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Making Futures IV: the (re)turn of the maker

Our new Making Futures website has launched! Alongside the launch, Making Futures IV has announced its first open call inviting proposals for papers and presentations that address the main conference topic, thematic fields and workshops.

Our new Making Futures website has now launched and has put out its first call for abstracts.


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 response, from artists, craftspeople, designer-makers, Fab Lab and maker-movement enthusiasts, campaigners and activists, curators, historians and theorists.

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.

In attendance this year will be keynote speakers Rebecca Burgess: Founder of 'Fibershed', Northern California, artist-maker Keith Harrison, Mark Miodownik from The Institute of Making, UCL and Cameron Tonkinwise from The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University.

There will also be two conference exhibitions running alongside Making Futures 2015; Acts of Making, a two week festival of artist-makers exploring process, audience interaction and engagement. As well as the 2015 Jerwood Makers Open.

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

The call for abstracts is now open and the closing date for receipt is 18 May 2015.

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