Call for Papers

People, Place, Meaning: Crafting Social Worlds & Social Making

Please note: the call has now closed, and we are no longer accepting abstracts.


Making Futures will be held on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 September 2019 at Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth, Devon, UK.

Abstracts Submission Deadline: Friday 21st June 2019 (400 words maximum) NOW CLOSED

Community is at the heart of the Making Futures agenda and in People, Place, Meaning: Crafting Social Worlds & Social Making, this 2019 edition will, as well as appreciating the value of makers as singular creative agents producing material objects, focus on the social dimensions of maker practices and how these can positively contribute to the construction and regeneration of communities.

Of particular interest is how individual practices can develop and promote socially and environmentally responsible maker practices, and also how these singular enterprises can cluster into ‘place-based’ creative maker-ecologies capable of producing value through the enhancement of community life in ways that encourage more progressive circuits of engagement, production and consumption.

This is a Call for Papers notification of the seven overlapping parallel sessions to which presenters are invited to submit abstracts:

        • Crafting Value, Social Making: A Way of Contributing to the World: the use of making and craft in community engagement and the social worlds that makers create, including how objects often mediate social relations, and how caring for things helps us care for each other; thus, the health and well-being benefits of craft processes.
        • Sourcing Craft Materials in the 21st Century: acknowledging we live in a world in which makers are often globally separated from the communities that extract and supply materials, what can and should practitioners in the 21stcentury know about the material supply chains they rely on to make objects.
        • Making & Leading: Diverse Futures: the underexploited potential of makers as leaders and the value of creative maker practices in developing qualities that contribute to good leadership, not just within contemporary craft and maker worlds, but in wider work and social contexts.
        • (Re)making meaning – valorisation in a wasteful world: the contexts of sustainable design-to-make practices, including notions of meaning and making and (re)making meaning in the context of sustainable practices.
        • Digital Platforms: Collaborative Distributed Design & Micro Manufacturing: the relationship of analogue to digital maker systems, including the opportunities afforded by the use of digital platforms to coordinate and build communities around collaborative design and distributed micro-manufacturing practices.
        • Encounters and Translations Across Local-Global Divides: how craft and maker practices and artefacts enable (or constrain?) cross-cultural encounters and translations across local-global divides, exploring cross-cultural exchange and conflict, historical and contemporary, as represented through making practices and the resultant artefacts we share, buy and exchange.
        • Making Thinking – Crafting Education: how might we best promote thinking through making in the context of craft and design-to-make education. A thinking that not only promotes personal independence and resilience, but also incorporates ethical and environmental stewardship, in tandem with a clear sense of social responsibility and contribution to wider notions of community.

Making Futures seeks a diverse range of responses from artists, craftspeople, designer-makers, Fab Lab and maker-movement enthusiasts, campaigners and activists, curators, historians and theorists. We invite practice-led presentations and case studies, historical and theoretical papers, as well as innovative presentation formats that might include performance, objects and other media and materials.

We would be grateful if colleagues could forward this Call for Papers notification to interested persons through appropriate peer networks, notice boards and associates.