Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media

Cumulus 38ºSouth: hemispheric shifts across learning, teaching and research

12-14 November 2009 Melbourne, Australia

Swinburne University of Technology and RMIT University

Maximum number of participants


Contact persons

Further information:


Conference Chair

Professor Ken Friedman

Swinburne University of Technology



Deputy Chair

Professor Harriet Edquist

RMIT University



Professor Helmut Lueckenhausen

Swinburne University of Technology



Executive Officer

Stephen Langdon

Swinburne University




Professor Helmut Lueckenhausen, PVC Sarawak Swinburne University  

Lauren Murray  
Russell Kerr
Gavin Melles  
Liam Fennessey
Emily Wright  
Stephen Langdon - Executive Officer

Current matters

Registration open!           

24 June - 30 October 2009 (*note from 12 October no refunds available) 


Register your Interest     email: slangdon[at]


Program                           An exciting core conference program of 2½ days with

                                         additional industry immersions, exhibitions, showcases and

                                         cultural experiences around Victoria. 




pdf delegates_list_melbourne




 HOW INTERNATIONALIZED ARE WE? The establishment of internationalization benchmarks or health checks against 10 key criteria²


Cumulus Member Institutions

Rectors or heads of the member unit at a member institution






FRIDAY 13 November 2009 

2.30 pm - 3.30 pm







The establishment of internationalization benchmarks or health checks against 10 key criteria²



Content:  The establishment of internationalisation benchmarks or health checks against 10 key criteria:




1 - To determine University/College-wide policy in regard to internationalization, and to establish a culture of internationalization


2 - To internationalize curriculum and teaching across the University /College        


3 - To internationalize research and research linkages


4 - To internationalize staff


5 - To provide a range of services for international students


6 - To promote the University/College's international character in the communities in which it operates




7 - To increase onshore enrolments of international students


8 - To implement an effective Transnational Education Program


9 - To promote international student mobility


10 - To implement a diverse range of international projects


The outcomes of a seminar between the International Education Association Australia (IEAA) and the European Association of International Educators (EAIE) on Australia - Europe cooperation in higher education will provide extra background.


Presenter: Stephen Connelly

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

(Development and Engagement)

Swinburne University of Technology

President, International Education Association Australia


Chair: Helmut Lueckenhausen

Pro Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive

Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak

Email: hlueckenhausen[at]



Cumulus Working groups meetings


Thursday, 12 November 2009

2.00 - 4.00pm

Swinburne University



Lesson learned Australia and Internationally.


The Design Education for Sustainability Working Group in Melbourne 

will provide a showcase of examples of how sustainability is being 

integrated into the design curricula in Australia with an agenda of 

short presentations by colleagues from Swinburne, RMIT and New 

Zealand. The Working group will conclude with a question and answer 

session with the panel of speakers providing delegates with the 

opportunity to network and learn how Sustainability is being addressed 

at Latitude 38° South and beyond.


Workshop co-ordinator:
Prof. Peter D. Stebbing, Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany

Dr Gavin Melles, Swinburne Design, Australia 


Provisional agenda


1. Very Brief Introduction on the Working Group - Peter Stebbing

2. Australian context X Swinburne - Gavin Melles

3. Sustainability at Swinburne (Campus strategies across disciplines  - Greening the Campus) Frank Fisher

4. Envisioning Sustainable Futures Mark Strachan

An overview of Swinburne University's Systems & Service Design Studio, a 3rd Year undergraduate multidisciplinary subject, that explores the principles of system and service design in the context of creating sustainable futures. In addition to sustainable design principles, the studio includes the application a number of key methodologies: User-centred Design, Mapping techniques & Scenario Enactment.

5. Sustainability and product design at Swinburne - Blair Kuys & Christine Thong

6. John Gertsakis



SATURDAY, 14 November 2009

11:15am - 1:15pm



WORKSHOP: How to approach formal aesthetics?

Workshop co-ordinators
Prof. Ulrike Rahe, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Emma-Louise Gustafsson, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden



Starting a new research program at Chalmers in formal aesthetics has made it clear that there is a need and an interest to get an overview of research and teaching in formal aesthetics and to discuss related issues. The Cumulus is a perfect opportunity to reach the most relevant representatives of the community at the same time, and to exchange ideas. It would be most valuable for everyone in the field to screen the state of the art in the form generation process among academics for a basic mind mapping of the research area.


