Design Ecologies aims to develop an understanding of the cultural significance of products through exploration of creative urban ecologies in China and the UK. The three-year project is a collaboration between Lancaster University, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.
Funded by the AHRC/ESRC/CASS, the project will involve three, week long field trips to China by the UK research team; and three, week long reciprocal field trips to the UK by the Chinese research team. A key outcome of the project will be the development of a framework for understanding the current condition and future potential, socially and economically, of culturally significant designs and products in relation to urban ecologies of creative practice and to examine the benefits and potential deficits. In addition, Design Ecologies will support two International Creative Labs - practice-based student-led projects employing an interdisciplinary, design-led research process. Students in China and the UK will conduct projects around common themes related to cultural products.
In the longer term this project aims to determine the affordances offered by institutional collaboration in researching the viability and future directions of culturally related creative industries both in the UK and China including the potential offered by digital technologies.
The project commences in February 2016 for 3 years.