Craftsdesign for Social Change: Drafting a Framework for Co-creation in Rural Places


This paper presents the primary results of a research exercise deconstructing transdisciplinary models of intervention bringing social change, dynamization and positive impact into rural areas through crafts and design collaborations. The experiences analysed brought together designers, craftspeople, and local communities in a process of dialogue, collaboration and co-creation connections based on design methods, crafts heritage, land resources, and local knowledge. The tools used include a primary literature review and multiple case study design practice mapping and analysis. The qualitative research methods used allow us to study the connections between personal, social, organizational, cultural, and environmental factors. The case study methodology has been used to extract complexities and particularities. Data collected has been structured in the form of a comparative table of key elements to consider when designing innovative solutions such as collaborative methods, organizational models, creative processes, role played by crafts and design, and impact. The objective of this research exercise is to identify a framework that systematises those relevant elements and suggests potential trans-disciplinary approaches to follow to foster sustainable social innovation initiatives in rural areas through craftsdesign collaborations. The CraftsDesign Framework is expected to evolve into a collaborative toolkit to be tested, evaluated, and re-designed in simulated and real contexts through workshops. The findings resulting from the experience will inform the PhD research project conducted by the researcher entitled “Craftsdesign for entrepreneurship, social innovation, and sustainability” and aim to identify sustainable social innovation solutions based on the experience of design practice.


Dalia Sendra Rodriguez
Student, Ph.D. Candidate, Unidade de Investigação em Design e Comunicação (UNIDCOM/IADE), Portugal

Ana Margarida Ferreira
Assistant Professor with Habilitation in Design, Arts - Design, LabCom and Universidade da Beira Interior, Castelo Branco, Portugal


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design in Society



Digital Media


Craftsdesign for Social Change (pdf)