Futuring Craft 24: Conference The Value of Craft

3 - 6 September 2024

Call for Submissions

The Indian Ocean Craft Triennial is pleased to call for submissions to the international conference Futuring Craft 24: The Value of Craft. The conference is part of the 2024 Triennial (IOTA24) and extends its theme 'Codes in Parallel', which contemplates the various languages inherent in contemporary crafts.

[The call for initial submissions – abstracts – will close on 31 October 2023. See full list of dates below.]

Futuring Craft 24 welcomes submissions from anywhere in the world –  in the form of either full papers or practice-led research, with intention to present in-person or online.

In collaboration with Garland magazine and WoCCA, the IOTA conference provides a platform for deepening knowledge on topics that reflect the diversity of approaches to craft making and consumption. We encourage proposals from individuals in a variety of creative fields; theorists, academics, craft practitioners, artists, designers, makers, curators, campaigners, and activists. Much like the first iteration, the conference offers opportunities for a variety of submission formats, such as theory presentations, audio-visual documentation of objects and makers.

Futuring Craft 24 will provide a platform for vigorous debate on the challenges confronting the craft sectors in the Indian Ocean region and beyond, and the opportunities arising, raising major questions:

  • What is the future of craft practice in the Indian Ocean Region?
  • How does the evolution of the handmade underpin micro and macro economies?
  • What role do crafts and makers play in socio-political, cultural and environmental healing?
  • How can communities challenge the craft paradigm?
  • Technology and the digital age, a game changer?

Image credit: Neil Turner, Untitled, 2021, Wood (ebonised jarrah, 500+ year old), 450mm x 270mm, Photo by Suellen Turner

3-6 September 2024 School of Design and the Built Environment Curtin University Perth, Western Australia

What is the value of craft in the big picture?

In the progress narrative, human capacity is advanced by the invention of technologies that overcome our bodily limits. By contrast with this linear development, making things by hand is seen as backward. The challenge for those in the crafts is to demonstrate the wide range of ways in which it is still relevant, even vital, today. Craft can have practical benefits, such as personal wellbeing, aesthetic capacity to make our world beautiful, and ethical uses that support marginalised peoples. What is the thread that links all the values of craft together?

Scroll down for more information on what and how you can submit your initial proposal or abstract …

Topic Outlines


Homo curare - the role of humans in the world

The story of homo faber, man the maker, has underpinned the story of craft. This supports a human exceptionalism that distinguishes humans from other animals. But human exceptionalism may have its limits. We are becoming increasingly aware of the need to work in dialogue with the non-human world. Some propose homo curare, man the carer, as an alternative model to the heroic story of human achievement. The idea of humans as a custodial species was presented by First Nations scholar Tyson Yunkaporta in Sand Talk (Yunkaporta, 2019). Can craft play a meaningful role in the human responsibility for ensuring that life flourishes on earth?


Non-western perspectives

Our understanding of the value of craft has been largely informed by Western culture. This has emphasised the role of the individual in skilfully making objects of enduring value and beauty. Is this common across other cultures? How does this relate to the use of craft in other Indian Ocean cultures where handmade is often involved in ceremonial practices such as temple worship or ephemeral events such as festivals and masquerades? A global picture of the value of crafts needs to include its cultural and spiritual purposes.


The challenge of artificial intelligence

The advent of ChatGPT has placed additional stress on the concept of human exceptionalism. The issues faced by handweavers with the introduction of the machine loom are being revisited as we see core human activities like writing potentially replaced by Large Language Models. Crafts have an important voice in the conversation about the ongoing role of humans.


New and old communities for telling craft stories

2024 is the 60th anniversary of the World Crafts Council as well as its Australian chapter, WoCCA. While being proud of this longevity, it’s important that there is a forward vision that affirms the relevance of such organisations. New associations such as the Knowledge House for Craft make use of new technologies for connecting us together. We welcome papers that reflect on the history of craft associations and offer new models of how we can work together.

Futuring Craft 24 Presentation Format

The conference will be held at the School of Design and the Built Environment at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia from 3–6 September 2024. You can select to present in-person or by a pre-recorded and online presentation. The conference will be presented in dual format allowing for virtual attendance.

