Future Thinking for Social Living

Future Thinking for Social Living is a collaboration between researchers at Falmouth University and independent research organisation Foam Kernow and residents and staff at Miners Court extra care housing scheme in Redruth, Cornwall. Using crafts, storytelling and accessible technology, this project explores ideas about how our wellbeing might be improved by making - sometimes small - changes to the ways we live. We start the pilot by engaging in making activities, conversations and presentations in order to talk about and reimagine together what home is and what makes a home.

Run by Magda Tyżlik-Carver and Fiona Hackney, and assised by Christiane Berghoff, Robin Hawes, Lucie Hernandez and Dave Griffiths, we set up camp with a lot of materials for knitting, crochet and weaving as well as some Raspberry Pis and the all new pattern matrix tangible weavecoding device.

Foam Kernow's weavecoding project provided ideas for bridging gaps, both between technology and people – but also across gender gaps, mixing textiles with electronics for example. We found that helping people weave with tablets on the inkle loom was a good way to get talking, as this seems new to even people who are experienced with crafts. It also appeals to people with mathematics or design background who normally are uninterested in knitting and other crafts, and seems gender neutral perhaps for the same reasons. It also helped to talk about the history of what we were weaving with, the fact that this is an ancient technique and yet there are so many surprises – we can’t really predict to them what will happen e.g. to the pattern when we change rotation direction, and this seemed to be important.