Marie Lefebvre-

An investigation of the factors influencing repair propensity

To facilitate the transition towards the circular economy, design strategies have been put forward. Yet, they do not all respond appropriately to the need to support the consumer to change and evolve. Design for Sustainable Behaviour (DfSB) is one of the tool which through consumer behaviour and practice theory attempt to develop solutions which can support the consumer to redefine his role and associated pattern of behaviour. This thesis uses two behavioural frameworks – one fix, one cyclical – to explore the adoption of the repair of small electrical items by users. Repair was chosen as it is one of the strategies to facilitate the transition towards the circular economy that can be performed by the user. Small electrical items were chosen because every year an estimated 2 million tonnes of electrical items are discarded by householders and companies in the UK (HSE 2014).The research embrace pragmatic constructivism and use the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.


Poster Presentations

Lefebvre M.,Lofthouse V., Stevenson N. (2015), ‘ Design for Sustainable Behaviour in a Circular economy– displayed at Goldsmith, Annual Postgraduate Poster Competition (winner)  and Lancaster, UK: Imagination Lancaster Design Ph.D Conference


Guest Lecture Design for sustainable Behaviour and Repair. In What Do I Need To Do To Make It OK? A symposium on damage and repair, at Farnham, UK : UCA Farnharm. (a.y. 2015-2016)

Guest Lecture SWOC analysis and connecting the dots backwards, at Loughborough London, London (a.y. 2014-2015, a.y. 2016-2017)

 Public Engagement

  • (Workshop organisation) associated repair events for the Green Festival of making and mending. Leicester UK : Footpaths – April 2015 – October 2015
  • (Workshop Participation) Lufbra Service Jam. Loughborough, UK: Loughborough University, February 2015.
  • (Festival Organisation) The Green Festival of Making and Mending. Leicester, UK : Footpaths Leicester – 31 October 2015
  • (Press) M.Lefebvre (2016) Restart Host Profile. In Restart. London, UK.
  • (Radio Interview), BBC Leicester, (2017) Repair events in Leicester.
  • (Radio Interview), 103 The Eye (2017), Melton Space.In 103 The Eye. Melton Mowbray, UK
  • (Radio Interview) Restart Radio (2017) Restarting in Leicester. In Restart. London, UK –
  • (Press) M.Lefebvre (2017) Why help is the best glue?. In Thoughtful. London, UK.
  • (Module participation), The Old Rectory Social Innovation UX Master Project, Loughborough UK: Loughborough University, March 2017- May 2017

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Academic profile:



Leicester Fixers and the Restart Project:

Francesco Mazzarella+

Co-designing Situated Services for Sustainable Futures:

Meaningful Social Innovation from within Textile Artisan Communities


Nowadays, we are witnessing an increased interest in artisanship as a more meaningful and sustainable approach to design, production and consumption. Yet, artisans often find themselves in an isolated and precarious condition, being placed at the bottom of the pyramid of a system, which has proven unsustainable in terms of livelihood, cultural heritage, social equality, and environmental stewardship. To alleviate this problem, a range of top-down policies and one-size-fits-all strategies have been deployed, but they have resulted ineffective in addressing the specific needs and aspirations of inherently diverse local communities. For this reason, the contribution that service design for social innovation can make is gaining currency and recognition, thanks to its human-centred, strategic and systemic approach. This has built momentum for the service designer to intervene in a future-making process, tackling the complex challenges embedded in the artisanal landscape. However, this requires the service designer to embrace new roles, methods and purposes. Moving away from ‘parachuting’ into communities using fixed toolkits and conceptualising blueprints in an overly neat way, this thesis builds on the emergence of a design anthropological approach to entering artisans’ realities, seeking to embed their social worlds into the process of service innovation. In this research project, this approach was developed by engaging with two textile artisan communities (Nottingham, UK and Cape Town, South Africa) chosen as unit of analysis for participatory case studies, with the aim to explore how the service designer can contribute to activate meaningful routes for their transition towards sustainable futures. As an outcome, the research contributes an original anthropological framework for service design, which allows to better scope meaningful intervention within a context, elicit tacit knowledge and interweave compelling narratives, as a way to make sense of sustainable futures with local communities by co-creating situated services and activating a legacy. To support this process, multiple service design and co-design methods – such as ethnography, storytelling, sensemaking, co-creation workshops, and roundtable discussions – were adopted and adapted. Furthermore, this research highlights the cultural and critical value of the service designer embarked in such a social innovation journey, having to play the roles of anthropologist, storyteller, sensemaker, co-creator, and activist.

Keywords: service design, design anthropology, sustainable futures, social innovation, textile artisan communities


Hirscher, A-L., Mazzarella, F., & Fuad-Luke, A. (2017). Socialising Value Creation through Making Differently. Making Clothes in a Makershop with Diverse Locals. In: Fashion Practice: The Journal of Design, Creative Process & The Fashion Industry. Vol. 10, Fashion Localism. Abingdon: Taylor & Francis [submitted].

