So far I have been mostly using coffee, but really it makes me want to run around. I thought of an idea which some more technically-minded colleagues may be able to help me to express properly, or…Continue
Started Aug 11, 2011
I am a Phd student at Goldsmiths, London. My research is about sustainable dwelling, where "dwelling" is understood as an holistic concept pertaining to both the form of dwellings and the processes of dwelling in everyday life.
I have interpreted “sustainability” as a concept which relates to attitudes regarding production and consumption. My research examines how value is placed on certain activities, and not on others, in order to form an ecology which is both light and, in theory, permanent.
My research field is in west Wales, at sites throughout Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. This is a predominantly rural area where land is used extensively for pastoral farming. West Wales has proven to be the ideal context for the exploration of different approaches to sustainable dwelling, with major changes to planning policy resulting from changes in the way local authorities have viewed land usage which have emanated particularly from Pembrokeshire. This has been an important contextual point for my research, given the tradition within Anthropology of interpreting the Celtic Fringe (Wales, Ireland, Scotland) as peripheral and marginal places. In this example, rural Wales has in fact been a forward-thinking centre for cultural change.
Recent changes to planning policy have acknowledged a link between land and livelihood and may become a key enabler for those wishing to pursue a lifestyle which they view as “sustainable”. Understanding how these changes are implemented and received throughout Wales will be crucial in ensuring the policy has lasting benefit for the people of Wales.
My research has a strong focus on tools, techniques and technologies specific to sustainable dwelling. I present the idea of “permaculture”, a design perspective which takes an inclusive view of habitat, which applies as much to humans as other animals, and practitioners look to replicate patterns found in nature. Practitioners and participants in my research usually equate “sustainable” with DIY, especially in terms of food production and power generation. My research follows the flow of materials, people and things which form the networks by which such knowledge is created and shared.