Conference Website:

Making Futures will be held on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th September 2015 within the magnificently sited Mount Edgcumbe estate on the River Tamar opposite the city of Plymouth, Devon, UK.

The CALL FOR ABSTRACTS is now open and, due to popular demand, the closing date for receipt has been extended to 1st June 2015. Building on the success of its three previous editions, Making Futures invites proposals for papers and presentations that address the main conference topic, thematic fields and workshops. Making Futures seeks to be broad and inclusive, and invites a diverse range of responses, from artists, craftspeople, designer-makers, Fab Lab and maker-movement enthusiasts, campaigners and activists, curators, historians and theorists.

Download the Call for Abstracts: MF_Call_for_Abstracts_2015

CONFERENCE AIMS: Making Futures investigates contemporary craft and maker movements as ‘change agents’ within 21st century society, particularly in relation to global sustainability agendas, social entrepreneurialism and community regeneration.

Embracing contemporary craft and making as instances of thought in action, and convinced of their transformative potential at individual and social levels, Making Futures IV envisages the “(re)turn of the maker” as part of a radically open project capable of generating new progressive possibilities – of contributing to new social and economic futures…

Shifting between the individual and the social, the personal and the collective, the conference will investigate what it means ‘to make’ and its future significations: personally, artistically, economically, politically, its relation to new materials and technologies, its impact on sustainable agendas, its contribution to community and ‘place-making’, its subversion of mass consumption and the possible emergence of new political economies.

THEMATIC FIELDS: proposals might address one of six themes:

  • Lifecycles of Material Worlds (Sustainability in Practice)
  • Craft in an Expanded Field
  • Critical Perspectives on Consumerism
  • Translations Across Local-Global Divides
  • Materials & Processes of Making
  • Making Thinking (The Craft of Education)

WORKSHOPS: we are also calling for submissions to three workshops aligned to the “(re)turn of the maker” theme:

  • A Western Jugaad? Frugal Innovation in collaboration with the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, and Fab Lab Barcelona.
  • Place-Making-Space: tools and methods for ‘crafting communities’ and ‘making places’ in the post-global era in collaboration with the Community21 Sustainable Design Research Group at the University of Brighton.
  • Digital Crafting – Defining the Field in collaboration with the School of Materials, The Royal College of Art.

KEYNOTES: we announce the following confirmed Keynote speakers:

  • Rebecca Burgess: Founder of ‘Fibreshed’, Northern California.
  • Keith Harrison: artist-maker
  • Mark Miodownik: The Institute of Making, UCL.
  • Cameron Tonkinwise: The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University.

TWO CONFERENCE EXHIBITIONS will run alongside Making Futures 2015:

  • Acts of Making: a two week festival of artist-makers exploring process, audience interaction  and engagement. A Crafts Council Touring Project in partnership with Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery.
  • 2015 Jerwood Makers Open.

CONFERENCE BURSARIES: a limited bursary scheme is open to independent makers, (places subject to funding).

For further details please visit the Conference Website