Mazzarella, F., Mitchell, V., & Escobar-Tello, C.  (2017). Crafting Sustainable Futures. The Value of the Service Designer in Activating Meaningful Social Innovation from within Textile Artisan Communities. In: Proceedings of EAD 12 – Rome: Design for Next. 12-14 April 2017, Rome Italy: Sapienza University of Rome.

Mazzarella, F., & Brass, C. (2017). Great Expectations for the O-Shaped Designer. In: IED Journal. Westbury, UK: IED.

Mazzarella, F., Escobar-Tello, C., & Mitchell, V. (2016). Moving Textile Artisans’ Communities towards a Sustainable Future – A Theoretical Framework. In: Proceedings of DRS2016: Design + Research + Society – Future-Focused Thinking. 27-30 June 2016, Brighton, UK: University of Brighton. Vol. 10, pp. 3961-3982.

Brass, C., & Mazzarella, F. (2015). Are we asking the right questions? Rethinking post-graduate design education towards sustainable visions for the future. In: Proceedings of 17th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education – Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research & Enterprise. 3-4 September 2015, Loughborough, UK: Loughborough Design School.

Mazzarella, F., Escobar-Tello, C., & Mitchell, V. (2015). Service Ecosystem: Empowering Textile Artisans’ Communities Towards a Sustainable Future. In: Proceedings of Nordes 2015: Design Ecologies. 7-10 June 2015, Stockholm, Sweden: Konstfack University.

Mazzarella, F., & Engler, R. (2014). Self-production and Craft: Advanced Processes for Social Innovation. In: 5th International Forum of Design as a Process: The Shapes of the Future as the Front end of Design Driven Innovation. 18-20 September 2014, Guadalajara, Mexico: Tecnologico De Monterrey.

Mazzarella, F., & Peruccio, P. P. (2013). Self-production: A Human Centred Design Process. The Sustainable Future of Self-production through a Humanistic and Participatory Process. In: 4th International Forum of Design as a Process, Diversity: Design/ Humanities. 19-22 September 2013, Belo Horizonte, Brazil: Barbacena, pp. 266-276.

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Andrew McIlwraith+

Andrew McIlwraith

Andrew is blogging about his work at the V&A.

Matthew Plummer-Fernandez+


Making algorithms public: rendering visible the operations and politics of algorithmic systems through critical design.

Gionata Gatto+

The research investigates the role of Design in the communication, data visualization and public engagement on Life Sciences. Focusing on the scientific branch of Plant Neurobiology as the main case study, the research probes novel Designer/Scientist interaction paths involving the use of specifically designed plant-inspired experiments. Aim of the research is to finally identify which Design tools and methods could be appropriate and useful to the development of Life Science inspired Design projects.

David Brezina+

Title: Structural analysis of text typefaces for selected world scripts: a systematic approach to stylistic consistency in multilingual environments

Letterform conventions often constitute a structure defined through similarity or distinctiveness of individual letterforms or their parts. For example, Latin-script letters ‘b’ and ‘p’ are conventionally designed to look similar – ‘b’ has a bowl similar to ‘p’ on the right side, but they differ on the left side. These kind of relationships among the letters seem to be intrinsic to each script. Furthermore, parts which are intrinsically similar are usually treated consistently by designers, particularly in text typefaces.

The aim of the proposed thesis is to determine whether there is a single structure behind the stylistic treatment of the selected world scripts (Latin, Greek, and Devanagari). This does not seem to be the case as, for example, some of the standard letter-parts from one script may not be present in another script at all. On the other hand, there may be a structural overlap between some scripts which borrowed forms from each other or used similar writing tools through their historical development.

Furthermore, there is an anticipation that different type styles will produce different structures, i.e. a script will be perceived as a set of styles defined by these structures.

Helen McGilp+

Recording in the fashion design process

For my research, I am looking at methods adopted in the fashion design industry for recording, analysing and articulating the early stages of the design process. This builds on earlier work I have undertaken looking at recording the design process within an educational context on a design Masters Fashion programme.

Within Fashion, little is written or even spoken about the design process, with most publishing focusing on the final outcome.

As a driver for an industry that revolves around a constant cycle of change, it is perhaps surprising that Fashion Design does not have a culture of recording and evaluation to underpin future design development.

The design process in Fashion is a relative newcomer to academic publishing and, although this is an area addressed within other design fields such as architecture and product design, most coverage within Fashion is sparse and anecdotal.

I am looking to better understand and model the authentic design process within fashion. As part of this, I will be looking at the ways designers record and capture that process, and how they might use those recordings to enhance areas such as creativity, idea generation, re-use of design elements and process efficiency.

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