opinions, but also strong resonance between the
diverse views. It was discussed how important the dierent as-
pects of time were for dierent professions, and also how teach-
ing and education practices were vastly dierent between pro-
fessions that eventually would collaborate to make the same
product, e.g. meet in the building of houses. Craftspeople were
emphasized as a rather process-focused profession, rather than
designers who were more plan oriented.
Sustainability, it was argued, also had an aspect of time geography
that needed to be taken into consideration. Craftspeople are often
part of the crafted objects’ life journey, and have a large responsi-
bility for the crafted objects’ impact on society. It was suggested
that attention to embodied practices was a key aspect of co-
creating, and that the multitude of stories, practices and experi-
ences would be an interesting strand to explore further.
During the workshop it became clear that despite strong reso-
nance, it was not obvious what we meant while using the two es-
sential terms “craft” and “sustainability”. Thus it was suggested that
the participants should make a further eort to define or describe
what they meant by these terms in their articles. Before we return
to these terms, let us briefly introduce the articles in question and
the content of this special issue.
The front page of this special issue features an installation called
“Tranquil Bloom” made of porcelain paper clay by sculptor and
professor Rebecca Hutchinson. For Hutchinson, craft is about the
intimacy of connection, and in particular a connection to a place.
In an opinion piece at the end of the issue she reflects further on
NJSTS vol 5 issue 2 2017 Editorial: an introduction to crafting sustainability
4
“Working With Space: An opportunity to be considerate and re-
flective as a human being”. Hutchinson describes how her work
has been “shaped by ecosystem observation and researched his-
torical botanical motifs found in historical craft”.
The first article in this special issue is called “Crafting sustainability?
An explorative study of craft in three countercultures as a learning
path for the future”. Here Hanna Hofverberg, David O. Kronlid and
Leif Östman, ask what ‘crafting sustainability’ could mean in rela-
tion to education for sustainable development (ESD). By identifying
purpose, skills and approaches to learning in three countercultures
they explore the interrelation of craft and ESD narratives. Further
they identify three tensions that needs to be addressed if craft is
to be educated as ESD, namely which individuals or collectives,
the embodied craft person’s relation to the world s/he inhabits
and what ecological-social-economic dimensions of sustainable
development that are being privileged.
In the second article, Alice Owen explores whether craft enterpris-
es can make a distinctive contribution to sustainable development,
using two case studies of small UK-based yarn businesses. Owen
especially deals with a social aspect of sustainability, by seeing
how the yarn crafters build communities. Owen explores craft
as “deploying skilled labour to shape physical materials to create
a unique item”, and investigates this through micro-enterprises
with 3 or fewer employees. She explores this using the theoretical
framework of Transition Management, and noting the “Ravelry”
social media platform for fibre crafters.
In their article “Refugium WA:
crafting connection through plant-relating arts-science experienc-
es of urban ecology” Tanja Beer and and Cristina Hernandez Santin
show how craft and hands-on activities can contribute to enable
‘flow’ through shared ‘vegetal’ or plant-based activities in Australia.
They describe this through “kokedama” ( “moss ball”), a
plant-binding technique from Japan. They show how kokedama
can be seen as a comment on the wider ecological debate. One of
the contexts for their research is increased urbanisation, showing
how allowing a natural focus enables people to disengage from the
negative impacts of that context.
The three last articles all deal with craftspeople and craftsmanship
in the building industry. They suggest there is a certain lack of ac-
knowledgment of craftspeople in the building industry today, with
design and technology, represented by architects and engineers,
appearing to be more in focus. As Mattias Tesfaye (2013[r]) notes,
there are plenty of well designed buildings being built these days,
but fewer are well crafted.
In the fourth article, Kathryn Janda provides a historical study sug-
gesting a decline in status for craftspeople in her article “Crafting
sustainability in iconic skyscrapers: a system of building professions
in transition?”. Here she looks at the media presentations of three
distinct skyscrapers in New York – the Empire State Building, the U.N.
