This investigation of communities working with leather in India is based on case study research consisting of tanners, artisans and entrepreneurs. Beyond the stereotype of a polluting industry where child labour is considered to be rampant, we find approaches to ecologically and socially responsive design. This is informed by a recent survey of the leather trade in India and current interactions with the subcontinent, including a live client project with a partner institution in the United Kingdom. Focusing on a particular material and trade, the research aims to shed light on the contribution of design networks in the transformation of the Indian and British shoe and leather industries, by means of mapping the interactions. We find that designers work with artisan collectives in an effort to remake traditional objects such as footwear and fashion accessories, and, in doing so, stimulating local economies. These makers display entrepreneurial behaviour and are incorporating innovation, collaboration and networking. The paper concludes with a discourse around socially responsive practices that will impact on the production, reception and consumption of design.
|Title of host publication||Consilience and Innovation in Design|
|Place of Publication||Tokyo|
|Publisher||International Association of Societies of Design Research|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2013|
- socially responsible design