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The Furni­ture Society hosts annual confer­ence gath­er­ings, offer­ing atten­dees the chance to explore our field through inspi­ra­tional talks and presen­ta­tions from multi­dis­ci­pli­nary prac­ti­tion­ers, tours through­out our host cities, work­shops, demon­stra­tions, and fantas­tic network­ing and commu­nity build­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. Engage with this commu­nity of artists, thinkers, schol­ars, students, educa­tors, cura­tors, design­ers, writers and expe­ri­ence our field with multi­ple gener­a­tions of craft and furni­ture prac­ti­tion­ers from the global Furni­ture Society community.

Upcoming Conference

June 19 – 222019

FS19: GROUNDWORK

THE INSPIRATION, INTERSECTIONS AND EXPERIMENTATION OF FURNITURE PRACTICE
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Furni­ture Society is proud to present GROUND­WORK, the Society’s annual confer­ence, held in part­ner­ship with The Milwau­kee Insti­tute of Art & Design (MIAD).

Over the course of three days, FS19: GROUND­WORK will center around the idea of research’ or where inspi­ra­tion is drawn from’ through main­stage presen­ta­tions, discus­sions, artist presen­ta­tions, work­shops, demon­stra­tions, exhi­bi­tions, and an exhi­bi­tion crawl. Partic­i­pants will explore the idea that much research, or ground­work” is needed in the field of furni­ture history and mate­ri­als study in order for our makers to under­stand the under­pin­nings of our artform. 

Topics will include histor­i­cal, mate­ri­als, and market-research as well as tech­nique-driven presen­ta­tions, and explo­rations into historic, contem­po­rary, and emerg­ing makers impor­tant to the studio furniture field.

Past Conferences

June 13 – 162018

FS18: NEXUS

Perspectives on Art, Design, Craftsmanship and Technology
San Francisco, CA

As our world becomes increas­ingly digital. What is on the next horizon for the world of furni­ture and objects? How will makers, arti­sans, artists, sellers, and consumers inter­act differ­ently and create in new ways? And what key tensions will lead to the next big opportunities?

From June 13 – 16, 2018, the Furni­ture Society explored these ques­tions at Nexus: Perspec­tives on Art, Design, Crafts­man­ship and Tech­nol­ogy in San Fran­cisco. Through presen­ta­tions, panels, inter­ac­tive work­shops, tours, uncon­fer­ences”, adven­tures, and infor­mal social events, FS18 brought together the country’s most vision­ary design­ers, arti­sans, tech­nol­o­gists, futur­ists, and entre­pre­neurs to illu­mi­nate, provoke, and inspire.

Atten­dees explored ques­tions outside the tradi­tional silos of making, selling, buying – probing the inter­sec­tions between these parts, the tools we have avail­able, and the emerg­ing prac­tices that hybridize our field. The answers affect every­one engaged with making, design­ing, creat­ing, promot­ing, explor­ing, selling, and enjoy­ing material culture.

June 22 – 252017

FS17: Joint Symposium with The American Association of Woodturners

Kansas City, MO

The Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion of Wood­turn­ers (AAW) and The Furni­ture Society (FS) are paral­lel profes­sional soci­eties, each with a mission to help promote and educate their members and the public about object design and making, and asso­ci­ated tools and techniques.

FS and AAW presented a joint sympo­sium in Kansas City, Missouri. Program sessions, demon­stra­tions, exhi­bi­tions, keynote and award presen­ta­tions, silent auction, and trade show were in the Kansas City Conven­tion Center. It was a great oppor­tu­nity for FS members to present their passion for furni­ture making to a larger audi­ence, as well as to take advan­tage of AAW’s programs and demon­stra­tions centered on turning.

June 23 – 252016

FS16: CRAFT / FACTURING

AN EVOLUTION OF MAKERS + ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Philadelphia, PA

Craft-factur­ing addresses a contem­po­rary commu­nity of Makers who are socially engaged, collab­o­ra­tive and digi­tally savvy. New para­digms for making and produc­tion, sharing and distri­b­u­tion are emerg­ing that both support and chal­lenge the more tradi­tional role of the craftsper­son in our culture. The 2016 FS confer­ence framed this moment in Philadel­phi­a’s rich envi­ron­ment as a unique and vital site of past and future crafts activity.

Program­ming at confer­ence aims to offer multi­ple perspec­tives. In recent years the program­ming has blended artist presen­ta­tions with panel discus­sions on contem­po­rary topics rele­vant to the studio furni­ture commu­nity and the confer­ence theme. Presen­ta­tions range greatly from tech­nique driven topics to high­light­ing indi­vid­ual prac­tices, such as histor­i­cal or contem­po­rary makers impor­tant to the studio furni­ture field and emerg­ing makers present­ing their talented approaches to studio design/​build practices. 