Secretariat and One World Trade Center. She examines the division
between craftspeople, engineers and architects, and how they are
framed in dierent forms of media relating to the building of these
skyscrapers. Being a historical comparative article Janda describes how
builders had a larger and more positive role in the local media almost
a century ago, whilst modern craftspeople are largely ignored in the
stories of how the skyscrapers came to be. Janda argues that greater
levels of environmental sustainability can be produced with the inte-
grated involvement of architects, engineers, and builders.
Ruth Woods and Marius Korsnes also point to a lack of attention
to craftspeople in the task of reducing energy use and increasing
the sustainability of the Norwegian building stock in their article
“Between Craft and Regulations: Experiences with the Construction
of Two ‘Super insulated’ Buildings in Norway” (2017[r]). They look at
how craftspeople involved in the construction of low-carbon and
energy ecient houses provide useful knowledge when crafting
future sustainable buildings. They investigate this through two
pilot projects on sustainable building, a passive house in a small
municipality, and a zero emission living lab in a city, seeing how
dierent standards can highlight changing demands on craft in the
construction industry. Their article investigates how craftspeople
deal with these changes in technical building standards, asking
if craftspeople’s dedication to their work is impacted upon by
changes in practices and if skill can help to bridge the gap.
In the sixth and last research article, “Craftsmanship in the Machine
– Sustainability through new roles in the crafts of building at a
technologized building site”, we (Håkon Fyhn and Roger A. Søraa)
look ahead to see what new roles craftspeople might find as build-
ing sites become increasingly technologized. We suggest that
rather than outsourcing the actual building to the lowest bidder, a
better way to go forward is to include craftspeople in the planning
process. Through a case study from a high-tech building site, ap-
plying Lean Construction and robot-production technology, we also
suggest that good craftsmanship might be even more important
than before, as great skills are required to handle the technologized
production. However, the nature of these skills is transforming from
the classical “Workmanship of risk” outlined by David Pye (1968[r]).
Instead we suggest the term “Craftsmanship of uncertainty” to de-
scribe the craftsperson in action at a high tech building site, as the
ability to provide certain results in an uncertain situation stands out
as essential. The technologized production systems require a level
of certainty that calls for such skills. This could also contribute to
raising the status for the crafts and of craftspeople at building sites.
What can these articles tell us about sustainability? In her article
“Crafting sustainability in iconic skyscrapers...” Janda discusses sus-
tainability in a historical perspective. She notes that the term “sus-
tainable” has been in use for 300 years and has carried three main
strands of meaning in this time: (1) capable of being endured; (2)
capable of being upheld as true, and (3) capable of being maintained
or continued at a certain rate or level. She shows how the third
NJSTS vol 5 issue 2 2017 Editorial: an introduction to crafting sustainability
5
strand of meaning, dating back to 1924, was not linked to environ-
mental sustainability until the 1970s. As her article follows a histor-
ical development that begins prior to the notion of environmental
sustainability, she sticks with the the root definition of the term:
“capable of being maintained or continued”, without connecting it
primarily to environmental sustainability. As she points out, such
use of the term leads us to the question of what is being sustained
by the production of these prestige skyscrapers and by whom?
When talking about sustainability today, it is dicult to avoid the
now common definition posed by the Brundtland Commission in
the report Our common future in 1987[r]: “sustainable development
is development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
needs” (Bruntland, 1987[r]). Basically this definition can be seen as
an elaboration by the historical definition mentioned by Janda:
“capable of being maintained or continued”. It is further developed
into three frames (ibid): Economical, environmental and social sus-
tainability, as the figure below illustrates:
By seeing sustainability in the intersection between these three
frames, the articles deal with different conceptualizations of
sustainability, and how craftspeople relate to them. In recent con-
temporary societal debates about sustainability, environmental
sustainability has taken much of the spotlight, although tradition-
ally economic sustainability has also been a widely discussed issue.
Quite undervalued to the triumvirate is social sustainability, which
deals with intra-human societal debates relating to how humans
act on and are impacted by sustainability issues. This is something
the articles have considered in relation to crafting.
