Call for Cumulus Conferences 2019 & 2020

Would you like to host a Cumulus conference? The call is open now for the year 2019 and 2020.
Application deadline: November 30, 2017

2019 one conference: 2nd annual Cumulus conference
2020 two conferences: 1st & 2nd annual Cumulus conference

The Cumulus General Assembly (GA) on 2 June 2017 in Kolding Denmark decided to open the call. Cumulus has been organizing 40 conferences two per year since April 1998 in Prague Czech Republic. We do have one conference during the first half of the year, the second one is held by the end of the year. The first conference has been organized until today in Europe (GA), the 2nd anywhere in the world. The first one is a bigger conference with the General Assembly and New Member Fair, the 2nd smaller in number of participants.

Some facts

Cumulus is a dynamic and flexible forum which brings together top level educational institutions from all parts of the world. Cumulus collaborates not only with institutions and organizations from the field of art, design and media; the encouragement of co-operation with industry and business is important as well. Cumulus is a forum for partnership, sharing knowledge and practices, which inspires a more sustainable, human centered and creative future. Cumulus initiated in 1990 is the only global association representing education and research in art, design and media having close to 260 institutional members from 55 countries and representing around 400.000 students and 70.000 academics.

Cumulus aims in nutshell:

– to offer a wide, dynamic and flexible international context for dialogue and innovation research of art, design and media
– to support institutions and individuals (students, professors, researchers and administrative staff) into internationalization
– to help design education in increasing its quality, its level of internationalization and innovation and its impact into society
– to promote and empowering the talent of the next generation of creative and responsible professionals
– to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and research in the fields in art, design and media
– to encourage collaboration with industry, professional bodies, civil society and government in order to address the contemporary and future challenges.

Call for Cumulus Members to host the Conference

Cumulus is calling for the host among the Cumulus members individually or collaboratively with other members under the umbrella of Cumulus; in 2019 for one conference in the latter part of the year, in 2020 two Cumulus conferences; the first one during the first half of the year and the other by the end of the year.

Annually the 1st conference includes the conference with the Cumulus New Member Fair and the General Assembly. The 2nd conference tends to be a smaller conference in number of participation.

General but Big Things for Success

Cumulus conferences are non-profit to the association and to the host. The geographical balance of the host and venues is important to give opportunity for people also to learn about e.g. different regions, cities, countries. The ideal would be a possibility to welcome people to the 1st conference in Europe, but it is not excluded an application for the 1st one to be held outside Europe is left in, the 2nd one has been so far held anywhere in the world. To clarify the reasoning for the first one, it has been held in Europe, cause around 61% of the Cumulus members are in Europe and the rest of the Cumulus family comes from everywhere in the world.

The host can see the value of the welcoming Cumulus as an opportunity to raise its reputation and impact. By welcoming people from world around under the umbrella of Cumulus means sharing knowledge, practices, and gives Cumulusians a chance to leave a positive footprint in the member institution and impact beyond any borders. The conference gives the host a unique opportunity to present themselves to Cumulus members and partners from all over the world as well as empowers the host and Cumulus members to discuss and develop within their institution and as individuals, in the city, region or country or more globally. The Cumulus conference can be different compared to any other conferences e.g. in terms of its multidisciplinary, -cultural and –tasking spectrum bridged by the content of the event and the host, not limited to only one track in the education and/or research or just focusing in one.

The Cumulus conference offers a wide forum of thinking and way of working together. The focus and the topic of the conference is calling for wider global sharing knowledge and practices from a multidisciplinary perspectives. The content is not limited to design but also all our areas and disciplines from art and media are welcomed as well from other points of view, the content aims to give the opportunity to the delegates also to learn things about the country, region, business, culture etc. and any intangible values unknown.

The Recipe of a Cumulus conference is a Mix of – Good Local and International Ingredients

Global Friendship and Partnerships = Conversation “Saucepan”
The scope of Cumulus activities and visibility is global where the conferences have important impact. Cumulus is developing its partnerships globally. We have partnerships around the world and we try to mobilize our partners also to contribute to the success of Cumulus conferences and to let them collaborate and share with our members during the events.

