The Research

The research design explores the integration of the existing permaCultural resilience (pCr) praxis with additional 3 fields; Marine Ecology, Environmental Science and Engineering within three work packages; Youth, Community and Media Transition, with a focus on key areas identified through the research assistants prior research and pertinent to an Irish rural context; Waste and the relationship between the Green and Blue Economy, in County Kerry,which has one of the the largest coastlines in Ireland. 


Both youth and community transition work packages will mainly focus on the exploration of the issues and development of practical solutions around two key issues for the area – plastic waste and land ecosystem health including freshwater and marine ecologies. The government’s policy “A Resource Opportunity – Waste Management Policy in Ireland” (DECLG, 2012c), published in 2012 prioritised prevention and minimisation, highlighting how waste can be reduced through better design, smart green purchasing and use of locally produced goods, boosting local economies.


The pCr methodology is a whole system approach and although the work packages have distinct aims and objectives, they are integrated with the skills of the whole team applied to their development and delivery where appropriate. This can be considered as manifesting a circular economic approach, by considering a life cycle analysis of the methods used. their inputs, processes and outputs.  


The education and community activities around waste and the circular economy will address this practically by collecting and re-purposing waste plastic materials from daily usage which will then be used to make clear the connections between the product, the materials and how it might be re-used. The design thinking approach enables a re-imagination of how their recyclability might be improved and how this could be re-used in the future.


It is expected that the outcomes of the project will have value for other areas, by creating a fully accessible and transferable toolkit for educational and community use. Through STEAM place-based learning interventions the team will contribute to quality education (SDG 4) with thematic content focused on Life below Water (SDG 14) and Life on Land (SDG 15) to contribute to Sustainable cities and resilience communities (SDG 11) by integrating peer-2-peer knowledge and the experience of an interdisciplinary team to iterate an existing method.

The Approach

The project includes a unique art and design critical praxis, a methodology to affect change that was developed for embedded artists and situated practice.  Utilsing the artists' residency, the artist is embedded in a specific situation or context and the artwork usually project-based emerges out of that situation. As a bio-psycho-social intervention it is a systemic approach to creative placemaking.

CoDesRes's core methodology, the permaCultural resilience (pCr) framework, embeds social and environmental justice in its processes. Trialled in London, Dublin and New Mexico in a range of socio-political contexts, it has proven to be effective in creating locally relevant non-formulaic projects that contribute to change in practice and behaviours, within a given context.


But it's not sustainable as it needs the pCr creator to facilitate the process. 


For the purpose of the research, the pCr praxis is being explored for its ability to contribute to the development of sustainable communities through a focus on circular economies, waste as a resource and plastic pollution. The team with the co-designers from the various projects, will undertake activities aligned to the following Sustainable Development Goals 4 - Quality Education, 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities, 14 - Life Below Water and 15 - Life on Land.

The CoDesRes project seeks to make the pCr tools and process accessible to anyone and over the next two years we will be working with our co-designers; transition year students and community group members to develop a toolkit, educational resources and professional development resources for those working at the intersection of the Arts, Ecology, Spatial Planning and Community Engagement and Development. 

The pCr Praxis

The CoDesRes methodology and research design is underpinned by interdisciplinary knowledge bases; arts, education, community development, marine ecology, environmental science and engineering. The permaCultural resilience (pCr) critical praxis (McKeown, 2015) for Creative Placemaking; the creative innovative participatory development of place, a web of complex relationships and systems. The pCr praxis (theoretical framework and toolkit) offers a systematic approach to Creative Placemaking through a situated, networked artist-led co-production  that embeds eco-social justice at its core. As an operating system, the pCr praxis presents an Open Source resilient approach to design and encourages the triad of capitals; social, environmental and economic to be integrated into the process as a means to cultivate the creation of conditions towards a healthy resilient eco-socio-cultural system and a reciprocal ecology.


An introduction: the pCr ROLE in Creative Placemaking is sustainable and resilient. Collectively, the toolkit and framework have been shown to facilitate self-organisation towards community development, a design thinking approach to local concerns and a process of developing innovative solutions collaboratively and systemically.


R - Relationships Using an intensive ‘audit’ tool to map cultural, economic, socio-political and environmental dynamics the pCr praxis reveals relationships, resources and opportunities to help re-configure and re-imagine an understanding of place. Stakeholder consultation is the first stage in the process


The construction of flexible micro-ecologies aids the revelation of multiple knowledge cultures and entities, integrating their place-based knowledge, valued for its potential to contribute to a local resilience.


O - OBREDIM process The pCr approach to Creative Placemaking develops a strategic intervention tactic as a core component for achieving permaCultural resilience (pCr) – a situated cultural resilience that is established over time through continual evolution. Permaculture tools adpated to suit situated art practices (where the art emerges out of specific situation and is context responsive) are used to move beyond site-specific or traditional art forms that often static or monumental towards generative practices.