Hofverberg et al. point out that the definition of sustainability may
be too wide. They ask, quite in line with Janda’s question above, if
it is at all possible to educate for sustainable development, as there
so little consensus about what sustainable development means and
what it aims for. How can it then guide education? Woods and Kors-
nes avoid the challenge of the wide definition by using the term
sustainability in a more specific way; they limit their definition of
sustainability to the building sphere, quoting Berardi (2013:76[r]) who
sug-gests that a sustainable building can be defined as “a healthy facil-
ity designed and built in a cradle-to-grave resource-ecient manner,
using ecological principles, social equity, and life-cycle quality value,
and which promotes a sense of sustainable community”.
Owen discusses how yarn craft micro-enterprises can contribute
to economic sustainability by providing a means for people to enter
the economy with flexible work hours. This flexibility to work when
and where one wants is important to many practitioners who
have other demanding responsibilities in their lives, such as being
caregivers, which had caused them to seek out self employment
opportunities. She also looks at how these enterprises deal with
waste in regards to environmental sustainability, and how social
sustainability is crafted at both an individual and a community
level. Her analysis suggests that these crafters are simultaneously
consumers and producers.
While most articles adhere to the above trinity, we (Fyhn and
Søraa) operate with a slightly dierent model where the economic
aspect is replaced with “cultural sustainability”. Also this adhere to
the root definition: “capable of being maintained or continued”, as
it has to do with the craft’s ability to sustain a knowledge-tradition
and practice into the future. But rather than seeing it terms of
preservation of culturally valued crafts, we see it in terms of having
sustainable communities of practice that brings forward a certain
level of skills in building. They do so by changing and adapting these
skills to match a transforming reality. In other words, craftspeople
are able to make a living from their craft practice in such a way
that they ensure future generations will also have the possibility
to learn and make a living from high level craftsmanship.
Beer and Santin’s article is an interesting exception as it operates
with a slightly dierent angle to sustainability, more akin to the
Deep Ecology tradition, quoting du Plessis and Brandon (2015:56[r])
they write that: “Sustainability is based on a value system which
holds that both people and nature should be treated with respect
and in a spirit of fellowship and mutuality, and actions should focus
not only on the wellbeing of humans, but on the wellbeing of the
entire social-ecological system. This means that humans have a
duty of care that requires them to support the wellbeing and evo-
lution of the social-ecological systems of which they are part, and
take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.”
We further encouraged the authors to reflect on the word Craft in
their articles. Fyhn and Søraa’s article approaches craft in terms of
David Pye’s (1968[r]) distinction between workmanship of risk and
workmanship of certainty: while the former points to free handed
NJSTS vol 5 issue 2 2017 Editorial: an introduction to crafting sustainability
6
forming, the latter points to forming guided by a machine; the
former tends to be associated with craftsmanship, the latter with
machine operation. At the technologized building site Fyhn and
Søraa suggest the term “craftsmanship of uncertainty” to grasp the
new roles for the crafts of building in securing certain results in a
situation characterised by uncertainty.
Woods and Korsnes also discuss craft in the context of building.
and they refer to Sennet’s (2008[r]) more ethical definition of craft,
focusing on attitude towards the work; craftspeople are “dedicated
to good work for its own sake”. This represent the special human
condition of being engaged and take pride in their work. Woods
and Korsnes find that this work ethic is present within the con-
struction industry of their case studies.
Rather than approaching craft by describing particular and typical
skills, Janda in her article approaches builders as a profession in rela-
tion to other professions, such as engineers and architects. Drawing
from Andrew Abbott’s (1988[r]) “system of professions”, she is able
to show dierent nuances in the approach to craft, focusing on the
mutual interdependence between the professions, at the same time
as the status relations between them fluctuates. Her article con-
cludes by arguing that greater coordination between designers and
doers in the construction industry, of the kind exhibited in the early
days of skyscrapers, would enable the social production of sustain-
able buildings. For this to happen, however, society would need to
place a higher value on tangible outcomes in the built environment.
