A handmade future: the impact of design on the production and consumption of contemporary West African craft as a tool for sustainable development

  • Katherine Ladd

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This research presents a critique of a craft development project carried out over a period of four years, where the nature of designer interventions in African craft projects is analysed and questions are raised that challenge the desirability and efficacy of such projects. This study is developed from the perspective of a professional designer rather than that of a professional development worker. Following this particular project over a continuous time period offers a specific and unique context in which to examine key and central issues: the design of such products by western designers for global markets, the consumption of ‘ethnic’ products in global markets, (including historical perspectives,) issues of authenticity, post-colonialism, and eurocentric connoisseurship.
Date of Award2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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