Design for Care in the Peripheries: Arts-based research as an empowering process with communities

Satu Miettinen, Melanie Sarantou, Essi Kuure


Arts-based research (ABR), its potential for participation and collaboration, can create insights and understanding of complex societal structures. It can also be used as an approach to find mindful solutions with peripheral communities. The paper argues that ABR, supported by practical collaborative processes, can offer suitable approaches to design for care by including local stakeholders in community-led development processes. This paper presents a Life Story Mandala tool that enables researchers and art and design practitioners to manage complex societal development processes in a globalised world (Bonsiepe 2006). The tool was developed during two global research cycles in South Australia and Finnish Lapland. The goal was to contribute to the development of fair and equal possibilities in everyday life through self-expression. The paper illustrates the practical implementation of a theoretical framework to analyse two case studies in which ABR was employed as an approach to design for care in the peripheries.

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