Cumulus Working Groups meeting in Wuxi, China

October 30 – November 3, 2018 Shanghai and Wuxi, China
during the Cumulus conference Diffused Transition & Design Opportunities Wuxi 2018

Working Groups are run by the leaders from the Cumulus network. The meetings are open to all interested.

Cumulus Working Groups meeting in Wuxi, China
October 30 – November 3, 2018

Tentative programme
October 30th, 2018 Shanghai, hosted by Donghua University
– Cumulus Fashion and Textile Working Group

October 31st, 2018 Wuxi, hosted by Jiangnan University
– Cumulus Leadership and Strategy Working Group Design Policy Change (13.30 – 17.00)
– Service Design Workshop (13.30 – 17.00)
– Cumulus Fashion and Textile Working Group (13.30 – 17.00)

November 1st, 2018
– Cumulus Business, Industry and Innovation Working group (13.30-15-00)
– Cumulus X-files (International Affairs) Working Group (13.30 – 15.00)
– Cumulus Art and Design Teacher Education and Pedagogy Working Group (15.30-18.00)

November 3rd, 2018
– Cumulus 4 Sustainability Working Group (10.30 – 13.00 tbc)
– Cumulus ReVeDa Working Group (13.30-15-00)
– Cumulus Women in Design Working Group (13.30-15-00)
– Cumulus Leadership and Strategy Working Group Design Policy Change (13.30-15-00)
– Cumulus Service Design Working Group kick-off meeting (13.30-15-00)


Fashion and Textiles Working Group
30th October 2018, Woolmark Education Center, Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation, Donghua University
Hosted by Donghua University, Shanghai China
Theme: Cultural heritage and global market trands
10:00 Welcome
10:15 Keynote by Dr Juliette MacDonald
Dr Juliette MacDonald, FRSA, FRSA (Scot) completed her PhD at the University of St Andrews. Her research interests focus on both historical and contemporary craft and design with a particular emphasis on issues of cultural heritage and identity. She writes on consumerism, craft and design theory and practice and has articles and reviews published in various Journals as well as book chapters on aspects of Design, Fashion and Craft.
Bridging the gap: Craft, cultural heritage and making a living
Craft’s relationship with a place is often portrayed as a Utopian haven and as a part of an unchanging continuum. Magazines and tourism all do much to promote this view with tradition used as a key element in the successful promotion of the idea of cultural heritage and craft skills. Many indigenous crafts use materials and hand skills that have been passed on across generations which have a direct connection with working on the land, with hunting or fishing, or which generally contribute to the wellbeing of a community’s subsistence. Such association affords the genre a particular status, allowing it an authentic voice of ‘tradition’. This can be helpful at times, but being thought of as representing a specific heritage can also be problematic and leaves many individual practitioners and small companies with the question of how to balance two distinct needs; the continuation of skills and knowledge associated with cultural heritage and the real and pressing need to make a living in a globalised world.
Juliette MacDonald will be joined by Victoria Ho to present an insight into how some of these challenges have been met in Scotland and Vietnam.
11:00 Group discussions focusing on the theme
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Visit to the Shanghai Museum, e.g. exhibition gallery showing costumes of ethnic groups in China
15:00 Departure to Wuxi

October 31, 2018, 13:30–17:30
School of Design, Jiangnan University
Local Contact: Tang Ying
Venue: School of Design C202

The theme for Fashion and Textile Working Group at Cumulus Wuxi will central around the role of research in the fashion and textile field. We will discuss how research has contributed to the development of study programmes and the improvement of teaching quality in higher education. Also we will look into ways in which research carried out in academia can support and enhance the fashion and textile industry in various scales.
Speakers (Tentative):
Martijn ten Bhömer, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China
Kristi Kuusk, Associate Professor, Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia
If you are interested in sharing your experience in the meeting, please email me


Leadership and Strategy Working Group
October 31st, 2018 13.30 – 17.00
Theme: Design. Policy. Change.
Max. 50 people
Host: Susan Evans, John Bruce

The purpose of this exploratory workshop is to build on the discussion of the
designer and the design approach within collaborative groups that address
complex problems such as sustainability. There will be a focus on policy and its
role in transformative innovation.
An exploration of the role and importance of policy and policy-makers as a key
determinant in shaping, supporting and propelling innovative interventions that
can significantly change traditional industry and people systems. This might
involve dialogue on how can designers and participatory design research serve
to reframe these complex challenges to support policy decision-making? What
considerations, spatial, temporal, conceptual or technological are required? How
can designers & collaborative groups work with policy makers towards
reciprocated learning that may accelerate transformative interventions? How
might we frame these collaborations for continued dialogue and who will be the
agent to keep this process alive?

