Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Swimming, 2012 detail - Mark Beecroft

Research Group

LiFE: 'Living in Future Ecologies' research group explores and reinvents the way we live through investigative future visioning projects. Creating collaborative platforms between departments, faculties, commercial partners and international organisations, LiFE proposes ideologies for sustainable living. LiFE is a laboratory for testing, crafting capabilities, challenging thinking and innovating the everyday.

LiFE ‘Living In Future Ecologies’ - shifts the way we think about Future Living. The Greek word oikos means house or dwelling. It is the root of the words ecology and economy. In the context of the ‘home', ecology determines the philosophy through which home is used by the ‘family' as an interface to the community and city. The LiFE group creates dynamic relational narratives to ‘ live harmoniously’ with systems that organise and interlink everyday processes and patterns as ‘ecologies’ for capable futures.

Through art and design practices, the LiFE research group generates future(s) systems that innovate social change, mobilising communities to adopt responsible, circular-living economies that resonate with the local, regional, international and global home.

Seen as an intuitive process, future(s)-making networks systems to mediate 'physical interfaces', turning research theory into practice. Design as a practice is a natural ally to futurity that helps to critically reflect and innovate scenarios affecting behaviors and capabilities. By growing new creative communities, potential futures are explored that lead to a culture of innovation.

LiFE research interests are mobilized through activities that engage undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. Through collaborative research activities students have the opportunity to work alongside academic staff in an environment that seeks to invigorate and inspire a community of critical visionaries.

Current activity between faculties investigates futures for psychology, ecological arts practices, science, design theory, architecture, textiles, interiors, object, space, food and materiality. Our commercial partners act as conduits to interpret conceptual theories for public application. The partnerships translate research practices into commercial practicalities, converting critical methods into future networks that engage communities as meaningful ways to permeate the everyday.

The group utilizes its national, international and commercial networks to engage and foster interdisciplinary reflexivity through publication, exhibition, workshop and autonomous gatherings of likeminded individuals.

Research Areas

Art / Design / Art and Design Theory / Interiors / Object / Artefact / Materials / Space / Psychology / Parapsychology / Hospitality / Food / Ecology / Architecture / Integral Critical Futures / Systems Thinking / Complexity / Climate Change / Circular Economies


Exhibitions & Publications


Beecroft, M., 2017. BBC Digital Cities- Digital Fashion event, Harvey Nichols Manchester, 15/11/2017.

Kirk, V., Robertson, E., Lawrence, K., Ashcroft, J., Munro, A., Coleman, R., Trevillian, A., 2017. Drawn Thread, Australia National University, Canberra , Australia, 26/7/2017 - 5/8/2017.

Beecroft, M., 2017. Intersections: collaborations in Textile Design Research, Loughborough University London, 13/9/2017.

Kettle, 2017. Made in Translation, The Portico Library, Manchester, 27/4/2017.

Beecroft, M., 2017. Serendipity Studio ( part of Clerkenwell Design Week), The Goldsmith Centre London, 23/5/2017.

Kettle, AM., 2017. Slipware, Crafts Study Centre, Farnham.

Beecroft, M., 2017. TCT show, NEC Birmingham, 25/9/2017.

Ashkanian, M., Dib, R., Dutton, J., Hurlstone, N., Just, K., Lee, J., Mason, T., Riis, J., Sebyleau, A., Seon Yoon, J., Velasco, C., Yildiz, M., Taute, H., Orezekauskiene-Ore, L., Larsen, K., Koga, R., Presttun, KK., Bauer, S., 2017. Textiel Biennale, Rijswick Museum, The Netherlands, 16/5/2017 - 24/9/2017.

Kettle, A., 2016. A Place at the Table, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, 25th November 2014 – 18th January 2015.

Leclercq, A., 2016. Chemins Croises, World Crafts Council, 17/4/2016 - 14/8/2016.

Beecroft, M., 2016. Fashion is a Force for Good, The Great Hall, Sackville Street Building The University of Manchester 60 Sackville Street M1 3WE Manchester, 12th October 2016.

Kettle, AM., 2016. Here and Now - Stitches in Time, Circus Consultancy, London, 12/1/2016 - 31/3/2016.

Kettle, A., 2016. More Academic Choice, Crafts Study Centre, UCA Farnham, 29 March to 10 December 2016.

Beecroft, M., 2016. Significance at the Knit and Stitch show, Harrogate, 24th-27th November.

Green, D., Sherwood, D., Watkins, E., White, I., Moore, T., Raetze, S., Theau, J., Grogan, L., Waters, S., Siwerski, M., von Mengersen, B., 2015. Slipstitch, National Exhibition Touring Support Victoria, Australia, 27/3/2015 - 8/6/2017.

South Home Town 2015

Hawley, S., Steyger, T., 2015. Stranger than Known; South Home Town, Solent Showcase Gallery, 12/2015 - 1/2015.


Kettle, A., 2016. 'The Dog Loukanikos and the Cat’s Cradle’', Textile work, Collect with Contemporary Applied Arts, Saatchi Gallery London, VAS:t, Scottish Royal Society of Arts, invited artist, Here and Now, Circus performance Alice Kettle, Circus and CAA Gallery, London, 2015, 2015 and 2016.

Hawley, S., 2016. 'War Memorial', Sheffield.

Kettle, AM., 2016. 'Where is Jack Space Man', World Crafts Council.