Some examples of the existing partnerships are ADADA Asian Digital Art and Design Society, AIGA US designers professional association, ico-D the international association for the graphic and designers in visual communication, BEDA Bureau of European Design Associations, DRS Design Research Society, DINZ The Designers Institute of New Zealand, ADR Association of Designers Russia, DOGA Norwegian Center for Design and Architecture, , EIDD Design for All Europe, National Innovation Foundation of India Honeybee, Sristi & GIAN, iF-International Forum Design and iF-Design Talent Germany, IASDR International Association of Design Research Societies, ELIA European League of the Institutes of the Arts NL, NASAD the National Accreditation of School of Art and Design in US, OHIM is the European Union agency responsible for registering trademarks and designs located in Spain, DESIS Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability Network, Alva Aalto Foundation Finland, Pro Arte Foundation Russia etc. Cumulus is also recognized by UNESCO. Cumulus is known by different EU directorates e.g. by the EU Directorate General Enterprise and Industry EESC European Economic and Social Committee and has been present in the European Union design innovation development. Any partner may ask for a opportunity to share their topic during the conference mixed or organized by their own.

Local Richness
Cumulus conferences catering people to enter into specific unknown realities (a school, a territory, a culture, a tradition.) and to discover its deep roots and uniqueness. For this reason, speakers, workshops, exhibitions, tours and other additional programme are more than welcome enabling to help the audience in getting closer and to understand the local reality. Richness comes also out of huge portion of networking time during the event.

Cumulus Working Groups
Cumulusians meet mainly during the annual conferences under Cumulus umbrella. In the conferences, Cumulus member institutions have the opportunity to strengthen their partnership, actions and knowledge transfer and meet the Cumulus Executive Board and the secretariat. Cumulus has close to 20 multidisciplinary voluntary Cumulus Working Groups led by individual academics or staff members working in Cumulus member institutions. The working groups provide a focused opportunity for sharing knowledge typical to the group during the working group meetings organised mainly during these two annual Cumulus conferences. The working groups provide specific topics of interest. Some groups like Sustainability, Leadership and Strategy; ReVeDa /Research, Digital Culture, X-Files, Art and Design Education, Fashion and Textiles are groups that have been active in creating space for sharing and further knowledge during Cumulus conferences. Some others may wake up and new to be born.

The whole Cumulus network is student-centred; how? the Cumulus Family appreciates the involvement of the host university students in different forms, from an exhibition and performances to Pre-Conference Student Camp to enable the creating relations among the future talent. Students are also welcome to participate in the conferences. Cumulus Student Ambassadors may organise something for them, or our partners and other members with the host of the conference.

When and What is Up by Now?
Cumulus has agreed its annual conference agenda until 2019 May/June conference hosted by University of Lapland in Finland. In 2017, the 1st conference was hosted in Kolding Denmark by the Design School of Kolding, 2nd in 2017 is hosted by Shrishti in Bengaluru India on 20-23 November 2017. In 2018, the 1st is organized in Paris France in 11-14 April by the Cumulus associate member La Conférence des Quatre Ecoles that is consisting of 4 Cumulus full member state colleges of design in Paris and the 2nd is hosted by Jiangnan University in Wuxi China at the end of 2018.

