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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


/LiFEMMU   /LiFE_MMU   /life_mmu


Exhibitions & Publications


Cocchiarella, F., Shaw, A., 2020. Radical Response Milan, Ventura Projects, Dezeen Virtual Design Festival 2020, 15/4/2020 - 30/6/2020.

Kettle, AM., 2020. Slipware, Crafts Study Centre, Farnham.

Superslowway, 2019. British Textile Biennal, Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, Lancs, 3/10/2019 - 3/11/2019.

McCullagh, J., Shaw, A., Cocchiarella, F., 2019. Radical Response exhibition in partnership with the International Association of Design Research (IASDR) Conference, Manchester School of Art, 2/9/2019 - 5/9/2020.

Ground detailSea

Kettle, AM., 2018. Alice Kettle: Thread Bearing Witness, The Whitworth, Manchester UK, 1/9/2018 - 24/4/2019.

Beecroft, M., 2018. Demonstration Street at ID Tech Ex show, Estrel Congress Center, Berlin, 11/4/2018.

Beecroft, M., 2018. DIGITAL FANCIES: Bioresponsive E-Textiles and 3D Printing in Fashion, Digits 2 Widgets, Camden, London, 15/6/2018.

Kettle, A., 2018. Odyssey, Southampton City Art Gallery, 6/10/2018 - 9/3/2019.

Kettle, A., 2018. Present Day - Supporting Living Artists, Candida Stevens Gallery, 10/11/2018 - 22/12/2018.


Kettle, A., 2019. 'Stitch A Tree, Karachi', Alliance Francaise de Karachi, Pakistan.

Kettle, A., 2018. 'The 11th China Embroidery Culture and Arts Festival', Hanshan Art Museum, Hangzhou, China.

Book Chapters

Beecroft, M., 2018. '3D Printed Material'. In Richardson, E., Garside, P. (eds.) Conservation Science: Heritage Materials, Royal Society of Chemistry.

Pomona Encounters

Cocchiarella, F., Vargas, V., Titterington, S., Haley, D., 2018. 'Research Informed Sustainable Development Through Art and Design Pedagogic Practices'. In Leal Filho, W. (eds.) World Sustainability Series, pp. 207-221, Springer International Publishing.

Internet Publications

Beecroft, M., 2019. 'Case Study: Digital Interlooping',

Journal Articles

Kettle, A., 2020. 'Publication Review', Craft Research, 11 (1), pp. 143-147.

Beecroft, M., 2019. 'Digital Interlooping: 3D printing of weft-knitted textile-based tubular structures using selective laser sintering of nylon powder.', International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, 12 (2), pp. 218-224.

Kettle, A., 2019. 'Textile and Place', TEXTILE, 17 (4), pp. 332-339.

Hawley, S., 2019. 'War memorial: The Calling Blighty films and remembrance', Media, War & Conflict, 12 (3), pp. 263-280.

Non-Peer Reviewed Articles

Kettle, A., 2019. 'Anni Albers', The Journal of Modern Craft, 12 (1), pp. 67-71.

Conference Papers

Drinkwater, KEN., Cocchiarella, F., 2019. 'In Search of the Anomalous: Relationships between the design of interior space, darkness', The Thrill of the Dark, BIRMINGHAM, 25/4/2019 - 27/4/2019, in

Cocchiarella, F., Drinkwater, K., 2019. 'Para-design: Engaging the Anomalous, a design research workshop to investigate paranormal phenomena through a series of location based studies.', IASDR 2019, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2/9/2019 - 5/9/2019, in

McNulty, SA., 2018. 'Dr Pink's House: Décor Determination in the South Manchester suburbs', The Constructed Environment, Detroit, USA, 24/5/2018 - 25/5/2018.

McNulty, SA., 2018. 'Happy Homes: Placing people and their 'Stuff' as the focus of the Interior Design and Architectural process', AMPS - Architecture, Media, Policy, Society, Bristol, UK, 25/1/2018 - 26/1/2018.

Kettle, A., 2018. 'In the Margins, Materialising Stories', 9/7/2018 - 9/7/2018.

Harper, P., Kettle, A., 2018. 'Making leaders/curating maker cultures', The Poetics of Leadership, Crossfields Institute, 7/9/2018 - 8/9/2018.

Ault, M., Shaw, A., Beecroft, M., 2018. 'New Behaviours in Material Form', Transitions 2: Material Revolution, Huddersfield University, UK., 11/4/2018 - 12/4/2018.


Cocchiarella, F., Drinkwater, K., Dagnall, N., 2018. 'Para-design: The role of design practice in interpreting paranormal phenomena', 9/7/2018 - 10/7/2018, in FRIHSC.

Ault, M., Shaw, A., Beecroft, M., 2018. 'The 'Re-fabrication' of Knitted Textile and its Architectural Potential', Advanced Building Skins, Bern, Switzerland., 1/10/2018 - 2/10/2018.


McCullagh, J., Cocchiarella, F., 2018. ''Engaging with the city: utilising spaces outside the university as places for transformative learning through collaborative vertical studio teaching in art and design'', Mancheseter Met.

Ault, M., Beecroft, M., Shaw, A., 2018. 'Architectonic Textiles', Lancaster University.

Ault, M., Shaw, A., Beecroft, M., 2018. 'Architectonic Textiles - The Potentials in the 'Re-Fabrication' of Knit', RIBA Research Matters Conference, Sheffield University.

Beecroft, M., Bloomfield, M., 2018. 'Re-defining textiles with 3D Printing', The Studio, Birmingham.

Ault, M., Shaw, A., Beecroft, M., 2018. 'The 'Re-fabrication' of Knitted Textile and its Architectural Potential', Bern, Switzerland.


Beecroft, M., 2019. 'Digital interlooping: 3D printing of weft-knitted textile-based tubular structures using selective laser sintering of nylon powder', ID Tech Ex Berlin.

Other Outputs

Kettle, A., 2019. 'Horizontal Crossings'.

Millar, L., Kettle, A., 2018. 'The Erotic Cloth', Kettle, AM., Millar, L..