The aim of this new research program at Chalmers is to generate a language of form for strengthening the capability to observe forms analytically and applying this knowledge in a creative and prospective way. The purpose is to enhance an understanding of the structure and function of the visual form, facilitate the assessment and evaluation of form, and enable the generation and optimisation of new innovative results.




Participants in this workshop will discuss the subjects of formal aesthetics and form generation, aligned towards one of the themes of the conference:

Shifts in art + design practice and technology, defining new ways of working.

Art + design originates in creative practice, developing experiences for the real world which are mediated by shifts in society as well as technology. These factors affect ways of working (collaborative, participatory), create new subdisciplines (new media, HCI) and necessitate attunement to the global context. They also demand new ways of engaging with industry as it responds to technological and environmental change


Questions to be addressed are e.g.:

  • Classic rules and geometric form principles (e.g. the Golden ratio, the Fibonacci sequence, Platonic bodies etc.) are still highly present in industrial design educational programs even though they can be traced back to the old Greeks. Why are they so persistently present in educational programs in contrast to their absence out in the industry?


  • The industry has high demands on computer skills when students leave university, which rise new questions: Is it possible to make the design process more systematic and computer compatible - still keeping it creative? How are reason, logic and intellect colliding with intuition and pleasure? The debate on the intellectualizing of design has been going on for a long time, referring to critical voices today like Victor Papanek. If a tool or method is to be developed it is therefore important to gain the acknowledgement of the design community and not loose the intuitive dimension.


  • How do you keep the designer's mind from feeling limited when it for example in the car industry is not unusual that you receive 2000 fixed points in space that you have to limit your form to?


A survey with questions for turning in after the workshop:

-          What form classes does your university have?

-          What role does formal aesthetics play in your education?

-          According to what methodology do you rely on teaching formal aesthetics?

-          How much theory lies behind teaching, how much is tacit knowledge and how much is simply to be experienced?


This workshop will have a follow-up in Gothenburg, Sweden, December 14th with participants from European Design Research groups as well as highly recognized design-leaders from industry. Organizer is our Form Design Lab at Chalmers.




Participants will discuss according to "KJ analysis", which is a way of organising the results of a brainstorm. They will brainstorm/discuss one of the above subjects and write down every thought on a post-it. After a while they will start grouping the thoughts together and name the groups. Later the three most important groups/elements will be ranked and then presented for the other groups.




This workshop would be useful to researchers or teachers within the area of formal aesthetics, basic design, fundamental design etc.




Conference description

We invite you to be part of the first Cumulus Conference in Australia November 12-14 2009. Cumulus International Conference in Melbourne will provide a platform for innovation in conceptual learning, creative teaching and pivotal research in places and spaces that will excite your imagination and connect you to the southern hemisphere through its people, its enthusiasms and its innovation.”


The 2009 Cumulus Conference will be a global forum where the northern and southern hemispheres can share their cultural expression of design and related media across education, industry and research. This will also be an opportunity to build the Cumulus network across Asia, Australia and within Victoria.


Core Message:

Cumulus 38ºSouth: another hemisphere; alternative perspectives; new ways of thinking!


This conference will provide a forum for the integration and intersection of Art, Design and Media teaching, learning and research. 



Melbourne city centre, RMIT University and Swinburne University of Technology (Prahran Campus). These locations are easily accessible via public transport and located close to the vibrant city centre.




Transcending disciplinary boundaries, creating new practices, processes and knowledges
Art and design research and practice is fundamentally an interdisciplinary and potentially transdisciplinary affair. This theme asks researchers and practitioners to communicate their experiences, theories and claims regarding work in inter-trans-multi disciplinary spaces and their consequences for art and design as bounded or unbounded fields.


Transitions in art + design education, balancing teaching, learning and research
A timely topic given the push for research quailty output and the move towards an interdiscplinary as well as internationalisation-focused curriculum while maintaining industry relevance. How this is achieved around the world, offering perspectives from Europe, Asia, Americas and Australia.
Shifts in art + design practice and technology, defining new ways of working
Art + design originates in creative practice, developing experiences for the real world which are mediated by shifts in society as well as technology. These factor affect ways of working (collaborative, participatory), creates new subdisciplines (new media, HCI) and necessitating attunement to the global context. They also demand new ways of engaging with industry as it responds to technological and environmental change.


Repositioning Art + Design’s role in society, a catalyst for social change
This topic would encapsulate all projects that put forward creative practice as a way to evoke positive social change.