Some Requirements when Organizing a Cumulus conference

1. The Cumulus conference is a Cumulus brand, but it gives the host a lot of possibility for its own visibility and access in identity, visual elements and content, helps the host to impact and develop.
2. The language of the conference is English.
3. The topic and content of the conference is further developed after the approval of hosting it in collaboration with the Cumulus Executive Board. It may be a global topic of the time or a specific unique challenge by the host, city, region, the country, to be discussed with the participants and other stakeholders during the conference. Cumulus board nominates two academic mentors among the board or other to the host for the further content planning of the conference.
4. The conference can have scientific (CfP based) sessions and mix of/or/ sessions only based on another type of call.
5. The time is a minimum of 2,5 days and with the possibility to last over the weekend.
6. The conference welcomes a mixed audience of lecturers, professors, part-time teachers, university leaders, directors, researchers, students, administrative staff, professionals and artists. Audience consists of mainly people from the member institutions and Cumulus partners but also others from outside. Cumulus may also welcome different stakeholders to participate and with the possibility to contribute during the program. It is important to meet a mix of people from the hosting institution during the event and see the premises of the hosting university.
7. Time for networking is a crucial element of the success of a Cumulus conference. The conference must offer plenty of time to free networking during meals and coffee breaks. The conference creates a platform to share freely knowledge and information and to stimulate discussion and networking.
8. The conference has also Cumulus Working Group meetings and other sessions (by the members, partners or invited by the host or Cumulus as others) and keynotes. The conference will include an opportunity to “Conversations” part in the program where partners and others can hold their sessions (length around am or pm and depending on the number of sessions, to avoid the paralleling of all of them at the same time).
9. The 1st Cumulus conference includes always the Cumulus General Assembly with around max 120 participants as well as the Cumulus New Member Fair (around max 35 new members depending on the number of the annual membership applications).
10. The 1st and 2nd conferences, both also offer a pre-meeting possibility for the Cumulus Executive Board as well as can offer a day to the Cumulus Working Groups or partners etc. equivalent stakeholders if requested via the secretariat.
11. The number of participants is not limited to but 1st conference should be able to host around a minimum of 400-450 people. The 2nd one 200-250.
12. The main venue of the conference is the hosting Cumulus member institution, any necessary site venues can be in collaboration with other stakeholders.. There must be a room for all conference participants for keynotes or equivalent and a room big enough to welcome the General Assembly (around 150 persons max) held always during the 1st conference.
13. The conference can also include site program e.g. guided separately charged tours to a destination to give wide understanding for the delegates e.g. of the city, region or country, industry, government and similar stakeholders. It can include exhibitions and site events organized by also others or the hosting inviting the Cumulus members and partners to exhibit.
14. The host organizes hotels for the delegates to book by a deadline. The host is ready to assist students to find nice price housing.
15. The host has a team to work with the Cumulus secretariat in detail for building up the conference. This team can consist of the academic team and the operational team. Academic is necessary if a call is opened
16. The minimum time requirement for active planning and organizing is 1,5 years. The time roughly 6 months before the event is extremely busy and demands ongoing daily dialogue by email/skype/etc. with the Cumulus secretariat and also with the participants. The host understands to allocate enough resources (preference 100% conference manager with other operational staff) for e.g. registration, program development (in web/print), website, media, publication (abstracts/full papers/other articles), visa, finance, spaces, exhibition, force majeure etc.. For the actual conference time it is a requirement to have enough staff for registration, conference desk, guides etc.
17. The host participates in presenting and discussing the development of the conference with the Cumulus Executive Board in its meetings before the conference. Timeline to participate is around a minimum of 1,5 years. The host will come to a minimum of two previous conferences prior to its own and present/market the conference there.
18. If an exhibition by the Cumulus members is part of the program, the jury must include one or more members organized by the secretariat, the host is also aware the possibility of any award given by Cumulus or Cumulus partner or equivalent to the selected winners of the exhibition.
19. The host ensures media pre/during/post/ the conference (e.g. press conference). Material in social media and in English is relevant for the success for the host and Cumulus.
20. The host offers the conference website with the domain as worked out with the Cumulus secretariat. The conference website exists forever as agreed with the secretariat with the possibility to negotiate the website transfer to the maintenance of the secretariat. The hosts aims to store the keynotes and other main sessions and download them on-line for the immediate release and save them for further use.
21. Call for papers or objects are opened a minimum nine (9) months before the conference. The scientific part of the conference must be peer reviewed. The conference will have the abstracts and equivalent material and the conference program be downloadable before the conference from the website. They can be handed out as prints in the conference registration.
22. Final proceedings as organized by the host as digital and/or print/downloadable from the conference website or the Cumulus website (please see item 20, website). The proceedings can include articles also by the keynotes, Cumulus board and other important stakeholders by Cumulus and the host. The selection of the papers for the proceedings should be transparent and clear. The deadline for the conference proceedings is six (6) months after the conference.
23. Cumulus organizes its ISBN, ISSN equivalent to all publications, any other to be negotiated with the secretariat. Cumulus has an APP available for Cumulus publications and there is the possibility for downloading from the Cumulus website. The design of the conference proceedings may need to follow the guidelines given by Cumulus secretariat and the board.
24. Cumulus is not responsible of any losses caused by the conference to the host or any third party.
25. All the participants come with their own responsibility to the event. All participants must be requested by the host for the permission by the participant to the host and Cumulus and the secretariat to allow the participant contact information to be public, to use photos and other visual material of the participants during the conference and after it in the material by Cumulus or the host. Cumulus understands any legal limitations may occur.
26. More details available in the Cumulus Conference Organizer Manual provided by the secretariat and the follow-up of this manual is mandatory. However, any adjustments within the operations of organizing the conference are carried out in good collaboration with the Cumulus secretariat that coordinates the building up of the event with the Cumulus board and the host and it is entitled to guide in detail and impact if necessary.

