"This paper focuses on how designers can contribute to enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities, especially communities of people with physical disabilities. This is a new area of design research and practice. The paper draws on a case study of the role and contribution of designers in one of the most disadvantaged communities in a semi-urban area of Thailand between 2007 and 2010. This was a collaborative project with nineteen community members with physical impairment in the Samutprakran province. This community had a long history of developing crafts for income generation. The aim was to explore and test new approaches that would result in a model leading to alternative livelihoods, including transforming their capabilities and using available resources in their community to achieve positive outcomes. Participatory Action Research (PAR), Human-Centered Design (HCD) and Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) were employed as research strategies and approaches. The project was structured around three workshops targeting three successive stages: 1) recruiting participants for a case study and facilitating the gathering of their own data and doing the necessary analysis; 2) enabling them to create and make their own choices to improve their situation; and 3) monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the implementation. There were four key findings. Firstly, the community participants stated that they had achieved the livelihood goals that they desired. They also devised a complementary income-generating activity which enabled them to continue to improve their capabilities, earn income and reinforce their value in their community, and to reduce their vulnerability. From the researcher's perspective, PAR integrated with HCD and combined with SLA were shown to be effective strategies and approaches because they facilitate the transfer of knowledge to the participants, giving them both incentive and ownership in their ideas and actions, enabling them to create and pursue their own solutions. Finally, this study demonstrated the benefits of reorientation of the designer's role from that of a solution provider to that of an agent of sustainable change."
(Siriporn Peters, 4 May 2011)
2). Siriporn Peters (2011). "Design for enabling sustainable livelihoods in communities", Iridescent: Icograda Journal of Design Research ISSN 1923-5003.
"Junction Arts is a participatory arts organisation based in Shirebrook in the district of Bolsover, North East Derbyshire. Our primary aim is to increase and extend access to high quality arts through inspirational innovative participatory arts programmes and projects through partnership and collaboration within the rural areas of the East Midlands.
We believe that the arts changes peoples lives, builds confidence, self-esteem increases communication and supports community and personal empowerment. Junction Arts has developed and maintained a strong focus on regeneration and community development within the context of neighbourhood renewal.
Junction Arts is core funded by Arts Council England East Midlands, Bolsover District Council and Derbyshire County Council. Project support is achieved through strong partnerships with Parish and Town Councils, local and regional agencies and voluntary and statutory organisations. A Board of Directors and Trustees manage the Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee."
"Brazilian authorities say they have pinpointed the location of a community of ancient and uncontacted tribespeople in one of the remotest corners of the Amazon rainforest.
Fabricio Amorim, a regional co-ordinator for Brazil's indigenous foundation, Funai, said the indigenous community had been found after three small forest clearings were detected on satellite images. Flyovers were carried out in April, confirming the community's existence.
Four straw-roofed huts, flanked by banana trees and encircled by thick jungle, can be seen in photographs taken during the flyover.
The community is likely to be home to about 200 people, probably from the Pano linguistic group which straddles the border between Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, according to Funai.
Amorim said the region - known as the Vale do Javari - contained 'the greatest concentration of isolated groups in the Amazon and the world' but warned of growing threats to their survival."
(Tom Phillips, 22 June 2011, The Guardian, UK)
"Steve Mateer of Lyttelton tells of his frantic skateboard down the hill to get to his boys' school after his truck was nearly crushed by falling rocks when the quake hit."
(NZ Herald, Friday 25 Feb 2011)
[In great Australasian style Steve Mateer demonstrates the art of understatement as he explains how he survived the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.]