Assemble 2012, the UK Crafts Council’s conference, took place last week at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London. Our 200 delegates included practicing scientists, artists and academics, as well as non-profit and government agencies from as far afield as the US, South Africa and Korea. Press including The Guardian newspaper and The New Scientist joined us too. Continue reading
Category Archives: Conferences
My review of Making Futures II - ‘The Crafts as Change Maker in Sustainably Aware Cultures’ for the UK Crafts Council is online now.
The review includes reflections on a wide range of presentations, from Kate Soper’s views on ‘alternative hedonism’ to Trevor Marchand’s perspective on craft knowledge…. using making itself as an ethnographic research tool.
I presented two papers at the conference, both on behalf of the Crafts Council: a keynote address with Chris Gibbon, Senior Consultant at BOP Consulting; and a peer reviewed paper (Craft and the Creative Lifecycle – Making in Changing Times – summarised here).
I also took on the challenge of condensing other sessions into 140 characters or less, as the Crafts Council’s guest tweeter – a great new conference experience!
Creativity is a key tool in the drive to build a more environmentally sustainable future, and makers and DIY designers are leading the way.
Here are the key messages from conference papers I presented this past month, on behalf of the UK Crafts Council, at Design Activism and Social Change (Barcelona) and Making Futures II (Devon, UK): Continue reading
I’m in transit between Barcelona and rural Devon – from the Design History Society (DHS)’s conference ‘Design Activism and Social Change’ and ‘Making Futures’, the craft and sustainability conference at Dartington Hall.
More on both conferences – and my papers – to follow, post travels. In the meantime, Guy Julier of the DHS has posted an excellent conference blog at http://designactivismconference.wordpress.com/
So BECon 2011 - ‘CROSSOVER – a Material Exchange’ – lived up to its promise! 250 eager glass designers and artists teased open and shook up the theme of creative collaboration in a dynamic programme that took us from conference hall to workshop, to gallery, to factory… and – finally – to kiln-powered barbeque!
A highlight for me was hearing from Shapeways’ CEO Peter Weijmarshausen, and chatting afterwards about the business model behind this pioneering 3D printing service. My own talk complemented the more technical presentations with stories of makers and designers reaching out to collaborate with architects, TV costume designers and more. Some interesting discussion followed, and I was pleased to be featured on Cynthia Morgan’s conference blog. Continue reading
Craft Research Journal vol 2 is published today, and with it my review of last year’s excellent Design & | ♥ | Vs Craft conference in Brussels.
The conference had a historical perspective, so in my review I take the chance to look at the evolving role of the maker…. from the ‘heroic’ craft tradesmen of the 1930s to the digital craft researchers of the 2010s.
Visit the Craft Research Journal here.
Out and about in DUMBO last night, I spotted this crochet bike by Agata Olek – also known for her magnificent Christmas Day Wall St Bull.
By happy coincidence, I’d just heard that my abstract for this year’s Design History Society Conference in Barcelona had been accepted. The theme? Design Activism – craft in action.
In the paper, presented on behalf of the UK Crafts Council, I’ll be looking beyond the politicized craft object – and towards the ethos and creative process behind it.
Investigating how craft activists’ motivations and beliefs influence creative and business decision-making, I’ll be making the case for craft as a dynamic and socially / politically responsive creative practice – craft as social enterprise?
I’m excited to have been invited to speak at the Becon 2011 conference. This international gathering draws around 250 glass artists and makers to Portland, Oregon, each June. And this year’s focus is on creative collaboration…. a subject close to my heart!
In my talk I’ll be tacking a couple of key questions for glass artists and makers working today: Continue reading