The registration fees go fully to the host to cover the costs of organizing. The conference is no income to the host. The host understands it allocates its own resources (personnel, space and cash) to the event. As example, the fees in Europe have been ranging from 300-400 € and depending on the cost level of the country. It is possible for the host to charge separately additional program and dinners etc. equivalent within the registration. The pre-requisite is to use the existing premises by the hosting institution or get sponsors for different parts of the program. Sponsors can be city or regional councils, chambers of commerce, embassies, companies, NGO´s etc. Cumulus does not allocate its funds to the events but may cover some special needs as negotiated separately during the planning process with the secretariat. Cumulus can join the sponsor negotiations if necessary and can contribute to any project with the sponsor. Details to be negotiated with the secretariat.

The host understands the cancellation always causes challenges to Cumulus (pls. see item 25. as above). If the event must be canceled, the host is ready to suggest an alternative host or propose a solution to organize the conference. Force majeure, unforeseeable circumstances that prevent the host from fulfilling the process towards the conference, may cause cancellation later to the start of the event and lead to a situation there is no conference at all but e.g. only the General Assembly and New Member Fair are organized in collaboration with the host that canceled the conference.

How to Apply?
The applying Cumulus member institution applies in English max five (5) pages. The applicant when applies confirms it has the capacity and the commitment to organise the conference as e.g. the given details up in the call “Some requirements…”. The applicant and Cumulus understands the final content of the conference and operative details arel worked out in detail after the final approval of the General Assembly. The applicant also leaves when applying an endorsement letter in signed by an authority of the applying institution. The proposal answers to some basic questions serving the selection process as listed below. The Cumulus Executive Board has the right to work further the application with the secretariat.

The Application includes. Items below are not in any order of importance and may mix:

