From design studies to resilient craft practice in the digital age

01 Feb 2021

Design has been defined as ?courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones?. Acknowledging the relationship between design and craft, we use this affirmative definition as motivation for a qualitative systematic literature review on craft and design in the digital age. This enquiry is framed by the need to establish and synthesise existing academic discourse in the field as a baseline for further research in mitigation of the challenges faced by South African craft practitioners operating in globalised digital economies. Following a search in academic databases, using the keywords ?design studies? and ?craft? and ?digital? a two stage screening process was used to select the literature for inclusion in this review. Only academic articles published between 2007 and 2017 that refer to at least two subjects out of: design studies, craft practice and making in the digital era were included. A meta-ethnography method was used as a qualitative synthesis technique (Dixon-Woods et al. 2006) in which themes found in the literature are mapped in order to foreground relationships. Maps or cartographies are appropriate in nomadic theory, which according to Braidotti (2011) underpins the globalised digital age and seeks affirmative creative alternatives. The findings are presented as a narrative and recommendations are made as catalysts for further research.