Bricolage, Hybridity, Circularity: Crafting Production Strategies in Critical and Conceptual Design

Catharine Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Attending to production and appropriating the handmade has been a persistent thread in critical and conceptual design practice, from its origins in 1970s Italian radicalism and re-emergence in Dutch conceptualism, to its current fashionability amongst designers today. Practitioners such as Tejo Remy and Thomas Thwaites are amongst those to envisage the designer as a maker, re-imagining the environment with the limited materials, tools and skill at hand in order to make objects informed by the productive methods of bricolage, hybridity and circularity. Their motivations for adopting these methods vary according to cultural and historical context; these range from issues of alienation, sustainability and post-apocalyptic survival, to the liberatory potential of having less. Through examining this multi-faceted pre-eminence of manual production, this article aims to contribute to the discourse on critical and conceptual design past and present and advance its speculative potentiality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-87
Number of pages19
JournalDesign and Culture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Craft
  • Contemporary Design
  • Critical Design


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