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Posted 25.09.19

Making Futures 2019

By Sarah Packer

Our biannual conference Making Futures took over our campus last week and saw international academics, makers and activists come together to investigate contemporary craft and maker movements as ‘change agents’ in 21st-century society, particularly in relation to global sustainability agendas, social entrepreneurialism and community regeneration.

Convinced of the transformative potential of small-scale making and its capacity to contribute to new progressive futures, Making Futures seeks to situate these material cultures at the centre of the critical issue facing global society: how we move beyond the reductive instrumentalism of ‘homo-economicus’ and mass consumption, towards political economies capable of valuing our needs for social well being and resilient communities, whilst also incorporating concerns for non-human natures.

The 2019 sixth edition of the biennial Making Futures international research conference is titled: People, Place, Meaning: Crafting Social Worlds & Social Making. The event saw workshops and thematic sessions covering; Crafting Value, Social Making: A Way of Contributing to the World; Sourcing Craft Materials in the 21st Century; Making & Leading: Diverse Futures; (Re)making meaning – valorization in a wasteful world; Digital Platforms: Collaborative Distributed Design & Micro Manufacturing; Encounters and Translations Across Local-Global Divides; ​Making Thinking – Crafting Education.

Pre-degree students Millica and Maddy speak about climate change at Making Futures 2019.

We'd like to thank our Keynote Speakers at this year's event:

  • Tomas Diez - a Venezuelan Urbanist specialized in digital fabrication and its implications on the future cities and society.
  • Amneh Shaikh Farooqui - the co-founder of Polly and Other Stories, leads a not-for-profit organisation called the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Institute and is a founding curatorial member for the Women of the World festival in Karachi.
  • Matthew Raw - a ceramics artist, a founding member of Studio Manifold in Hoxton, and winner of the Jerwood Prize 2014.
  • Lisa Simpson - operates Agente Costura as part of the maker ecology of fashion designer-makers in the Neukölln district of Berlin.
  • Cameron Tonkinwise - the Professor of Design Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, and the Director of UTS Design Innovation Research Centre.

We'd also like to thank all of the academics and makers who travelled from far and wide to participate in our symposium: Fiona Hackney, Mah Rana, Katie Hill, Kim Charnley, Nick Gant, Karin Peterson, Paul Harper, Alice Kettle, Alisa Ruzavina, Britta Kalkreuter, Helen Pailing, Claire Evans, Aprina Murwanti, Maria Hanson, Sarah Emily Brown, Jessica Marquinez, Sophie Zajicek, Pathitta Nirunpornputta, Christina Skarpari, Andrew Brewerton, Tim Bolton, Lucie Hernandezm, Celia Alicia B. Elumba, Kate Bowman, Kim Bagley, Kalman Tarr, Sarah James, Sandra Fruebing, Jade Whitson-Smith, Lizzie Harrison, Emma Rigby, Laura Quinn, Brian Jay de Lima Ambulo, Charlotte Goldthorpe, Rao Rao, Anke Nienhuis, Tavs Jorgensen, Elizabeth Wilkinson, Tim Clapcott, Stephen Felmingham, Ben Mundy, Jason Marks, Peter Oakley, Maíra Fontenele Santana, Raj Patel, Gabriela Martinez Pinheiro, Vicky Putler, Lynne J Mennie, Kate Wells, Bilge Merve Aktaş, Emma Grain, Chie Murakami, Emma Shercliff, Carol Sinclair, Paula George, George Jaramilo, April Doubleday, Deirdre Figueiredo, Emma Daker, Carolina Estrada Muñoz, Emma Collins, Tabatha Andrews, Ana Elena Mallet, Clare Danek, Holly McQuillan, Nicola Perren, Sumanatsya Voharn, Marlene Stanciu, Verena Zieglar.

Thanks also to our pre-degree students Millica and Maddy who came and spoke at Making Futures 2019 about climate change and why they were participating in the Global Climate Strike.