Call for Participation: Matters of Communication, 15th DGTF-Conference, Karlsruhe, Germany

November 16-17, 2018
Submissions deadline: 19.08.2018

Our conference “Matters of Communication” creates a space for discussion about how communication is designed today and how design is communicated today.

15th Annual meeting of the German Society for Design Theory and Research (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Designtheorie und -forschung DGTF) | Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design | 16-17 November 2018

Whether space, image, text, object or system – design is always also communication. Against the backdrop of increasing radicalization, segmentation and polemization of social discourses, the relationship between design and communication seems more volatile today than ever. New communications media, channels, spaces and systems are constantly emerging. Machines, objects, even entire environments become independent actors that communicate with us and interact on various media levels. How can we sound out the contexts, the conditions that lead to possibility and the interdependencies of impact with regard to designed communication? What concepts are needed to conceptualize the relationship between design and communication from a present-day point of view?

Our conference “Matters of Communication” creates a space for discussion about how communication is designed today and how design is communicated today.
What are the pioneering approaches and methods of design research in relation to communication through and within contemporary forms of expression, as well as cultural and economic production? How do research projects reflect “Matters of Communication”, i.e. the form and materiality of designed communication, and their role in the emergence of attributions and interpretation contexts? What is the role that design research plays in the development of relevant questions and solutions? How is theory formation and translation into teaching and practice carried out?

The program consists of lectures, discussions and workshops in four thematic areas:

Language and Image
The design of communication has always moved between the rather denotative qualities of the written word and the greater connotative freedom of the image. Depending on the design concept, visual design serves to support the flow of communication or can, with an expressive gesture, break through familiar visual forms of representation. How is communication in language and image designed, perceived/received and interpreted today? What are the impact factors influencing the design of visual communication? What influence does visual communication have on prevailing social discourses?

Space and Scenery
From non-places to highly utilitarian buildings to narrative spaces of experience, from physical buildings to augmented hybrid worlds to virtual reality – space is more complex than ever. How do contemporary spaces function as communication interfaces? How are these spaces argued, narrated and communicated through their design? What is the role of the simulation as a specific form of expression in the context of economic and social issues?

Object and Interaction
Designed objects are a combination of materials, function and aesthetics, as well as an interface in complex technological, economic and social contexts. How is communication designed today between objects and people, and amongst people through objects? How do these objects communicate in relation to their position in economic and ecological cycles? What role does materiality or immateriality play in relation to the communicative abilities of objects?

Society and System
Complex systems such as computers, companies or societies are based on the constant exchange of materials, energies, symbols and are therefore communicative systems per se. How do such systems get designed? How does design deal with different stakeholders groups in these systems? What does good communication within a system mean, and how are friction and conflict used as productive forces?

We cordially invite you to submit contributions in the following formats:

Short lectures (10 minutes):
Lectures should present current practical project examples as well as discursive approaches that take up practices and methods of design research in connection with the conference theme and that lie at the communicative level of design.

Workshops (60 minutes)
Workshops should be an invitation to discuss or carry out a practice together that relates to the conference theme with active involvement of the audience.

Submissions form:
All submissions should refer to each one of the four topic areas.
Your abstracts should not exceed 500 words. Please submit as a PDF file to the email “mail at dgtf.de “. RE: “Submission Matters of Communication”

Submissions deadline: 19.08.2018
The selection is made by the conference committee, together with Dr. Daniel Hornuff (Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design) and Prof. Katja Thoring (Anhalt University of Applied Science, Dessau). Accepted submissions will receive notification no later than 24.09.2018.

Meeting date and location: 16 and 17.11.2018 in Karlsruhe The host university of the 15th DGTF annual meeting is the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. The conference committee consists of Prof. Andreas Müller (Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design), Prof. Dr. Sabine Foraita und Prof. Dr. Axel Vogelsang (DGTF).

The conference will feature panels and workshops in english, although participators should be aware that the main part of the conference will be held in German language. We strongly encourage english speaking researchers to submit contributions to the Call for Participation.

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