Submit your Abstract (closed)

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

Making Futures is designed as a series of plenary Keynotes, interspersed by simultaneous parallel sessions consisting of four Workshops and three Thematic Sessions that delegate-presenters are invited to submit proposals to. Descriptions of each of these workshops and thematic sessions can be found on the 'Home' and 'Call For Papers' pages.

Please use the form below to submit your abstract for Making Futures 2019. Abstracts should be of a strict maximum of 400 words that clearly define the processes by which you are ‘making-research’ in relation to the Workshop or Thematic Session you are submitting to. Should you encounter any problems with the form, please contact

Please note: the Abstracts Submissions deadline has closed and we are no longer accepting abstracts.

Inevitably, there exists a degree of overlap across the seven workshops and thematic sessions, meaning a submission might potentially be linked to more than one area. Moreover, we are, in principle, open to submissions that might not fit easily within any of the suggested lines of investigation. That said, it is important that authors select just one Indicative Theme or Workshop that they feel their submission predominately addresses. If you wish you can additionally select a second choice by selecting a second option. However, if you do this, make clear which is your first option in your abstract text. We will of course endeavour to honour these choices, subject to the fact that we must necessarily reserve the right to curate the final Programme according to the quantity and quality of submissions received and in ways that may not mirror exactly how the topics are presented here.

Conference Programme and Presenter Formats:

The conference invites proposals that include the following formats:

    • Practice-led presentations and case studies: related to past or present projects that exhibit substantial engagement with the conference programme, and which might typically connect to practitioners, processes, products, projects, enterprises, collectives, institutions, ideas and allied movements, campaigns, initiatives, curatorial practices and strategies.
    • Historical and theoretical papers: rooted in examinations of the broader contextual formations and critical discourses connected to the conference programme. This can include perspectives derived from historical, technological, social-cultural, philosophical aesthetic, sociological, and/or political and economic models of enquiry.
    • Unconventional formats: as well as the above two conventional modes of presentation, we welcome proposals for innovative presentation formats that might include performance, objects, AV, and other media and materials, albeit that the presentation must fit within a 20 minutes (max) slot. However, please note that proposers who wish to bring objects or activities will need to organize any necessary transportation, risk assessment, and insurance.

Participants, Geographic Range & Working Language:

Making Futures seeks to be broad and inclusive, and invites a diverse range of response, from artists, craftspeople, designer-makers, FabLab and maker-movement enthusiasts, curators, historians and theorists, and campaigners and those that might define themselves as being on the activist or hacker wing. Moreover, we are also interested to hear from practitioners outside art, craft and design that might nonetheless cast light on ‘People, Place, Meaning: Crafting Social Worlds & Social Making’ through productive associations that challenge or extend understandings of this theme.

The working language of the conference is English, but the conference scope is international and within the language constraint we strongly encourage submissions from non-Western contexts, especially those experiencing rapid modernisation and where the position of craft and maker communities has become a contested issue in relation to identity, industrial and urban development, and newly expanding consumer markets. Our intention is that these exchanges should help develop a unique set of cross-cultural perspectives. In short, that we can increasingly foster a nascent trans-national community of researcher-practitioners exploring the position of contemporary craft, neo-artisanal design-to-make and related micro-maker entrepreneurs across non-Western as well as Western forms of Modernity.

In conclusion, as always, our overriding concern is to assemble a diverse community of the engaged who can work together in a critical but supportive spirit to help take these agendas forward. In the context of the issues discussed by Making Futures this diversity becomes part of a relational field where interconnections are generally more compelling and enriching than differences.

Malcolm Ferris,

Making Futures curator, Plymouth College of Art.