FS19 – Call For Proposals

FS19: Groundwork: the Inspiration, Intersections and Experimentation of Furniture Practice

Location: FS19 Groundwork will be produced in partnership with the Milwaukee Institute of Art
and Design in Milwaukee (MIAD), WI.

Date: June 19-22, 2019.

Proposals are due January 31, 2019, midnight PDT.

Download this Call For Proposals in PDF format

Overarching Conference Topics:

● Historical research
● Materials research
● Market research
● Intersections with other fields

The idea of 'research' or 'where inspiration is drawn for practice' shapes the work of a wide range of furniture makers. In the broadest sense, research references the past, looks forward, and informs current practices in the furniture and closely allied fields. This allows for connections across time, media, cultures, and a range of aesthetic, social, and intellectual considerations. At its base, research helps the furniture field better understand the significance of the work we do:

- Research influences and impacts the future of design: How do we ask questions that inform a forward-looking practice based in research? Our objects are beautiful, but how do we create value beyond that notion?

- In colleges, universities, workshop environments, and non-academic institutions, instructors encourage research around the design and aesthetic problems they wish students to explore; thinking through a wide range of sources and background questions, going beyond mere cursory explorations of a convenient google search by digging deeper and “slowing down”.

- In the field of marketing, research into customer behavior and marketing trends is necessary to avoid potentially catastrophic business decisions.

- Questions around the sustainability of various materials and the negative environmental impacts driven by market needs are ongoing concerns that demand continued exploration.

How can we use research as an important tool to help secure our field’s future and thereby our

FS 2019: “Groundwork” will feature speakers, exhibitions, and workshops that center around the idea that research or “groundwork” is needed in the field of furniture history and materials study in order for us to understand the underpinnings of our artform. Research is also conducted to better understand the various marketplaces our audience engages in. And last, but not least, we look toward engaging other, closely-aligned craft fields to see where we intersect and can work collaboratively.

Programming at the 2019 Groundwork conference will offer multiple perspectives blending artist presentations with contemporary topics relevant to the studio furniture community. Additionally,
we will host demonstrations and hands-on workshops at the conference venue. Presentations will range from technique-driven topics, highlight individual practices, and feature historical, contemporary, and emerging makers important to the studio furniture field. The planning committee is primarily interested in solo presentations and workshops that expand on the conference theme.

A small speaker stipend and conference pass will be provided for those presentations selected
by the selection committee.

Presentation selections will be made by end of February 2019.
Notifications by early March 2019.

To Submit Your Proposal:

- Please submit a brief description of your presentation or workshop by January 31, 2019 to:

Monica Hampton, Director of Education

- Include “FS19 Groundwork presentation proposal” in the subject line.
- Proposal descriptions must be brief (700 words or less). Include the names  of any other parties, besides yourself, that have already committed to this presentation or workshop.
- Proposals must include: title of presentation, subtitle if applicable, presenter’s name, address, phone, e-mail and Web, as well as a current resume or CV.

If visuals are essential to the explanation of the proposal, they should be submitted as jpg attachments in an e-mail (maximum size 4mb per e-mail) or provide a link to view your material on your website.

Download this Call For Proposals in PDF format

About the Furniture Society:
The Furniture Society is the premier American educational nonprofit organization focused on
advancing the art of furniture making by inspiring creativity, promoting excellence, and fostering an understanding of this art and its place in society. Our vision is to cultivate a diverse community and conversations around furniture in all its forms. A highly respected arts organization with rigorous educational underpinnings, we organize an annual conference of national importance that brings together the country’s most talented and visionary furniture craftspeople, educators, designers, artists, technologists, and entrepreneurs to illuminate and inspire the audience.

The 2019 conference theme is “Groundwork” and will be held at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in Milwaukee, WI, from June 19-22, 2019. We expect around 300 attendees from across the United States and some international guests as well.