Making Futures Journal 2013

Making Futures 2013 - Interfaces Between Craft Knowledge and Design: New Opportunities for Social Innovation and Sustainable Practice

The papers in this volume represent the results of the third Making Futures international research conference held in September 2013 on the magnificently sited Mount Edgcumbe estate, Cornwall UK.

Making Futures explores craft as a ‘change agent’ in 21st century society, the beguilingly simple reasoning behind its title implying that if we are to have any hope of making a better future for ourselves we must also fundamentally rethink and reshape the future of our material culture. Convinced of the transformative potential of small-scale making at both personal and communal levels, Making Futures brings artists, makers, designers and curators into dialogue with one another around the nature and sustainability of practice, indexing the resurgent interest in craft, design-to-make, and neo-artisanal forms of micro-manufacture, while also exploring how these might constitute elements within a wider ‘return’ to small-scale making in a post-global future.

This, the third edition of Making Futures, brought together 72 double-blind peer-reviewed delegate presentations from over 18 countries. By far the overwhelming majority, 62, appear in this volume, along with submissions from keynotes and workshop leaders. The programme itself was composed of three research workshops, ‘Craftwork as Problem Solving’, ‘Transformative Practices through Textiles’ and ‘Crafting with Digital Technologies’, and four thematic sessions, ‘sustainability and social activism’, ‘post-Fordist perspectives on consumerism’, ‘craft in local-global contexts’, and ‘craft education’. Each delegate paper is published under the theme its abstract was originally selected for, ensuring that this post-conference publication maps onto the structure of the original event. The workshop and thematic sessions were interspersed with international keynote interventions, four of which are included in this volume: Adélia Borges on cultural identity and the conjunction of design and craftsmanship in the Latin American context; the Director of the Crafts Council, Rosy Greenlees, on the latest research into the UK crafts landscape; Professor Jaideep Prabhu of the University of Cambridge on the frugal style of innovation known as ‘Jugaad’; and from Tomas Díez Ladera from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and Director of Fab Lab Barcelona on digital fabrication. The volume includes an introductory essay by Malcolm Ferris, the Making Futures curator.

To ensure the widest possible dissemination Making Futures is published as a free, open-access academic resource for all not-for-profit users interested in its themes.