In her article, Beer uses Sarah Kettley’s (2016[r]) contemporary under-
standing of craft, focusing on the collaboratory creativity and poten-
tiality. Her focus is on the collective experiences of craft and sees it
in a global context, using plant-crafting from Japan at craft-instal-
lations in Australia adhering to the Japanese concept of “wabi -sabi”
(roughly translated as seeing the imperfection in created things).
Although the crafts of building seek perfection, by putting forth im-
perfection as an ideal, they suggest that craft can become a way to
bring people together through communal imperfection. Here they
open a topic that seems to be essential regarding craft: showing
how it fosters community through collective making. Whether it is
the collective experience of making kokedamas, or the community
of practice at the building site, making together fosters and requires
community.
Community is also essential in Owen’s article, even if the micro en-
terprises are distributed and many work alone with their yarning, the
development of this crafting as enterprise is a communal eort that
both depends on and builds community. Owen emphasizes how
craft activities range from the hobby level to the professional level.
More specifically she defines craft to mean “deploying skilled labour
to shape physical materials creating a unique item.” She explores
how innovation and problem solving are keys to craft as a creative
application of skills. The desired outcome of the crafting process is
by Owen seen as technical, due to the manipulation of materials in
order to achieve the intended outcome of the crafted object.
Rather than focusing on manipulation of objects, Hofverberg et al.
focus on the hands working with materials in their definition of
craft. Quoting Adamson (2007:3[r]) they address craft as “making
something well through hand skill”. To this definition, Hofverberg
et al. add that the human-material interrelations are an essential
aspect of learning craft, connecting to Ingold’s (2013:31, 69-70[r])
concept of “making as correspondence”. Thus they define craft as
“skilled hands making products (together) with materials.” With
this definition they are able to explore a craft pedagogy that is
needed when craft is educated as a learning path for the future.
Hofverberg et al. point out that crafted things are often associated
with something genuine. Thus, one might wonder why it is associ-
ated as something genuine? Is it because it produces one of a kind
things? Maybe the beautiful imperfection described as wabi-sabi
plays a role in this? Or is it because there is a relationship of genuine
engagement, as mentioned by Woods and Korsnes, between the
craft person and the crafted thing? Or is the crafted thing genuine
because it is handmade, thus providing a unique and one-of-a-
kind connection through the unique making process between the
craftsperson and the thing? This definition also provide a comment
to the topic of Fyhn and Søraa’s article on technologization: it is not
meaningful to say that a machine takes pride in its work, which can
lead to new questions to what this imply in respect to automation.
Can the focus on connection between people and things also
teach us something about sustainability? A crafting sustainability
approach focus on the connection between people, their practic-
es and materialities; these are intertwined and form each other in
co-production. Maybe emphasizing such connection in craft can
help us point to more sustainable ways forward? “Moving forward
by looking back” is a phrase that was mentioned at the initial work-
shop. Maybe looking backwards towards our crafting connection to
the world can be a way to connect for a sustainable way to move
forward? The context that the special issue grew from, the Crafting
Sustainability workshop, has served as a grounding for this work.
We are proud to finally present this special issue on Crafting Sus-
tainability. It deals with a wide variety of crafting, from crafts-
people building gargantuan skyscrapers (Janda) to hypermodern
passive houses (Fyhn & Søraa; Woods & Korsnes), to educational
craft practices such as Educational Sløyd (Hofverberg et al.) and
micro-enterprises (Owen), and also art installations probing ques-
tions of what crafting can mean (Hutchinson; Beer & Santin ).
The special issue seeks to explore what craft is, what sustain-
ability is, and how these two concepts can be understood together
in the term “Crafting Sustainability”. We hope the readers will gain
insight and ideas from a topology that is quite dierent in an
STS setting. We thank the editorial board of NJSTS for the oppor-
tunity to guest edit this special issue, and warmly recommend it
for other emerging research fields and networks in the making.
