We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here. To use the website as intended please... ACCEPT COOKIES
UAL Research Online

The True Nature of Collaboration: what role does practice play in collaboration between designers and African craft producers?

Rhodes, Sarah (2015) The True Nature of Collaboration: what role does practice play in collaboration between designers and African craft producers? PhD thesis, University of the Arts London.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Rhodes, Sarah

The aim of this research is to examine the role of practice in collaboration between designers and African craft producers in order to develop a different methodology for future exchanges that can be more sustainable and equitable. It looks to determine how craft and design practices can act as tools for communication and exchange, to examine how to foster meaningful collaboration when the relationship of those involved is inequitable and to develop a co-creation methodology for practice, capitalising on the differing skills, experiences and cultures of those involved.

The research explores collaboration through making with two Cape Town based, craft businesses - Imiso Ceramics and Kunye - investigating the interactions that occur between the collaborators.

A critical contextual review reveals the majority of such partnerships are instigated from the top down with an emphasis on product development. This study proposes that the focus is shifted to one that is human-centred, where the process of collaboration between the people involved is foregrounded. By strengthening the collaborative relationships and giving all participants an equal voice, the process becomes more productive, with product development an inherent result.

Using a practice based, participatory design methodology, the work draws on the African notion of ubuntu, which speaks of people's interconnectedness. Applying the cross-disciplinary practices of all three collaborators, products are developed, provoking a dialogue that challenges the designer's role in the developing world.

The research culminates in an exhibition of the journey, conversations, issues and outcomes that occurred throughout. The exhibition provides an opportunity to provoke a conversation with the stakeholders, listening to their experiences and gaining their feedback on the work presented. Practical exercises for participatory design in future cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary contexts are presented.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

Access to this thesis has been restricted by request of the author, with an embargo period of eight years. Please contact UAL Research Online for more information.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: South Africa
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 14 April 2015
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council, Design Research Society, Futures for Women, University of the Arts London Postgraduate Student Community
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2015 10:55
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2023 09:29
Item ID: 8729
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/8729

Repository Staff Only: item control page | University Staff: Request a correction