1. Contact: Name of the institution and of the key contact person (Contact information: Address, email, phone/skype/whatsapp/messenger/wechat etc.)
2. Why: Why do you want to organize the conference? The applicant shows its own profile/vision/strategy serves Cumulus in the mandate of its Cumulus conference, how the event can share the vision of the host with Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges in Art, Design and Media. The applicant gives an idea of the need/reason why the conference is welcomed and serves the applicant, its stakeholders and the environment around the host (country/region/city/board/owners etc.) The quality is important, how the host will ensure the quality of the operations and content development (pls. see e.g. as below items 5. and 6).?
3. What: “Working title” of the conference: What is the proposed theme/idea on the theme of the conference/how relevant the content can be e.g. for the development of the field?/ any idea for its possible format/any publication options beyond the proceedings/preliminary plans for social and cultural program etc.
An idea as a short description of the content is welcomed, why from the content point of view it is important to invite people to this event?
4. Who: If the conference will welcome a call (or include more calls) of any kind (scientific/other(s), please describe the quality assurance/give a plan for the review committee(s)/is there the required capacity and expertise/who they may be? A plan how to organise the reviewing(s).
How the host can welcome students to benefit from the conference (e.g. pre-conference event/embed Cumulus Student Ambassadors to the programme or equivalent action/exhibition etc.)?
5. Where: Information on the hosting organization and city (why there?) and accessibility (e.g. can delegates reasonably get to the conference venue(s)? Describes why the geographic location is important to mobilize Cumulusians and others to meet the host in this venue.
6. How: The operational team to organize, operational; information on facilities, accommodation and supporting services (conference services, transport, IT, who are they and how many etc.?) Does the location have all the necessary facilities and resources?
7. When: Time when the conference will be held, and the time plan for any call(s)/exhibition/publishing plan/ if any pre-conference activity, its timing. (N.B. Final timing adjusted with the secretariat.)
8. The candidate can include in the application additional recommendations from existing member institutions or partner of Cumulus and/or authorities like the city, region, chamber of commerce government etc.
9. The application is binding.

Review & Decision
The Cumulus Executive Board (CEB) will review the applications in its first meeting in 2018. It respects the call in its decision.

The CEB is entitled to ask for any further information from the applicant, if necessary before or after the meeting. The Cumulus secretary general and a board member may visit the host if necessary before the final decision of the board to be presented in the General Assembly in Paris France in April 2018. The CEB has the right to negotiate and work further the application and discuss e.g. the change of the conference to another year and time within this call prior to its decision. The CEB will give in case of several applications a letter reasoning its decision to those not given the conference in this call; it may also propose to postpone the application to the next round, the conferences in 2021 and thereafter, or propose another solution.


30 November 2017

by mail or e-mail to;
Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media
Secretary General Eija Salmi
PO Box 31000 0076 Aalto Finland

For any information, please request; & or tel +358405120302 or fax +358 9 47030595 –
CUMULUS Past Conferences

Prague Czech Republic, 23-25 April, “On Design Research” , Academy of Art and Design
Dublin Ireland, October, “On Design Research and Education”, National College of Art and Design NCAD

Rome Italy, 15-17 April, he Future of Art & Design Discipline – Cumulus European Design Institutions to challenge each other, ISIA Roma, IED Milano
Ljubljana Slovenia, October, University: Industry = Strategic Partners – Changing Tactics, University of Ljubljana, Academy of Fine Art & Design

Helsinki Finland, 25-27 May, Design Fusion, University of Art and Design Helsinki
Kolding Denmark, 12-14 October, Design in a Digital World, Designskolen Kolidng

Rotterdam the Netherlands 20-22 March, Willem de Kooning Academy
Baltic Sea, Stockholm-Helsinki-Stockholm, 26-28 October, Design in Transition – New Demands for Education University of Art and Design Helsinki

Paris France, European Way(s) of Life, Ecole Superieure d’Arts Graphiques et d’Architecture Interieure-Design ESAG Penninghen
Colle di Val D´Elsa Italy, Barycentre of Innovation, IED Milan

Tallinn Estonia, 8-11 May, VALID: VALueInDesign – Disabling disablement, enabling enablement, Estonian Academy of Arts
St. Petersburg Russia, 30 October – 2 November, West meets East – 300 Years of Shared Design and Crafts History, State University of Technology and Design & EU Culture2000, Cumulus

Oslo Norway, 6-8 May, Entrepreneurship and Design, Oslo School of Architecture (AHO) and National College of the Arts SHKS
Utrecht the Netherlands, 30 September – 3 October The Zone, an Area of Transition, Utrecht School of the Arts

Lisbon Portugal, 26-29 May, Pride and Pre-Design – The Cultural Heritage and the Science of Design, IADE – School of Design in collaboration with the UNIDCOM/IADE.
Copenhagen Denmark, 23-25 September, Future Design and Innovation, Danmarks Designskole