We wish you, the reader, a pleasant reading experience as you
delve into the world of Crafting Sustainability.
NJSTS vol 5 issue 2 2017 Editorial: an introduction to crafting sustainability
7
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Article
Full-text available
p>Various platforms have demonstrated the value of hands-on activities – such as community gardening and crafting – in making meaningful connections and collective identities for a sustainable and resilient future. In his seminal book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990), psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes how these activities can be an opportunity to engage with ‘flow’ – a highly focused mental state that increases awareness, connectivity and well-being. In Through Vegetal Being (2016), philosophers Luce Irigaray and Michael Marder also argue that it is through ‘vegetal’ (or plant relating) activities in particular (e.g. touching and smelling plants), that our relations with the more-than-human world can be reignited. Drawing upon these publications and others, this paper explores how combining these two modes of thought – to enable ‘flow’ through shared ‘vegetal’ or plant-based activities – may assist communities in gaining a greater awareness of and connection to sustainability. The potential of plant-based creative activities are examined through a recent, practice-led, arts-science research project (Refugium WA, Australia 2017), which used scientific knowledge and ‘vegetal’ or ‘botanical’ crafting as a way of engaging people in biodiversity issues. The project employed the community in creating mini native plant- sculptures which were temporally installed at the State Library of Western Australia. Indication of flow, increased nature-connection and biodiversity understanding were explored through gathering observations of the participants, pre- and post-activity surveys and discussions. The research sought to examine the capacity for vegetal- crafting activities to lead to new modes of arts-science communication that connect people to the importance of biodiversity in urban spaces.</p
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p>This article explores and seeks to identify what ‘crafting sustainability’ could mean in relation to education for sustainable development (ESD). Certain ESD craft pedagogies are explored in three countercultures (from 1900, 1968 and 2017). The empirical data consists of literature from or about these three countercultures. A broad notion of sustainability and the educational philosophies of perennialism, essentialism, progressivism and reconstructivism are used as theoretical frameworks. The findings show the countercultures’ educative craft purposes, craft skills and approaches to learning craft and the possible implications for ESD. In particular, three tensions concerning the implications of an ESD craft pedagogy are discussed.</p
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This paper focuses on coordination, fragmentation, and the potential for transition in the system of building professions in the American construction industry. The paper relies mainly on local press coverage of three iconic New York skyscrapers—the Empire State Building (completed in 1931), the U.N. Secretariat (completed in 1952) and One World Trade Center (completed in 2014)— to compare how the roles of different building professionals are seen by and portrayed to the public eye over time. The historic cases show how different professional groups—builders in the 1930s, architects in the 1950s, and engineers in the 2010s—imbued each project with “sustainable” qualities appropriate for its time. Using a system of professions (Abbott 1988[r]) approach, the paper describes and discusses the implications of changes in societal interest from doing to designing in American skyscrapers. The paper concludes by arguing that greater coordination between doers and designers in the construction industry, of the kind exhibited in the early days of skyscrapers, would enable the social production of sustainable buildings. For this to happen, however, society would need to place a higher value on tangible outcomes compared to lofty goals.. </p
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p>The building industry is becoming increasingly characterized by automated production, and in line with this, the nature of craftsmanship is transforming. In this article, we look for a sustainable path for this transformation through a case study that follows a team of carpenters building a set of tower blocks at a high-tech building site using “lean” construction techniques and robotic production technology. The builders are organized according to complex schedules of lean construction, making work at the building site resemble that of a large machine. The builders hold multiple roles within this machine: more than simply “living mechanisms” inside the machine, they also take on more parental roles as “machinists,” employing their crafting skills in planning, problem solving, improvising, coordinating and fettling in order to make the building machine run smoothly and to minimize environmental uncertainty. The craftsmanship in action is characterized by what we call workmanship of uncertainty – the ability to produce certain results in uncertain conditions. We identify this as the collective skill of a community of practice. The sustainability of craftsmanship in the machine is analyzed according to three kinds of sustainability: cultural, social and ecological. We suggest that all three forms depend on the building company’s ability to provide working conditions that allow the builders to form stable communities of practice in order to perform, share and develop craftmanship. Finally, we show that working in and with technological production systems does not require fewer skills (of craftsmanship) than traditional building, but a nuanced application of these skills.</p
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This paper uses two case studies of small UK-based yarn businesses to explore whether craft enterprises might make a distinctive contribution to sustainable development. The ways in which positive social, environmental and economic impacts are supported by these businesses are identified and their potential as niche sites contributing to a broader sustainability transition is considered. These businesses themselves believe there are strong links to the social dimensions of sustainability, particularly in terms of community building. There is also a distinctive contribution to economic aspects of sustainability with the outputs of craft enterprises releasing latent financial value and attaching value associated with provenance and rarity compared to a commodity market, rather than contributing to conventional economic growth. Contributions to environmental sustainability are largely indirect, through changing the economic viability of marginal agricultural production and therefore allowing conservation management in less economically favoured areas. This preliminary analysis suggest that the smallest craft enterprises do offer insights into how a wide transition might be achieved, but realising such a transition is made more difficult by the ambitions and motivations of the individuals in the craft businesses themselves.
