About

Photo by: Linda Schumacher

The Craft Forward symposium takes place April 1 to 3 at the Mission Bay Conference Center at the University of California, San Francisco. Craft Forward is sponsored by California College of the Arts in San Francisco
and Oakland.


Craft Forward examines the multifaceted practices that both distinguish and blur the historically charged edges between craft, art, design, architecture, and writing. The symposium brings together a diverse group of makers and thinkers to explore the ethos of craft and its resurgence in the twenty-first century.


Craft Forward capitalizes on what might be called the “third wave of craft.” Issues resurfacing as cutting edge in the craft debate—corporal sites of knowledge, alternative economies, sustainability and slow movements, diversity and identity politics, and production from the local to the global—have historical antecedents in both the Arts and Crafts movement and the 1960s Bay Area studio craft movement. With its contributions to both these movements and its stellar lineage of pioneering artists working in the crafts, fine arts, design, and architecture, California College of the Arts is uniquely situated to be at the forefront of these national and international debates.


Craft Forward addresses the growing number of constituencies interested in the creation of meaning through the nuances of materiality. The symposium fosters debates on issues of critical making within an expansive definition of craft between makers and scholars in a wide range of disciplines including craft, art, design, architecture, activism, art history, anthropology, and science. Within this transdisciplinary framework, the goal of this symposium is to identify the ways in which craft thinking navigates the territory bridging these disciplines and to envision the trajectory of craft practice in the future.