Singapore, 29-31 March Design Thinking & Innovation: Towards a Global/Asian Perspective, Temasek Polytechnic
Nantes France, 15-17 June Ethics: Design, ethics and humanism Nantes, France,
L’Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique
Warsaw Poland, 12-15 October New Situation, New Reality, The Faculty of Industrial Design / Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

Rovaniemi Finland, 22-23 March, Art & Science of Visual Communication Design, Faculty of Art and Design, University of Lapland
Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany 14-17 June. Crossing boundaries, Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd
Bratislava Slovakia, 12-14 October Design + 3D, Academy of Fine Arts

Kyoto Seika Japan, 28-31 March [CU:] “emptiness” Resetting Design – A New Beginning, Kyoto Seika University
Zürich Switzerland, 22-24 May Small Countries – Great Futures, Department of Design, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste
Jinan China 3-5 July, Design, Olympics, Harmony, Shandong University of Art and Design
Saint-Etienne France, 20-23 November, Design and Research, Ecole Supérieure d’Art et Design de Saint-Etienne (ESADSE)

London UK, 27-30 May Confronting Challenge with Change, Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication
Vilnius Lithuania, 8 – 10 October Design of Change Conference (European Cultural Capital)m Vilnius Academy of Arts
Auckland New Zealand, 9 – 10 November, Cumulus Aotearoa, Department of Design, Faculty of Creative Industries and Business, UNITEC
Melbourne Australia, 12-14 November Cumulus, 38ºSouth: hemispheric shifts across learning, teaching and research, Swinburne University of Technology and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology RMIT

Genk Belgium, 26-29 May Borderline – pushing design over the limit
Beijing China, 3 – 4 September, Academy of Arts & Design Tsinghua University
Shanghai China, 7 – 10 September Young Creators for Better City & Better Life, School of Design Innovation, SODI Tongji University (World Expo Shanghai)

Paris France, 19-21 May Crossing Talents Transversality in Design Strate College
Denver USA 20 Sep – 2 October “From Understanding to Design and Back Again, Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design

Helsinki Finland 24-26 May, Northern World Mandate, Aalto University School of Art and Design (WDC12)
Ekaterinburg Russia 4-6 October Design, Business and Education in collaboration with the Association of Russian Designers and Ural State Academy of Art, Design and Architecture*
Santiago Chile 14-17 November Projecting Design, DuocUC

St. Petersburg Russia 15-17 March Museums and Education in collaboration with Hermitage and Pro Arte Foundation*
Kalmar Sweden 5-8 June, Global Thinking Local Action Future Life, Linnaeus University
Dublin Ireland 6-8 November, conference More for Less – Creativity in an Age of Austerity, NCAD National College of Art and Design

Aveiro Portugal 8-10 May, What is on. Cultural Diversity, Social Engagement, Shifting Education University of Aveiro
Johannesburg South-Africa 22-24 September, Design with the other 90%: Changing the World by Design
“For most of us, design is invisible until it fails.”, Greenside Design Center and Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg

Milan Italy 3-7 June, The Virtuous circle of Design Culture and Experimentation, Politecnico di Milano (World Expo 2015)
Mumbai India 2-6 December In A Planet of Our Own A Vision of Sustainability with focus on Water, IIT Mumbai

Nottingham UK 27 April – 1 May, In this Place, Nottingham Trent University
Hong Kong P.R. China 21 – 24 November, Open Design for E-very-thing – exploring new design purposes Hong Kong Design Institute

Kolding Denmark 30 May – 2 June , REDO, Design School Kolding
Bengaluru India 20-23 November, Letters to the Future, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology

Paris France 11-14 April, CÉSAAP Conference des écoles supérieures d´arts appliqués de Paris
Wuxi, PR. China at the end of October, Jiangnan University School of Design

Rovaniemi Finland. University of Lapland Faculty of Art and Design, late May/early June

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