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Making offers a series of profound reflections on what it means to create things, on materials and form, the meaning of design, landscape perception, animate life, personal knowledge and the work of the hand. It draws on examples and experiments ranging from prehistoric stone tool-making to the building of medieval cathedrals, from round mounds to monuments, from flying kites to winding string, from drawing to writing. The book will appeal to students and practitioners alike, with interests in social and cultural anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art and design, visual studies and material culture.
Book
Craftsmanship, says Richard Sennett, names the basic human impulse to do a job well for its own sake, and good craftsmanship involves developing skills and focusing on the work rather than ourselves. The computer programmer, the doctor, the artist, and even the parent and citizen all engage in a craftsman's work. In this thought-provoking book, Sennett explores the work of craftsmen past and present, identifies deep connections between material consciousness and ethical values, and challenges received ideas about what constitutes good work in today's world. The Craftsman engages the many dimensions of skill-from the technical demands to the obsessive energy required to do good work. Craftsmanship leads Sennett across time and space, from ancient Roman brickmakers to Renaissance goldsmiths to the printing presses of Enlightenment Paris and the factories of industrial London; in the modern world he explores what experiences of good work are shared by computer programmers, nurses and doctors, musicians, glassblowers, and cooks. Unique in the scope of his thinking, Sennett expands previous notions of crafts and craftsmen and apprises us of the surprising extent to which we can learn about ourselves through the labor of making physical things.
Article
It has been widely argued that in order to move development into a positive curve towards sustainability, society needs to change the worldview/paradigm within which it currently operates; and that such a shift from a mechanistic to an ecological/living systems worldview is already happening. It is suggested that the purpose of the sustainability paradigm flowing from this worldview is not to conserve the status quo or meet ill-defined human needs, but to strengthen the health, adaptive capacity, and evolutionary potential of the fully integrated global social-ecological system so that it can continue regenerating itself, thereby creating the conditions for a thriving and abundant future e not only for the human species, but for all life. In this paper we explore the ecological worldview and the guidelines it provides for how we interpret sustainability; as well as the strategies for the production of the built environment we need to follow if we are to adapt to coming changes in the planetary system and regenerate the world. The question this paper asks is: how does this sustainability paradigm, with its focus on regenerating the whole of the social-ecological system within which we are working, change the way the built environment is produced? To achieve this objective, the paper synthesizes the findings of two separate studies: an extensive literature review to define the meta-narratives of the ecological worldview; and an analysis of in depth interviews with academics and built environment practitioners that aimed to find correlations between the practice and theoretical positions of the participants and the values and praxiology of the ecological worldview as described in the first study. Three main themes of the ecological worldview e wholeness, relationship, and change e provide a framework for discussing the implications of this regenerative sustainability paradigm for the production of the built environment e for how it is created, the technologies used, and how it is evaluated.