L - Lifecycle Analysis The pCr framework offers a simple visual tool that embeds an eco-social commitment within Creative Placemaking by addressing the full life cycle of a project and beyond. By plotting the position of the inputs, processes and outputs of a project against the proximity to project’s ‘Zone 0’, an initial assessment of all production process can be considered.


E - Evaluation The pCr toolkit includes an evaluative matrix based on the concept of the vital signs of a project and contributing to the vital signs of a place. The Vital signs, act as indicators of a healthy system – human and non-human. The matrix, developed through the research uses the proposed foundational characteristics of pCr


  • Building Micro-ecologies

  • Strategic Intervention Tactics

  • Re-seeding Local Knowledge

  • Re-situating Arts, Design and Culture


and integrates three other key factors – earth care, people care and fair share, often commonly known as the triple bottom line. An additional indicator – the inclusive fitness theory evidences where the ethos behind the project spreads into other organisations or working practices towards long-term behavioural change.


The Vital Signs Matrix tool can also be used as a collaborative project development tool that serves as a foundation to addresses social and environmental equity within a project; short medium and long-term. The methodology also developed an extended concept of SMART goals that sought to integrate goals reflective of the current and future context;


  • S - Socio-culturally specific, Simple, and Sincere

  • M -  Meaningful as well as manageable and measurable

  • A -  Appropriate, Achievable, Aspirational and Ambitious

  • R – Relevant, Responsive, Reviewed and revised

  • T – Timely and time-specific

  • E - Eco-considerate and Ethical

  • R – Resilient, Resourceful and far – Reaching

Proposed Outcomes

CoDesRes is one of six national EPA funded projects and brings together an interdisciplinary team of artists, scholars, engineers and marine biologists codesign and development a multi-stakeholder approach for a ‘beyond-compliance’ engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals 4, Education; 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities; 14. Life Below Water and 15, Life on Land


Trialled in London, Dublin and New Mexico, the systems non-formulaic approach will form the foundation of a truly accessible toolkit for communities and educators to go beyond citizen inclusion in governance and decision making through active engagement with  problem-finding and solving. Key objectives for the project are as follows;


  1. 110 local residents –  trained in the methodology and mentored through the development of local projects

  2.          An educational curriculum and teachers resources for Transition Year students based on the SDGs in                       particular SDG 4, 11, 14 and 15
  3. A set of continuing professional development training / resources for second level teachers and other            professionals

  4. A fully accessible open source toolkit.

  5. A media and repair café / maker co-op, Remade in Kerry at the core of an innovation and knowledge network

WP 1 Project Management Lead: Anita McKeown

Work Package 1 focuses on budgets, deliverables and timescales. Its main objective is to ensure that the project is completed on time, and all the WP deliverables are met within the lifetime of the project. The project and team’s progress is monitored, reports are submitted to the EPA, and contact points are maintained for project partners.

WP2 - Youth Transition, Lead: Lucy Hunt

Work Package 2 looks at the creation of educational material aimed at local youth in order to develop and expand their awareness and understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals. With a focus on a practical and accessible methodology, a toolkit will be developed for Transition Year students, using thematic content for SDG 11, 14 and 15. 

WP3 - Community Transition, Lead: Eleanor Turner

Work Package 3 aims to engage and expand the community’s knowledge and awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals. Creating and utilising accessible and practical methods, organisations and citizens will be involved in informal learning opportunities and research.


A Community Rapid Transition Media and Repair Cafe co-op will also be established.

WP4 - Media Transition, Lead: James Murphy and Rebecca White

Work Package 4 looks at curriculum development, learning activities and resource development from a media standpoint. A Transition Media Team will be recruited to work on various tasks throughout the project, and contribute to data-gathering and analysis. The package involves the documentation of the project for the local and wider community, partners and the archive, while helping to develop resources for the toolkit.

WP 5 - Dissemination Lead:
Anita McKeown and the CoDesRes team and media cohort 

Work Package 5 raises awareness about the progress and outcomes over the course of the project. The project has a dissemination and communication strategy that will be implemented by the media cohort as part of their learning strategies. This will target the broad range of groups and people identified in the communication plan, developed to engage with the project and the SDGs. The research team will also be producing  journal papers and attending conferences.

The project's design is such that all the team and the media cohort will contribute to the disseminaton of the research in the following four ways;​


1. Through a series of conference presentations, journal papers and online media platforms as we hope to reach beyond the academic communities to bring the research and the SDGs into people's daily lives.


2. By creating events that engage with the SDGs within educational and community contexts the project not only raises awareness of the SDGs but simultaneously disseminates the research by building a broad audience.


3. The project will undertake a short tour in three distinct contexts; rural, suburban and urban local authorities and schools to share the findings and 

4. Finally, the project's toolkit will be presented and shared through open source platforms