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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


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Exhibitions & Publications


Kettle, AM., 2019. Slipware, Crafts Study Centre, Farnham.

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, AM., 2017. Alice Kettle: Threads, The Gallery Winchester Discovery centre, 28/10/2017 - 14/1/2018.

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.

Chambers, S., Cooper, E., Farthing, S., Nash, D., Green, N., 2017. Good Nature, Candida Stevens Gallery, 16/9/2017 - 28/10/2017.

Donkor, K., Symington, C., 2017. Ink and Blood: Stories of Abolition, Liverpool International Slavery Museum, 21/8/2017 - 2/9/2018.

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.

Kettle, AM., 2017. More Threads, Candida Stevens Gallery, 10/11/2017 - 2/12/2017.

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

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

Kettle, A., 2017. Textiel Biennale, Rijswick Museum, The Netherlands, 16/5/2017 - 24/9/2017.


Kettle, A., 2019. 'Journey of the Thread', Hanshan Art Museum, China.

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

Book Chapters

Millar, L., Kettle, A., 2018. 'An introduction to The Erotic Cloth'. In Kettle, AM., Millar, L. (eds.) The Erotic Cloth: Seduction and Fetishism in Textiles, 200, Bloomsbury Academic, London.

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',

McNulty, S., Littlefield, D., 2017. 'IE:Studio - Edges',

Journal Articles

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.

Fox, E., 2017. 'My Many Manchesters (Manchester: The Visible and Invisible Cities)', Landscape : the Journal of the Landscape Institute, Winter 2017, pp. 69-73.

Non-Peer Reviewed Articles

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

Conference Papers

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.


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.


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


Beecroft, M., 2018. 'Digital Interlooping: 3D printing of weft-knitted textile based tubular structures using selective laser sintering of nylon powder.', ID Tech Ex Berlin.