Craft is often misunderstood as skilful making. This common misconception fails to address the maker's capacity to employ a holistic approach to creation. Although the practice of craft is a journey through the mind, reliant on building an individual vision through tacit knowledge, the skill of coherently expressing the intellectual and personal voice within the development of work is usually missing.
'New Craft - Future Voices' is an international conference, organised to encourage debate surrounding the future of craft. It seeks to expose and articulate craft issues currently being investigated via doctoral research, post-doctoral research and craft practitioners, and to document new ways of questioning and disseminating the dialogue of craft practice. It also seeks to provide a new dimension to future crafts practice internationally.
'New Craft - Future Voices' will explore the relation between skill, intellect and culture within the individual vision of crafts practitioners. The conference seeks to promote the highest level of craft practice and initiate a new discourse around some critical questions, including:
- Where should the emphasis of a new craft discourse be located, is it object, process or maker?
- What is the significance of the craftsperson's approach to thinking for other knowledge domains?
- What is the future role for craft?
- How does a craftsperson communicate the knowledge embodied and embedded in their practice?
- What are the distinguishing features of craft in comparison to other forms of creative practice?
- What is the value of craft to the development of culture?
The themes of the conference include:
Craft and science; Innovation, Design and Craft; Craft management; Epistemology of making; Craft and the economy; Craft and digital process; Craft and cultural diversity; Practice and research; Intelligent making; The pedagogy of craft; Craft and wellbeing; Craft and manufacturing; Intuition, Creativity and Craft; Mindfulness; Craft & Dialogue; Story-making and Storytelling.
The conference is one element in the broader 'Past, Present & Future Craft Practice' (PPFCP) research project, a 5-year investigation funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The premise of this investigation is that craft-based practice is a socially interactive process despite being a predominantly individually executed product, where dialogical methods expose contradictions and nurture mindful interrogation: a system of thinking and making. Through the 'New Craft - Future Voices' conference, the PPFCP research seeks to:
- Identify emergent forms of craft practice.
- Publish some of the contributions at the conferences via an edited book in 2007.
- Develop a futures dialogue.
- Curate an international exhibition of craft practice.
- Expose current Doctoral researchers work via a curated poster session.
- Develop an international network of practitioners concerned with articulation of the craftsperson's voice, with a view to determining a new research agenda for craft.
It is our aim for 'New Craft - Future Voices' to help articulate craft as a holistic process of thinking and making, to refine a definition of craft suitable for the 21st Century, thereby creating a firm foundation for craft practice, and finally to articulate the uniqueness of the maker and the value of their thinking processes to other disciplines.
'New Craft - Future Voices' is being organised and hosted by Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee.
We have an International Review Panel for 'New Craft - Future Voices'. It comprises of people with an expertise and profile, considered to be invaluable to the conference. The role of the international review panel is to referee abstracts and full papers when they are submitted on-line.
As part of its commitment to disseminate the outcomes of the conference to a wider audience, a resulting publication from the conference will provide a vehicle for stimulating response and engagement by craft practitioners and other public bodies to create a pathway for future development of craft.