Submission Formats

You are invited to submit a short abstract of your presentation that aligns with the thematic tracks (see topic outlines) and Futuring Craft context. We welcome submissions from around the world. You have two submission options:

1. Full Paper
articulating the value of craft today
This can be in its specific form as a utilitarian, aesthetic or ethical use. Or it can offer an overarching framework for bringing these elements together.

Submit a short abstract (300 words max).

Accepted abstracts will be invited to submit the full paper (5000 words max using the conference template) for the blind review process.

2. Practice-Led Research Paper
including craft, art, and design practices.
The format includes research as well as studio practice aligned with the conference thematic tracks and Futuring Craft context. The call is for case studies, craft pedagogy, and indigenous craft and art practices. These promote societal development, empathy, connectivity, and enhanced experience.

Practice-led presentations can take on various forms and media; audio-visuals, posters, artefacts, storyboards, interactive workshops, etc.

Short films are welcomed from craft-oriented associations across the Indian Ocean representing social group narratives or otherwise produced by film-makers.

Submit a short abstract (300 words max) supported by up to 5 photos, screenshots, video link, and draft illustrations of your content.

Accepted abstracts will be invited to submit the full paper (3,000 words max) for the blind review process.

Submissions will be selected on the basis of:
  • Content: Is it thoughtful, complete, and insightful?
  • Significance: Is it useful, useable, and desirable for conference audiences?
  • Originality: Does it present new knowledge or methods?
  • Thematic relevance: Does it align with the thematic tracks?
  • Presentation: Is it visually attractive and easy to understand?
  • Audio-visual quality: Is it clear, well-constructed, and above-average quality?
Proposed Model of The New Azania 2014
wool, thread and artificial flowers on tapestry canvas,
300 × 178cm.
Photo: Sue-Lyn Moyle, John Curtin Gallery.

Image credit:ATHI-PATRA RUGA, Proposed Model of The New Azania 2014. Wool, thread and artificial flowers on tapestry canvas, 300 × 178cm.
Photo: Sue-Lyn Moyle, John Curtin Gallery.

Key Dates

Closing date for abstract submission. 31 October 2023
Notification of abstract acceptance. 30 November 2023
Submission of the first draft of full paper & the practice-led short paper for the blind peer-review process. 28 February 2024
Authors registration to conference closes 15 March 2024
Review process feedback sent to author By 30 April 2024
Submission of the revised version of the full paper following the conference template 31 May 2024
Notification of acceptance of the revised submission 15 June 2024
Upload of online presentation to be supplied

The Conference Proceeding:

All presented papers will be published in the 'Futuring Craft 24: The Value of Craft' conference proceeding with an ISBN number. This booklet will be available from the IOTA 24 website. Audio-visual presentations will be published on the IOTA Vimeo channel. 


Submission of abstract for review free of charge
Accepted abstract, invited to submit the full contribution (a full paper, or workshop description, etc.) for review process free of charge
Submission of final work & registration to present (for all formats).
At least one of the authors, must register and present the work in the conference; either virtually or in-person.
AU$300 *
Conference Delegate Registration/Booking To be advised

* The registration fees cover:

  • Admission to the conference sessions, workshops, keynote presentations.
  • Morning and afternoon tea/coffee and lunch (in-person registrants)
  • Invitations to other IOTA events during conference period
  • Closing session and celebration
  • [IT support for presenters.]

The registration fees do not include:

  • Travel expenses
  • Accommodation




Yunkaporta, Tyson (2019) Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World. Text publishing.

Image credit: YEE I-LANN, Harunan Motol 2021 (Boat's Ladder). Woven by Omadal Island Bajau Sama DiLaut weavers Kak Budi, Kak CT Aturdaya, Adik Darwisa, Kak Kinnuhong, Adik Koddil, Kak Roziah, Kak Sanah and Kak Norbaya.
Photo: Sue-Lyn Moyle, John Curtin Gallery.

3-6 September 2024 School of Design and the Built Environment Curtin University Perth, Western Australia