Por el mundo - Out in the world, 2021, Laura Tabakman

Mission & History

Surface Design Association’s mission since 1977 is to promote awareness and appreciation of textile-inspired art and design through member-supported benefits including publications, exhibitions, and conferences events.

Surface Design can be defined as the coloring, patterning, and structuring of fiber and fabric. It is expansive and encompasses papermaking, dyeing, sculpture, stitching, knitting, weaving, embllishing, collage, and so much more. To learn more about surface design, check out this interview at the Art League with past SDA president, Candace Edgerly and Julie Booth.

Surface Design Association: Innovation in Fiber, Art, and Design

SDA provides a platform for the exchange of ideas, methods, and materials. The SDA community is expansive: from makers and artists to academics and enthusiasts. We celebrate their successes and failures as they work toward sustaining traditional techniques or adapting production strategies in radical new ways, such as realizing fiber arts as activism or performance. The shared affinity of our community is a sincere love of textile media and fiber arts.

Through its quarterly publication of the Surface Design Journal, member exhibitions, and biennial intensives, SDA is able to:

  • Provide opportunities for learning and meaningful collaboration
  • Mentor and support emerging and established artists
  • Inform members about the latest developments in the field of fiber arts
  • Recognize the accomplishments of members
  • Encourage critical dialogue about fiber art
  • Inspire new directions in fiber and textiles
  • Raise the visibility of fibers and textile media in the contemporary art world.



Surface Design Association hosts exhibits and events throughout the year. Learn about current events or explore recent SDA events and news below, or visit our newsletter archive.

Annual Reports