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Association and Partners

Surface Design Association
The 1970s in the United States and abroad heralded a renewed interest in craft techniques and materials for personal expression and aesthetic awareness. In textiles, this resurgence of interest sparked the creation of fiber programs in colleges and universities. The emphasis on weaving and other forms of fiber construction, however, overlooked the attention being paid to surface-oriented work among educators and artists in many parts of the country. To offset this gap in information and practice, Elsa Sreenivasam (University of Kansas) and Patricia Campbell (Kansas City Art Institute) organized the first national Surface Design Conference at the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1976. The enthusiastic response--600 came when 200 were expected--affirmed the need for an organization to facilitate communication among artists, designers, scientists, students, and teachers. Initial steps were taken to form an organization at this conference. In 1977, the Surface Design Association was founded to promote critical thinking about and education in surface design.