Director, Making Futures Conference, UK;Professor, University of Plymouth, UK

Malcolm Ferris (MARCA)

Malcolm Ferris is Director of Research at Plymouth College of Art, where he supervises several research projects and teaches on the MA programmes. He also practices as a curator-writer working across a range of media and formats on national and international exhibitions projects and has regularly presented and published for numerous catalogues, journals and international fora.Over the last 10 years he has developed Making Futures as an international research platform exploring the future of contemporary art, craft, design-to-make and neo-artisanal maker practices as 'change agents’ in 21st century society. The central idea is of reclaiming a craft future within a contemporary moment that (contested definitions of the present notwithstanding) still takes place essentially within the ‘arc of Modernity’. Thus rather than seeing maker cultures as antithetical to contemporary society, Making Futures constitutes a forward-looking attempt to support small-scale makers and creative micro-manufacturers to innovate around technology, form, function, aesthetic meaning and social relevance – engaging in responsible place-based market economics capable of contributing to community cohesion, resilience and regeneration. The platform includes a bi-annual conference series and publication of an open access journal, Making Futures, (ISSN 2042-1664), as well as supporting a number of research initiatives.