Designing Futures: A Model for Innovation, Growth and Sustainability of the Craft and Design Industry
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An industry development program, Designing Futures, has engaged design practitioners in new development approaches to evolve their work and advance the craft and design sector over a decade. This paper describes the context, development and evolution of a cluster-led model, the Designing Futures Cluster Program, aimed at building capacity in the craft and design field in Western Australia. Through a framework encouraging groups of practitioners to collaborate, it provides design, production, management and marketing mentoring and assistance. The Cluster Program is set in the context of the cultural and socio-economic contribution that creative industries can make to communities, and the impacts of policy and funding on fostering creative futures. Case study and action research methodologies were combined for the research, which resulted in a model. Using the results a comprehensive ‘manual’ was developed to articulate the model and guide future delivery of the program. The case study illustrates how cluster development enables increased productivity within creative practice, by mentoring and fostering links and professional networks with a range of industry representatives. The model, which has been proven to accelerate learning and professional growth of participants, is being explored for wider application.
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