Crofting, craft and the place-making praxis of a Hebridean island design enterprise

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentationpeer-review


    “Tradition without practice becomes nostalgia.” So states the website for Uist Wool, a craft and design enterprise committed to sharing “knowledge and experience with others to provide long-term social, economic and cultural benefits to our communities”, based on the small island of Grimsay in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. Bryden (2007) speaks of Scotland’s crofting communities as derived from the dichotomies of both ‘functional’ and ’place-based’ discourses. Uist Wool exemplifies such discourse as praxis: expressing craft and design as crofting (Hunter, 2000) that is functional - where the craft resource derives from the physical landscape and literal crofting practice – as well as ‘place-made’ whereby intimate networks of local contingencies establish and inform what is expressed, practiced and validated as a ‘crofting community’. This paper comments on sustainable creative enterprise and education in the current climate of Hebridean cultural identity and its expression. Particular focus is given to this in terms of remote rural sustainability agenda informing ‘knowledge’, ‘territory’ and ‘space’. Uist Wool is an illustrative example of this in Scottish terms as well as indicative of community resilience and well-being across ‘northern places’ more widely.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2017
    EventRelate North 2017 Art and Design for Education and Sustainability: 6th annual symposium & exhibition - The University of Lapland (and Lappia Hall [Arctic Spirit] event), Rovaniemi, Finland
    Duration: 9 Nov 201713 Nov 2017
    Conference number: 6th


    ConferenceRelate North 2017 Art and Design for Education and Sustainability
    Abbreviated titleRelate North 2017
    Internet address


    • Remote and rural areas
    • Highlands and islands
    • Crofting
    • Place
    • Community
    • Hebrides
    • praxis
    • enterprise
    • Design
    • Craft
    • Cultural Work
    • creative industries
    • Media Representation
    • Narratives


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