Installation view, Craft House 2023, The Briggait, Glasgow. Courtesy Cress McLaren, Cressa’s Glassworks 2023.
In Person


Wednesday 10 April 2.00 – 4.00pm free

Crafting Sustainability 

Room 282, Adam Smith Business School
2 Discovery Place
Glasgow, G11 6EY

Please note change of venue. This event will take place in Room 282, Adam Smith Business School (next to the Advanced Research Centre).

This event explores the development of urban craft retail and production, and its intersection with strategies of sustainability and post-industrial city regeneration. The event questions the limited place of crafts in the creative city agenda and city-development policies, and proposes the opportunities craft offers to shift the focus in city-regeneration from consumption to production. Following a research presentation from visiting scholar Emanuela Naclerio, who explores the case of bricks-and-mortar artisanal craft retail in Turin, the event aims to facilitate exchange between the Scottish and Italian contexts and beyond. The discussion will be led by Rosemary James-Beith whose PhD research is focused on maker-led organisations in the Scottish craft ecology.

Sustainability, Crafts, and the Productive City: the case of Brick and Mortar shops in Turin

The relation between craft and artisanal production work and sustainable instances has been permeated by ambiguities such as the position of local craft economies in global capitalist markets, the precariousness and employment instability that affects artisans’ trajectories, and the exclusion of production and making activities from the creative global cities. 

The study considers how discourses and practices of sustainability are constructed by artisanal creators in the context of Turin (Italy), a former industrial northern Italian city. 

Through a qualitative analysis of interviews and ethnographic data, the research sheds light on the role of street level brick and mortar shops and ateliers in enacting social, economic and environmental sustainability in urban settings.  

A reflection regarding how local policies in Turin address small scale urban manufacturing will also be addressed in the talk. 

About the Contributors

Emanuela Naclerio works as postdoctoral researcher in the NWO funded project ‘Crafting Future Urban Economies’ at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her current research considers micro-entrepreneurs in sustainable craft, focusing on issues of work, identity and cultural production in France and Italy. She is also teacher and course coordinator for the courses of ‘Sustainability in the Visual Arts and Craft’ (BA), ‘Creative and Sustainable Cities’ (MA). In 2022, she received her PhD in Sociology and Methodology of Social Research from the University of Milan. Her research about young performing artists in the city of Milan was presented in international conferences of sociology (ESA, ISA) and was published in journals such Sociology, International Sociology, European Journal of Cultural Studies. Emanuela’s research interests look at the intersection between work, sustainability and cultural production from a perspective that takes into account sociological theories and cultural sociology.

Rosemary James-Beith is a PhD researcher based in the Centre for Cultural Policy Research, University of Glasgow. Her research focuses on the role of maker-led organisations in Scotland, and what their practices tell us about the needs and aspirations of craft makers. Rosemary was recently commissioned to undertake a review of craft and making education in Scotland of behalf of Craft Scotland and Panel: MAKE Learn (2021). Rosemary has taught on University of Glasgow courses including Issues in Audience Management (MSc), Introduction to Creative Industries (MA) and Creative Lives (MSc). Working with a range of cultural organisations across visual arts, dance, performance and creative learning, supporting arts evaluation, research, audience development and strategy, Rosemary has 20years experience in Scotland’s cultural sector.