CfP: Microconference 2018: Addressing designed form – demarcating design

The Design School Kolding Design, Denmark
September 5-7, 2018
Full paper draft submission by April 28, 2018

The conference´s aim is to draw the attention of design research to the form of designed objects by exploring the boundaries of design.

Addressing designed form – demarcating design.

Design processes can be described (the technical, procedural aspects) and design aims explained (Inclusive Design, Sustainable Design). This is the stock of much design research. However, the core of design which is the visual is seemingly neglected other than in terms of the stimulus for a consumer response. The preferred natural science formats in design research writing tend to underplay the qualitative. Consider the structuring formula of background, literature review, hypothesis, methods, data and analysis. If the difference between design and engineering is the subjective and qualitative, is this format appropriate? Designers plan but not all planners design – does the managerial approach to design miss something critical? Designers solve problems through processes but sometimes the solution is just a sandwich. Is that design?

The seminar seeks to focus on the essential in design, that which makes it distinct from other disciplines. There is considerable latitude in this call for papers for a wide variety of views, those that emphasise ethical concerns, procedure and inclusive approaches to creativity. Such wide ranging views span from Herbert Simon (1996) to the work of David Pye (1964).

The output should be essays that can inform those researching and practicing design. They should also be useful to those learning the discipline and who wish to have a conceptual framework for form-giving and its meanings.

Note that the question is not “what is design” but rather how can we address research on design that acknowledges its special aesthetic quality. Buchanan´s (2001) definition: “Design is the human power of conceiving, planning and making products that serve human beings in the accomplishment of their individual and collective purposes”. Hillier (1998) wondered if it was possible at all to address the intuitive in design (which must refer in some sense to the aesthetic/subjective). Buchanan’s defintion conceivable involves objects and indeed services with no obvious aesthetic quality. Much design research seems to involve this kind of product or else pays scant regard to the “wow” in design. Hillier´s question challenges those who might try to address the Wow. Would such design research become a form of art history? Would that be a problem? If it isn´t a form of art history, what would it be?

Contributors will be asked to present their paper and to provide a detailed commentary on the work of one other participant. As such the micro-conference will be an opportunity for wide ranging and considered discussion.

Places at the conference are limited to twelve. A selection of papers will be published in a design journal.

Deadlines:
Full paper draft (6000 words including abstract): April 28th 2018
Notification of acceptance: May 30th 2018
Final paper: August 15 2018
Registration closes: August 30th 2018

Registration costs €135 and is payable by August 30 th 2018

Location: Design School, Kolding, Denmark.
Dates: 5th to 7th September.

Useful References:
Buchanan, R (2001) Design research and the new learning”. Design Issues 17 (4) 3-23
Grand, S., Jonas, W. (eds).(2012) Mapping design research
Hillier (1998) A note on the intuiting of form: three issues in the theory of design. Environment and Planning B, Planning and Design. Anniversary Edition 1998, pp.37-40.
Pye, D (1964) On the aesthetics of design. Herbert Press, London
Scott-Swann, K., Luchs, M. (2011) From the special issue editors: Product design research, past present and future. J. Prod. Innov. Manag. 28:321-326.
Simon, H (1996) Social Planning – designing the social artefact. In The Science of the Artificial, 139-141, 153-167. MIT

For further information please contact Richard Herriott, Assistant Professor, Industrial Design rhe@dskd.dk

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