Annual Conferences

Furniture Society conferences are held annually in locations across North America. Shaker Bench Talk Distinguished makers, educators, and scholars are brought together to offer main stage presentations, workshops, and round table discussions on a wide range of subjects related to the field. Expert makers offer hands-on workshops and demonstrations featuring technique-driven presentations, highlighting individual practices. Numerous exhibitions of fine furniture are on display, and the local culture and furniture making tradition always play a prominent role in the conference.

Our conferences offer an assortment of down-to-earth technical workshops, stimulating discussions, invaluable tips and tricks, member and juried exhibitions, camaraderie, and FUN. No matter if you are a furniture maker, curator, collector, student, educator, writer, gallery director, professional, amateur or just plain enthusiast, the conference is the event to network with others who share an interest in the art, business, and relevance of furniture making.
There will be plenty to inform, energize and inspire you! Join us!

FS19: Groundwork

Groundwork: the Inspiration, Intersections and Experimentation of Furniture Practice

June 19-22, 2019, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Furniture Society is proud to present GROUNDWORK, the Society’s annual conference, held in partnership with The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD).

Over the course of three days, FS 2019: “Groundwork” will center around the idea of ‘research’ or ‘where inspiration is drawn from’ through mainstage presentations, discussions, artist presentations, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, and an exhibition crawl. Participants will explore the idea that much research, or “groundwork” is needed in the field of furniture history and materials study in order for our makers to understand the underpinnings of our artform. Topics will include historical, materials, and market-research as well as technique-driven presentations, and explorations into historic, contemporary, and emerging makers important to the studio furniture field.

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June 13th - 16th, 2018, San Francisco, CA

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FS17: A Joint Symposium

The American Association of Woodturners (AAW) and The Furniture Society (FS) are parallel professional societies, each with a mission to help promote and educate their members and the public about object design and making, and associated tools and techniques.

FS and AAW are pleased to announce a pilot project – a joint symposium June 22 – 25, 2017, in Kansas City, Missouri. Program sessions, demonstrations, exhibitions, keynote and award presentations, silent auction, and trade show are in the Kansas City Convention Center, across the street from the conference hotel, Marriott Downtown.



Furniture Society Conference, Philadelphia, PA

Craft-facturing addresses a contemporary community of Makers who are socially engaged, collaborative and digitally savvy. New paradigms for making and production, sharing and distribution are emerging that both support and challenge the more traditional role of the craftsperson in our culture. The 2016 FS conference will frame this moment in Philadelphia's rich environment as a unique and vital site of past and future crafts activity.

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The Furniture Society is proud to present the FS15 Symposium at the American Tobacco Historic District (ATC) in Durham, NC June 25th - 27th.

The Symposium kicks off on Thursday evening with dinner and a Durham Bulls Game. At the same time, across the street in the American Tobacco Amphitheater, The Gravy Boys will be performing as part of the Back Porch Music on the Lawn, a free concert series at American Tobacco.

FS14: ROOTED: Creating a Sense of Place

Reconnecting the craftsman with the community
Our 18th annual conference gathering, FS14, will take place in Port Townsend, Washington.  We are being hosted by the Port Townsend School of Woodworking. Conference dates are June 19 - 21, 2014.

Local craftsmen and local materials have been at the heart of furniture making for most of its existence. With exploration of the globe came access to new materials, new techniques and new inspiration.

FS13: L.A. Symposium

fs13The Furniture Society's 2013 annual gathering convened June 21-23, 2013, in Los Angeles, CA.

FS13: L.A. Symposium was a four-day event uniting leading furniture makers, design thinkers and curators from across the country for an ambitious roster of lectures, tours and exhibitions. A departure from the Furniture Society’s typical conference format, FS13: L.A. Symposium harnessed the energy of L.A.’s design culture to explore issues critical to designer-makers today: serial production, sustainability, innovation and creative business practices.

FS12: Design, Community & Sublime

The 2012 Furniture Society Conference, "Design, Community & Sublime", convened June 14-16 at the Maine College of Art in Portland, ME.

FS10: FUSIONS: Minds & Hands Shaping Our Future

The 2010 Furniture Society Conference, Fusions: Minds & Hands Shaping Our Future, convened June 16-19 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.