Crafting sustainability? An explorative study of craft in three countercultures as a learning path for the future

  • Hanna Hofverberg Uppsala University
  • David O. Kronlid Uppsala University
  • Leif Östman Department of Education
Keywords: craft, sustainability, education for sustainable development, pedagogy, countercultures


This article explores and seeks to identify what ‘crafting sustainability’ could mean in relation to education for sustainable development (ESD). Certain ESD craft pedagogies are explored in three countercultures (from 1900, 1968 and 2017). The empirical data consists of literature from or about these three countercultures. A broad notion of sustainability and the educational philosophies of perennialism, essentialism, progressivism and reconstructivism are used as theoretical frameworks. The findings show the countercultures’ educative craft purposes, craft skills and approaches to learning craft and the possible implications for ESD. In particular, three tensions concerning the implications of an ESD craft pedagogy are discussed.

Author Biographies

Hanna Hofverberg, Uppsala University
Departmanet of Education, PhD student
David O. Kronlid, Uppsala University
Department of Education, Associate Professor in Ethics and Senior Lecturer Science of Education
Leif Östman, Department of Education
Department of Education, Professor in Science of Education


Adamson, G. 2007. Thinking through craft. Bloomsbury: London

Adamson, G. (ed.) 2010. The Craft Reader. Oxford and New York: Berg.

Adamson, G. 2013. The invention of craft. Bloomsbury: London

Ågren, K. 1999. “I hemslöjdens hus” [In the house of home craft] in Lundahl, G.  (ed). Den vackra nyttan – om hemslöjd i Sverige [The beautiful utility – in the Swedish home craft movement]. Södertälje: Gidlunds Förlag. pp 47 – 70.

Anderson, C. 2012. Makers – the new industrial revolution. London: Random House Business Books.

Aristoteles 1982, The Nicomachean Ethics, English translation H. Rackham, Cambridge: Harvard University Press

Brameld, T. 1950. Patterns of Educational Philosophy. A Democratic Interpretation. New York: World Book Company

Cummins. S. 2010. In “Why craft now? Here’s what they say”. American craft council.

Danielson, S. 1991. Den goda smaken och samhällsnyttan: Om Handarbetets Vänner och den svenska hemslöjdsrörelsen [Good taste and societal utility: the home craft’s friends and the Swedish home craft movement]. Nordiska museets handlingar 111, u.o.

Eagleton, T. 1989.  Literary theory: An introduction. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd.

Englund, T. 1997. ”Undervisning som meningserbjudande” [Teaching as meaning making] In Uljens, M. (ed.) Didaktik: teori, reflektion och praktik [Didactic: theory, reflection and practice] pp. 120 - 145. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Eldvik, b. 2010. Modemakt: 300 år av kläder [Fashion power: 300 years of clothes]. Stockholm: Nordiska museets förlag

Esaiasson, P. Gilljam, M., Oscarsson, H. and Wängnerud, L. 2007. Metodpraktikan - konsten att studera samhälle, individ och marknad [Methodology – the art of studying society, individuals and the market]. 3rd ed. Stockholm: Nordstedts Juridik AB.

Frayling, C. 2011. On Craftsmanship. London: Oberon Books Ltd.

Greer, B. 2008. Knitting for good! A guide to create personal, social and political change, stitch by stitch. Boston and London: Trumpeter.

Gustavsson, K. 2002. ”Några bildningsfilosofiska perspektiv i synen på folkbildning” [Educational philosophy perspectives in the view of public education]. Utbildning och demokrati, 11 (2): 83-106

Hatch, M. 2013. Maker Movement manifesto: rules for innovation in the new world of crafters, hackers and tinkerers. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Ingold, T. 2000. The Perception of the Environment – Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill. London: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.

Ingold, T. 2013. Making – anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. London and New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group

Isacson, M. 1999. “Hemslöjdens ekonomiska och sociala historia” [The economic and social history of the home craft movement] in Lundahl, G. Den vackra nyttan – om hemslöjd i Sverige [The beautiful utility – in the Swedish home craft movement]. Södertälje: Gidlunds Förlag pp. 17 – 46.

Jackson Lears T. J. 1981. No place of grace. Antimoderism and the transformation of American culture, 1880 -1920. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press

Jacob, D. 2013. “Crafting your way out of the recession? New craft Entrepreneurs and the global economic downturns”. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 6: 127 – 40.

Jickling, B. 1992. “Why I don’t want my children educated for sustainable Education”, Journal of Environmental Education 23(4): 5 – 8.

Kirk, A. G. 2007. Countercuture Green. The whole earth catalog and American environmentalism. United States of America: University Press of Kansas

Lehnert, G. 2000. Modets historia under 1900-talet. [History of fashion in the 20th century]
Köln: Druckhaus Locher GmbH

Levine, F and Heimerl, C. 2008. Handmade nation – the rise of DIY, Art; Craft, and Design. New York: Princetion Architectural Press.

Lewenhaupt, L. 2002. Modeboken 1900 – 2000. [The book of fashion 1900-2000] Stockholm: Prisma

Luckman, S. 2015. Craft and the Creative Ecconomy. London: Palgrave MacMillan

Lundahl, G. (ed). 1999. Den vackra nyttan – om hemslöjd i Sverige. [The beautiful utility – in the Swedish home craft movement]. Södertälje: Gidlunds Förlag

Morozov, E. 2014. “Making it. Pick up a spot welder and join the revolution”. The New Yorker.  January 13.

Morris, W. 1968/2010. “The Revival of Handicraft”. In The Craft reader, Adamson, G. (Ed). Oxford and New York: Berg.

Öhman, J. 2006. Den etiska tendensen i utbildning för hållbar utveckling. Meningsskapande i ett genomlevandeperspektiv [The Ethical Tendency in Education for Sustainable Development. A Practical Understanding of Meaning-making]. PhD Diss. Örebro University

Polanyi, M. 1966. The tacit dimension. Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press.

Scott, W and Gough, S. 2003. Sustainable Development and Learning: Framing the Issues. London and New York: RoutledgeFalmer.

Sellers, P. 2015.

Sennett, R. 2008. The craftsman. Penguin Books: London

Schwartz, C. 2011. The Anarchist’s Tool Chest. Fort Mitchell: Lost Art Press

Shilling, C. 2016. The Body – a very sort introduction. Oxford: Oxford niversity Press

SOU 2004:104. Att lära för hållbar utbildning [Learning for sustainable development].  Stockholm: Fritzes.

Stevenson, R B., Broady, M., Dillon, J., and Wals, A, E. J. 2013. International handbook of research on environmental education. New York: The American Educational Research Association by Routledge Publisher

Säfström, Carl-Anders & Östman, Leif (Eds.) 1999. Textanalys [Text analysis]. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

UNESCO. 2015. Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Van Poeck, K. and Lysgaard, J. A. 2016. ’The roots and routes of environmental and sustainability education policy research’, Environmental Education Research, 22:3, 305-318.

Waldén, L. 1999. “Handarbetet – hatat och hyllat” [Handicraft: hated and loved] in Lundahl (Ed.) Den vackra nyttan – om hemslöjd i Sverige. [The beautiful utility – in the Swedish home craft movement] Södertälje: Gidlunds Förlag, pp.71 – 88.
Wagner. A. 2008. “Craft: It’s what you make of it”. In Levine, F and Heimerl, C (eds) Handmade nation – the rise of DIY, Art; Craft, and Design. New York: Princeton Architectural Press pp. 1-3.

The World Commission on Environment and Development. 1988. Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Zaki, C. D. 1988. Formal, non-formal and informal education: concepts/applicability. In Cooperative Networks in Physics Education - Conference Proceedings 173, American Institute of Physics, New York, pp. 300-315.
Special Issue Peer Reviewed Articles