Hawley, S., 2015. 'A Message Home/Calling Blighty. NB see also War memorial (film) and War Memorial journal article', Manchester.

Kettle, A., 2015. 'Map to the Future', Large wall hung site specific artefact, Lloyd’s Register, Marine Technology Centre, University of Southampton.

Kettle, AM., 2015. 'Map to the Future', Marine Technology Centre, Lloyds Register, University of Southampton.

Propellers of the City - publicationPropellers of the City - publication

Gannon, L. Davidson, P. Broadbent, S, 2015. 'Propellers of the City', Publication commissioned by Sunderland County Council and presented to all people who donated a face for the project.

Broadbent, S., Davidson, P., Gannon, L., 2015. 'Propellers of the City', Sunderland, Keel Square.

Hawley, S., Steyger, T., 2015. 'South Home Town 2015', New York.

Kettle, AM., Aubrey, A., Ravetz, A., 2015. 'The Dog Loukanikos and the Cat's Cradle'', VAS:t, Scottish Royal Society of Arts, invited artist, Royal Academy Edinburgh.

Kettle, AM., Aubrey, K., 2015. 'Thread as a chronicle of contemporary political and symbolic narrative', Craft Now, Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead;, Collect, Saatchi Gallery London ;VAS:T, Scottish Royal Academy of Art, Edinburgh;.


Cocchiarella, F. Hayward, E., 2016. 'Pomona Encounters - Pomona's Beauty Spots', Pomona Island, 26th July 2016.


Millar, L., 2017. 'The Erotic Cloth; seduction and fetishism', Bloomsbury Academic, London.

Cocchiarella, F. Haley, D. Vargas, V., 2016. 'Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona', Gaia Project.

de Bruyn, D., Joris, E., Eeckhout, R., Chaparro, I., Zissovici, J., O'Brien, K., Vitaglione, S., Maruszczak, JP., Connah, R., Gomez Flores, L., Wilson, S., Smith, C., Flaxton, T., Singer, J., Bird, L., Jemtrud, M., Stankovic, J., 2016. 'Imaging the city;art, creative practices and media speculations', Intellect.

Book Chapters

Hawley, S., 2016. 'Manchester as a mythical city; reflections in art and locative media'. In Imaging the city; art creative practices media speculations, Intellect.

Kettle, AM., 2016. 'The Shaping of Dreams'. In Figueiredo, D., Steene, M. (eds.) Radical Craft, pp. 6-8, Craftspace, Birmingham.

Internet Publications

McNulty, S., Littlefield, D., Kuhn, L., Simpkins, N., Simmonds, R., Leveretto, J., Mitchell, B., O'Neill, M., Cottrell, C., Hamilton, O., Miller, A., Brown, R., Kallitsis, P., 2017. 'IE:Studio - Edges',

Hawley, S., 2015. '"It hasn't gelled: it hasn't taken on". The Family Way in the 1960s.',

Journal Articles

Beecroft, M., 2016. '3D printing of weft knitted textile based structures by selective laser sintering of nylon powder', IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 137, pp. 012017-012017.

Hawley, S., 2015. 'South Home Town: Film and the imaginary city', Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 8 (2-3), pp. 127-143.

Cocchiarella, F., Booth, P., 2015. 'Students as Producers: An 'X' Disciplinary Client-Based Approach to Collaborative Art, Design and Media Pedagogy', International Journal of Art & Design Education, 34 (3), pp. 326-335.

Hawley, S., 2015. 'War Memorial: the Calling Blighty films and remembrance', Media, War and Conflict.

Conference Papers

McNulty, SA., 2018. 'Dr Pink's House', The Constructed Environment, Detriot, 24/5/2018 - 25/5/2018.

Kettle, AM., 2016. 'The Story and the Stitch', Cross Currents: Land, Labor and the Port, Savannah, USA, 19/10/2016 - 23/10/2016.

Hawley, S., 2015. 'South Home Town; film and the imaginary city', Brighton Writes, 29/5/2015 - 29/5/2015.

Hawley, S., 2015. 'Stranger than Known; the imagined city', URBAN MEDIA STUDIES: CONCERNS, INTERSECTIONS AND CHALLENGES, Zagreb, 24/9/2015 - 25/9/2015.

Kettle, AM., 2015. 'Walls, cloth and thread Key note speech', Textile Society Conference, The Whitworth Art Gallery, 7/11/2015 - 7/11/2015.


Beecroft, M., 2016. 'Interlooped:3D Printed Textiles', MakeShift (The Crafts Council), Museum of Science and Industry, 10-11 November 2016.

Hawley, S., 2015. 'Manchester as a mythical city', Manchester as a mythical city, Manchester City Art Gallery, Thursday 24th January 2012.

Hawley, S., 2015. 'Minutopia and the English Model Village', Scale' (SLSAeu), Valetta, Malta,, 2015, 15-18 June.

Hawley, S., 2015. 'South Home Town; film and the imaginary city', Place-Based Arts: Brighton Writes, University of Brighton, 29th May 2015.

Hawley, S., 2015. 'The Archive as Art,', Digital Echoes 2014, Coventry University., 8th Jan 2014.

Other Outputs

Cocchiarella, FN., Haley, D., Vargas, V., 2016. 'Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona'.

Cocchiarella, F. Wehmeyer van den Boom, J., 2016. 'Pomona Island Design Lab', Design Lab Project.

Cocchiarella, F. Higgins, S, 2015. 'Mise en Scene', Collaborative project with the RNCM.