Making Futures Journal 2011

Making Futures 2011: The crafts as change-maker in sustainably aware cultures

The papers in this volume represent the results of the second Making Futures international research conference held in September 2011 at Dartington Hall, on the inspiring Dartington Hall Estate, near Totnes in south Devon, UK.

Making Futures is about materials and agency, transformation - personal and social - and the search for new grounds and understandings of how the contemporary crafts are practiced in the context of developing global environmental and sustainability agendas.

The conference explored the idea that these emerging agendas interrupt and restage the possibilities of craft in fundamental ways that are important to makers, their audiences, and to society more generally; that these agendas present opportunities to redefine and reconstitute the crafts as less marginalised, more centrally productive forces in society, through new formulations and/or re-articulations of practices, identities, positions and markets.

A lively and significant sustainability and ethical practice debate is taking place within craft practitioner circles, supported by a wide range of practice-based initiatives which are striving to re-articulate and re-formulate craft practices, identities and audiences. These efforts represent a level of engagement that modestly, yet fundamentally, operates as a change-maker - literallymaking the future, and whose wider horizons are potentially charged with global significance.

The Making Futures programme sought to explore crafts critical value as a “change-maker” through six thematic strands and one research workshop. Thirty-eight presentations were curated into these seven conference sessions following a process of double-blind abstract reviewing by a distinguished peer review panel. By far the overwhelming majority of presenters, thirty-five, responded positively to the post-conference call to publish and all are included in this volume under the session they originally appeared within; they are accompanied by 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.