Wednesday 10 December 2014 – Lunchtime seminar with Maria Hanson and Melanie Levick-Parkin

Title: Create & Connect: Connecting female artisan craft producers in Zanzibar with tourist markets
Speaker: Maria Hanson and Melanie Levick-Parkin

Maria Hanson supervises undergraduate, post-graduate and PhD students and is a researcher, designer and craft maker. Research interests and activities include the exploration of rituals and craft objects and the reading of craft objects in the context of contemporary visual culture; emotional attachments and the hand-crafted object relating to material sustainability, product durability and audience engagement and participation; and how co-creative Participatory Action Research (PAR) can be used to empower and create meaningful agency.

After abandoning a teenage crush on photography, Melanie Levick-Parkin studied visual communication & graphic design, then worked as an advertising creative for a number of years before sidestepping into an academic career. Her current research interests revolve around design anthropology, co-design and other participatory approaches, which she is exploring in relation to projects focusing on heritage, archaeology and cultural tourism. She is currently studying for a doctorate at the University of Sheffield, is involved in a variety of research projects and teaches visual communication at undergraduate and post-graduate level.

Design Thinking Together – how can design thinking (and seeing) be used in a shared, practice led research process in order to ensure that ideas are formed collaboratively?

This seminar presents research undertaken and findings from a multidisciplinary project that brought together researchers from tourism, craft practice and service design. This pilot project was funded through the IMAGINE research initiative and focused on female artisan craft producers and the tourist market in Zanzibar (Tanzania).

The project aimed to:
• understand the socio-cultural links and identity of crafted souvenirs and the practices of production
• identify barriers and creative opportunities
• test co-creative design thinking strategies as a methodology to empower female craft makers
• explored ways to increase links between maker and market.

1.00PM – 2.00PM
CANTOR 9020a

All SHU staff and students are welcome to attend the C3RI Lunchtime Research Seminars. If you are from outside of the University and would like to attend a seminar, please email CCRC Administrator, Rachel Finch (R [dot] Finch [at] shu [dot] ac [dot] uk) to arrange for entry.