Crafting Communities of Practice and Interest: Connecting 'Online' and 'Offline' Making Practices
This research, sponsored by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, brings together the expertise and knowledge from three sets of discussions that have occurred through the Connected Communities Programme that the project researchers have been involved with: the discussions in the Connecting Craft and Communities network of practitioners, stakeholders and academics as well as the work undertaken through the Community Media Sphere and the Creative Citizen and Complexity and the Creative Economy research projects.
The rationale for this study stems from a concern expressed in these projects that contemporary readings of online/offline communities in the creative economy are in need of closer scrutiny. In this scoping study we focus on the craft sector and the ways in which online practices impact creative sectors, both practitioners’ daily lives and wider economic activities. We also looked at the way online technologies have been used by craft organisations as well as how crafting practices are deeply embedded in everyday material practices of making (Williams 2011).
The intersection of online/offline relationship in craft communities of practice is therefore more than a case of individuals using digital technologies to disseminate products and ideas. This scoping study thus aims to understand the changes brought about by online technologies in craft-making, -networking and -organisational structures. Further, this scoping study has aimed to identify strengths and absences within contemporary scholarly work on this topic and to review the practices within online and offline communities of practice/interest within the craft sector.
Project completed in 2012