Organizers for The Furniture Society are planning a dynamic agenda for this year’s annual conference, scheduled for June 17-20 at the University of North Carolina’s campus at Asheville. The event theme, “FS20: Building Place, Shaping Identity, Creating Community”, will focus on the impact of the furniture making community in today’s world.
“We are trying to recognize the essential role that furniture fulfills in daily life and our community at large, and we feel that the field of furniture has a huge power to have a positive impact worldwide, way beyond marketplace and making furniture as an individual,” says Monica Hampton, the group’s executive director.
Tanya Aguiniga will give the opening address. Raised in Tjuana, Mexico, she holds an MFA in furniture design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BA from San Diego State University. She will touch on her methods of using craft as a performative medium to generate dialogues about identity, culture and gender while creating community.
Conference mornings will follow a traditional agenda where attendees can select from various presentations, ranging from artist talks to hands-on workshops. In the afternoons, they will have the opportunity to take part in the Society’s new Craft for a Greater Good program which began last year in an effort to help communities that host the conference.
This year, attendees can collaborate with students in the school’s STEAM studio, a program that approaches problem solving through science, technology, engineering, art and math. STEAM has partnered with BeLoved Asheville, an organization that builds tiny homes for the homeless. Furniture made at the conference will go into those homes.
“We wanted to help and be of use with something that could be sustained long after we’re gone, so the idea is to create templates for the furniture to be used after we’re gone so it can continue to be built in the future,” says Hampton.
Other conference events include exhibitions, a dinner dance, local studio tours, and Award of Distinction ceremony. This year’s honoree is furniture maker Kristina Madsen.
For more, visit www.furnsoc.org.
This article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue.