Making Futures: Rethinking Craft Communities, Taking on Global Challenges is a three-day conference taking place in Cebu, the Philippines from 6-8 March 2020 at the Quest Hotel. It is a partnership between the British Council and Plymouth College of Art and supported through British Council’s Crafting Futures global programme and by the Design Center of the Philippines.

Making Futures explores contemporary craft and maker movements as ‘change agents’ in societies across the globe by investigating key issues concerning the progressive possibilities presented by the revival, development and promotion of these sectors. These issues, many of which will be discussed in Cebu, include: the changing nature of both craft and industry, developments in digital technologies, sustainability in the context of the global climate crisis, material innovations, social and community-based regeneration, and craft leadership.

Making Futures is a research platform that has successfully operated for over a decade, supporting a range of related art, craft and design activities, including the Making Futures international biennial conference, an on-line journal, and a number of funded research projects exploring its themes. These research initiatives include, for example, the development of prototype low cost, fuel efficient glass furnaces; the EU funded project, ‘Made@EU’ exploring the interrelation of analogue and digital fabrication procedures; British Council funded research exploring women’s empowerment through craft in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, as well as research with weaving communities in Myanmar, and another with craft communities in the Caucasus.

The Making Futures conference serves as a dissemination vehicle for these and like-minded activities across the sector globally. Since the first edition in 2009, the Plymouth-based international conference has become internationally acknowledged as one of the leading events in its field, regularly attracting creative makers and delegate-speakers from all parts of the world. In recognition of this international profile, invited conference editions have taken place in China, South Korea, and (forthcoming in 2020), the United States.

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