Symposium activities took place on Deer Isle, Maine, at the world renowned Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. With a campus designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, built in 1961, winner of the American Institute of Architects’ Twenty-five year Award, Haystack was a fitting place to convene ACS9 around the theme of Practice, Craft, Materials, and Making.

Deer Isle

Deer Isle spreads out over some forty square miles, much of it woodland. It is an unpretentious place with abundant natural coastal beauty and a strong and vibrant community. Deer Isle has two towns: the small village of Deer Isle, and the much larger town of Stonington (home to Maine’s largest lobster fishing port). Deer Isle is also home to a number of vibrant and successful cultural and community institutions. Especially notable are Haystack, and the Stonington Opera House, revitalized over the last fifteen years as a community asset.  Some 2500 people live on Deer Isle year-round. A spectacular cabled bridge, completed in 1939, connects the island to the mainlan. For more information, follow this link.

For those with additional time and interest in experiencing more of Maine, we suggested arriving early or staying after the conference. The island has a full range of accommodation options, including the Deer Isle Hostel, Boyce’s Motel, The Inn on the Harbor, The Pilgrim’s Inn, and numerous cottages and houses for rent.


Edward Larrabee Barnes designed Haystack to foster community, including the deliberate design of simple shared accommodations. The wood cabins are unheated, and arranged for the multisensory experience of the sea’s sound, smell, site, and atmosphere. Most of our housing will be in double cabins with private baths, with some additional housing in quad or bunkroom with shared baths. A very limited number of single rooms were available but not guaranteed.

The main presentation venue was the 100-seat Gateway auditorium, also designed by Barnes and added to the Haystack campus in 1979.

The Haystack dining hall similarly seeks to foster community through the social construction of space. Haystack is rightfully proud of its excellent and plentiful food, break-snacks, desserts, and locally roasted coffee. Haystack achieves this excellence in food in part by supporting and relying on many local organic produce growers.


All-inclusive (registration; shared lodging; beautiful, plentiful food; all events; $25 ACSF fee): $565.* **      

* (We did not anticipate availability of singles, or the need to use the bunkrooms. However, the charge for a single, if available, was $765. Bunkroom, if required, $465. All room assignments were made on a first-paid, first-served basis -- with priority given to presenters. Roommate assignments were made for attendees if people did not mutually provide the name of a roommate.)
** (As with past ACS conferences we sought a sharing economy and operate a break-even budget. In the unlikely event conditions dictate we reserved the right to adjust the shared cost)

In the spirit of the ACS community, we asked participants and attendees to attend the entire conference. No reduction in full rate or partial refunds was possible.


Deer Isle can be reached by car from Bangor International Airport (1 hour, 20 minutes), Portland (3 hours), and Boston (5 hours). Like in other ACS Symposia far from an airport, we distributed a ride-sharing list for those wishing to rent and share cars. We also took reservations for a Sunday afternoon/Thursday morning shuttle to Bangor International Airport.


Weather on Deer Isle in May is variable and unpredictable. Attendees should plan for cold, drizzle, rain, fog, etc. (layers and rain gear), although it can also be pleasant and warm. In mid-May the average low is 42°and the average high is 65°F (record low 30° F, record high 91°F).