Alessandra Fasoli

Research project: Craft in Makerspaces: The Potential for Social Change for Sustainability

Abstract

Building on prior work into the cultural role of makerspaces, this research focuses on the potential of craft practices in makerspaces as a driver for social change towards sustainability goals.

The project aims to understand emerging craft ecologies in the UK in relation to sustainable behaviours, in order to establish how a maker literacy can be developed and integrated into specific social and cultural contexts. Initially, the project focuses on the existing craft and makerspace ecosystem in the Devon area, with the aim also to provide clarity on how maker initiatives are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they are reorganising themselves in order to pursue their mission.

It is expected that a preliminary understanding of the Devon makerspaces' social context will provide the first step towards developing a platform for work with and in makerspaces, implementing them and evaluating programme(s) for craft-led pro-sustainability change.

Biography

I am a designer with a strong focus on sustainability and technology. I am currently doing a part-time PhD at Kingston University in partnership with the Craft Council, exploring the potential of craft in makerspaces as a social enabler for sustainability. I earn a MArch (hons) in Architecture Design from Roma Tre University with a thesis on sustainable participatory architecture in Peruvian rural communities. In 2009 I co-funded the Rome-based noprofit AK0 - architettura a kilometro zero; since 2014 I have been working with several makerspaces, developing a strong interest in emerging distributed design practices; and from 2017 to 2020 I worked full-time at Sapienza University's Saperi&Co Fab Lab and Coworking. I worked as a design lecturer both in academic and non-academic environments and lived in Germany, Peru, Spain, and Italy, before moving permanently to England in 2020, where I currently work as a freelance visual designer, alongside my PhD.

Areas of research interest

  • Sustainable Design
  • Distributed Manufacturing
  • Participatory Design
  • Appropriate technologies
  • Makerspaces
  • Craft culture
  • Social sustainable development

Qualifications

  • MA (hons) in Architecture Design, Faculty of Architecture, Roma Tre University
  • BA in Science of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Roma Tre University
  • Architect, Professional Qualification, Sapienza University of Rome

Funding or awards received

  • AHRC Techne Studenship, 2019
  • Torno Subito International Training Scholarship, Regione Lazio, 2015
  • International Mobility Program, Roma Tre University, 2010

Publications

Alessandra Fasoli & Silvio Tassinari (2017) Engaged by Design: The Role of Emerging Collaborative Infrastructures for Social Development. Roma Makers as A Case Study,The Design Journal, 20:sup1, S3121-S3133, DOI: 10.1080/14606925.2017.1352819

Stefan Pollak & Alessandra Fasoli, 2014, T.E.R.R.E.—Technological Experiments and Research in Earth buildings, C. Mileto, F. Vegas, L. García Soriano, V. Cristini, Earthen Architecture: Past, Present and Future, CRC Press, pp. 293-298 

Conference papers

Fasoli, A. (2021) ‘Craft in Makerspaces: The Potential for Social Change for Sustainability', [Poster], in Di Lucchio, L. et al. (eds) Design Culture(s). Cumulus Conference Proceedings Roma 2021, Volume #2. Design Culture(s), Rome (Cumulus Conference Proceedings Series, N°7), p. 4773.