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Amen ICA Cinema 2002 - Steve Hawley

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


Kettle, AM., 2021. Slipware, Crafts Study Centre, Farnham.

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

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.


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

Internet Publications

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

Journal Articles

Kettle, A., 2020. 'Book Review: Perspectives on Work, Home and Identity from Artisans in Telangana: Conversations around Craft', Craft Research, 11 (1), pp. 143-147.

Fox, E., 2020. 'Paisajes de Confinamiento', Critica Urbana, 3 (15), pp. 12-14.

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.

Fox, E., 2019. 'Reconstructing the Rural: The Role of Landscape Architecture in Reimagining the UK's Rural Landscape', Critica Urbana: Revista de estudios urbanos y territoriales, 3 (9), pp. 4-10.

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


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'.