A new theme issue of She Ji brings together a collection of papers that reflect on art and design action research that has been delivered in response to a common theme: Cultures of Resilience. Initially, the purpose of Cultures of Resilience (CoR) was to discuss the cultural dimension of resilience and produce a set of narratives, values, ideas, and projects on this topic. But as it evolved, CoR narrowed its focus to one of “place related communities,” identified as a pre-condition for every possible scenario of social resilience.7
The CoR project was made viable by the observation that there were already several initiatives underway at the University of the Arts London (UAL) that were dealing directly or indirectly with the issue of social resilience and community building. In view of this, the aim of CoR was to offer these ongoing projects a common platform from which to exchange experiences and discuss and build some original art and design knowledge. In doing so, CoR carried out a de facto action research project, where the action thread consisted of several art and design initiatives, and the research thread was the program of discussions and seminars exploring the social effects of the projects. Beyond this main goal, CoR also aimed at including normal didactic activities in the research process, challenging an art and design school to act also as an action research agent.