Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1749-3463
  • E-ISSN: 1749-3471


The industrial revolution created a rise in mass manufacture, increasing consumption to current unsustainable levels and marking a decline in hands-on craft practice. In contemporary practice, designers frequently employ digital ways of working and, whilst this may create opportunities and efficiencies, it can limit the working of materials by hand. In contrast, hands-on craft processes can develop in-depth knowledge and understanding to help solve complex and novel design problems. With increasing use of digital design methods, it is timely to reflect on the role and value of hands-on craft practices. The study explores the use of craft-based approaches to support design practice in relation to novelty and quality and considers its future potential to contribute towards design for sustainability. A design project that integrated hand weaving with sandal design was undertaken and qualitative data were collected. This was analysed through data reduction, coding, clustering and display and is presented as a case study. The findings indicate that a craft-based approach can contribute to a heightened control of materials, construction and awareness of wider design issues such as the development process, production methods and environmental impact. Difficulties were identified in inefficient use of time and a knowledge/skills gap between specialist design and craft disciplines.

This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY). To view a copy of the licence, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The CC BY licence permits commercial and non-commerical reuse.

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