June 25 – 272015

FS15 Symposium: HOME

Durham, NC

The Furni­ture Society proudly presented the FS15 Sympo­sium at the Amer­i­can Tobacco Historic District (ATC) in Durham, NC 

This two and a half day sympo­sium focused on the theme of HOME to mark and cele­brate the move of the Furni­ture Soci­ety’s home office to the Amer­i­can Tobacco Campus. As well, many of the Furni­ture Society members have busi­nesses and design or build prac­tices that align with the home envi­ron­ment or the notion of place making.

June 19 – 212014

FS14: Rooted

Creating a Sense of Place Reconnecting the craftsman with the community
Port Towsend, WA

Local crafts­men and local mate­ri­als have been at the heart of furni­ture making for most of its exis­tence. With explo­ration of the globe came access to new mate­ri­als, new tech­niques and new inspiration. 

The wheel has turned — focus is return­ing to local resources. The local food move­ment has a power­ful call — connect­ing the consumer with the farmer next door. As furni­ture makers we need to accept the local chal­lenge and recon­nect the consumer with crafts­men in their commu­nity and local sources of materials.

Every area has a distinct voice — climate and topog­ra­phy govern the woods avail­able, history drives the narra­tive, each region has a palette of colours, local indus­tries produce other mate­ri­als. How do our creations reflect our commu­ni­ties and surroundings?

We’d like to chal­lenge the current gener­a­tion of makers to think about the local narra­tives and styles that we will pass on to future gener­a­tions of makers. Can we create the dialog, styles and visions that will be the foun­da­tion for the future.

June 20 – 232013

FS13 Symposium

SuperCaliProductionisticDesignaliciousExhibitalidocious
Los Angeles, CA

This three-day event focused on such topics as design, manu­fac­tur­ing and sustain­abil­ity in rela­tion to indi­vid­ual studio makers and the busi­nesses they operate. Creative busi­ness models for furni­ture produc­tion and market­ing were a major subject of discussion.

June 14 – 162012

FS12: Design, Community & Sublime

Portland, ME

The 2012 Furni­ture Society Confer­ence, Design, Commu­nity & Sublime”, convened June 14 – 16 at the Maine College of Art in Port­land, ME.

June 16 – 192010

FS10: FUSIONS

Minds & Hands Shaping Our Future
Cambridge, MA

The 2010 Furni­ture Society Confer­ence, Fusions: Minds & Hands Shaping Our Future, convened June 16 – 19 at the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, Cambridge.

FS09

Boone, NC

Furni­ture 2009 was held in June 2009 at Appalachian State Univer­sity in Boone, North Carolina.

June 18 – 212008

FS08: State of the Craft

Purchase, NY

Furni­ture 2008, State of the Craft, was held June 18 – 21, 2008 at Purchase College, NY (which was the site of the first Furni­ture Society conference).

June 20 – 232007

FS07: CULTURAL MOSAIC

Reflections from the Coastal Rainforest
Victoria, BC

Furni­ture 2007, Cultural Mosaic: Reflec­tions from the Coastal Rain Forest,” took place June 20 – 23, 2007, in Victo­ria, BC, Canada, hosted by the Univer­sity of Victoria.

2006-conf-logo

FS06: Collision at the Crossroads

Indi­anapo­lis, IN

June 8 – 112005

FS05: THE OTHER SIDE

A Tradition of Alternatives
San Diego, CA

The ninth annual Furni­ture Society confer­ence was held June 8th-11th, 2005, at San Diego State University,San Diego, California.

SOUTH­ERN CALI­FOR­NIA has always been a hothouse of alter­na­tive design ever since the archi­tect broth­ers of Greene and Greene first devel­oped the Cali­for­nia Bunga­low” in 1910. A warm temper­ate climate and the enchant­ment of the Pacific Ocean have lured artists and design­ers from around the world for over a century. It was in this context, a tradi­tion of alter­na­tive think­ing, that the orga­niz­ers of the Ninth Furni­ture Society confer­ence created program­ming and events.

FS04

Savannah College of Art and Design — Savannah, GA

FS03

The University of the Arts — Philadelphia, PA

FS02

University of Wisconsin — Madison, WI

FS01

Arizona State University — Tempe, AZ

FS00

Sheridan College — Toronto, Ontario, Canada

FS99

Appalachian Center for Crafts — Smithville, TN

FS98

California College of Arts & Crafts — Oakland, CA

FS97

Purchase College — Purchase, NY