craft+design: A World in Making: cities craft design (June 2012)

Publication date: 2013
Guest Editor: Suzie Attiwill

On 12 March 1913, a naming ceremony took place in an empty paddock on a hill. This rural environment was to become a city, the capital city of Australia, the city of Canberra. The aspirations and the projections of the Griffins’ winning design for Canberra are an example of a world-in-making involving the practices of design and craft. This issue of craft+design enquiry will be published in 2013 – 100 years after this event and when, for the first time in history, more than half the world’s population live in cities. By 2030, this will increase to at least 60% with significant growth happening in cities of developing countries and the emergence of meta-cities with 20 million inhabitants. ‘The twenty-first century will be known as the century of the city’ (Tibaijuka, 2010).

This next issue of craft+design enquiry will focus on and highlight the role, contribution and potential of craft and design practices to the urban environment as well as the transformation of these practices – a world in making.

‘The thing is what we make of the world. … Things are our way of dealing with a world in which we are enmeshed rather than over which we have dominion. … It is our way of dealing with the plethora of sensations, vibrations, movements, and intensities that constitute both our world and ourselves’ … ‘We make objects in order to live in the world’ (Grosz, 2009, pp. 126 & 128).

Situated in a journal published by Craft Australia, the nuances of craft – a practice which values making and materiality – will guide the selection of papers for publication. This emphasis on craft does not exclude design so much as bring focus to practices of design which engage ideas of making and materiality, where there is a sense of a hand(s) in making, a valuing of haptic encounters and an attention to the relation between people and surroundings. From small to large scale projects, from individuals to communities, an intimate approach to the question of how people inhabit and transform the urban environment is invoked. What are the potentials in this century of the city for craft and design practices? What is the contribution of craft and design to cities and liveability? What might a craft sensibility bring to urban inhabitation? What of an expanded idea of craft practice as a way of working and thinking which addresses spatial and temporal urban conditions? What of the emergence of new forms of practices to engage in the condition of the urban environment and the social, political and cultural forces of the twenty-first century?

Academics, practitioners, research students and others are invited to submit research papers and critical project works. A definition of research as ‘the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings’ (Australian Research Council, 2011) is reiterated here to highlight the criticality of ‘new and creative’ in relation to research and to encourage the submission of research through craft and design practice, as well as about craft and design practices situated in a world in making – ‘the century of the city’.  Authors are also encouraged to consider the inclusion of visual material as research.

This issue of craft+design enquiry will be published in mid-2013.
To submit a paper please register online at
by the closing date of 30 June 2012.
Refer to author guidelines for further information.
For inquiries relating to this issue or submission of papers, please contact the Guest Editor, Suzie
Administrative enquiries, please contact Jenny Deves, Managing Editor craft+design

Suzie Attiwill is Associate Professor and Program Director, Interior Design, RMIT School of Architecture and Design. Suzie has an independent practice involving the design of exhibitions, curatorial work, writing and working on a range of interdisciplinary projects in Australia and overseas. Publications include: ‘Urban and Interior: techniques for an urban interiorist’ Urban Interior. Informal explorations, interventions and occupations. Germany: Spurbuchverlag, 2011; ‘Spatial Relations’ in Making Space: artist run initiatives in Victoria Australia: VIA-N, 2007; co-editor with Gini Lee, ‘INSIDEOUT’ IDEA Journal 2005, Brisbane: QUT Press, 2005. From 1996 to 1999, she was the inaugural Artistic Director of Craft Victoria and editor of Craft. Suzie is the current chair of IDEA (Interior Design/Interior Architecture Educators Association) –, a founding member of the Urban Interior research group – and a professional member of the Design Institute of Australia.

Australian Research Council, March 2011. [Accessed 13 April 2011].
Grosz, E., 2009. ‘The Thing’. In F. Candlin & R. Guins, eds. The Object Reader.  London & New York: Routledge.
Tibaijuka, A.K., 2010. Inaugural Address UN Pavilion Lecture Series, Shanghai World Expo 2010 – Better Cities, Better Life. Tibaijuka was then Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, the United Nations agency for human settlements. [Accessed 24 April 2011].

About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is

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