Read more about the workshop and materials here Design Policy Change academic wuxi wksp 280918


Business, Industry and Innovation Working Group
November 1, 2018
Time: 13.30 – 15.00
Local Contact: Wu Youxin
Venue: School of Design A104

Chair: Christian Guellerin L´École de Design Nantes France;

« Design and entrepreneurship : An evolvement or a big shift »
How schools and universities manage entrepreneurship, start-ups, incubation, relationships with companies… ?

The design schools have evolved a lot recently, as the responsibility of designers was shifting.
Design schools take a new identity: A center of innovation exhibiting an objective and reproductible nature. They become « centers of experimentation of the future » at the service of the economy and the society. A new quality criteria will be implemented for the most efficient creation venues. The percentage of students who start their own business based on products they devised during their studies is growing. Implementation of incubation centers is expected. It may represent a new era for entrepreneurship more reasonable, more sustainable, to build a better future.
Design students are now acquiring skills in management, marketing and economic science because they have grasped the power they possess to not only be present in the world, but impact it, too, and undertake the issues facing humanity. It isn’t enough anymore to create, have ideas and be innovative. We need to step things up a notch by walking the talk and becoming project entrepreneurs. It is on the economic and social ground that a project takes form. Managing doesn’t cut it. It is time to take matters into our own hands and go head-to-head with problems from an entrepreneurial stance.

Presentations during the meeting tbc (to be confirmed)
Discussion and plans for the future.


X-Files (International Affairs)Working Group

November 1, 2018
Time: 13.30 – 15.00
Venue: School of Design A203
Inken Krevet Sustainable Design School Nice France;
Anne Schoonbrodt Politecnico di Milano School of Design Italy;
Lisa Janssen Köln International School of Design KISD
Local Host: Sara Xiangjie Chen School of Design, Jiangnan University, China

X-Files is the oldest working group of Cumulus association, with 20 years of existence. It is the place for international networking, the “relation-nursery” for smart international collaborations, communication and interactions. The leading team of X-files is working on useful tools for internationalisation, in consideration of the specificity of institutions dedicated to Art, Design and Architecture.
Our main objectives are:
– To facilitate collaborations during the conference and to provide tools for keeping them alive after the conference.
– To help members to discover each other and hence give birth to new collaborations
– To provide a space and time to all participants of the Cumulus conference to become part of the active network
– To anchor networking into the creative context of the conference
– To put humanity and creativity into the center of the X-files working group actions.
Participants of the X-files working group have all type of profiles: professors, international staff, deans, directors, researchers


Art and Design Teacher Education and Pedagogy Working Group (ADDTE)
Chair: Martti Raevaara –
November 1, 2018
Time: 15.30 – 18.00
Local Contact: Lu Yuanyuan
Venue: School of Design A102-2

Within the Cumulus network there are a lot of expertise in art and design pedagogy. Many schools and institutions implement also an art and design teacher education degree programme or special study modules of art and design pedagogy.
We are interested in aggregating this expertise within Cumulus and launched a working group under art and design teacher education and pedagogy in Cumulus Kolding Conference May 2017 and following the second meeting in Cumulus Paris April 2018. This will be 3rd meeting of the group and it is open to anyone interested in sharing, exploring and developing together art and design pedagogy.
The meeting will include some presentations of case studies and introduction, discussion and team work of ideas for deepening and expanding our future working group collaboration in different forms.
Read more about the group see

Cumulus 4 Sustainability Working Group
November 3, 2018
Time: 10:30-12:30
Local Contact: Zhang Xichen

Venue: School of Design A104

Chair: Sara Hyltén-Cavallius Linnaeus University Sweden;
Robin Turner Greenside Design College Johannesburg, South-Africa;

Theme: Care to Share
We will work around care and share as concept for sustainability.
Metadesign tools will bridge from me to we and to the world and
we will find ways to make it useful in our everyday practice.
Relay from last session with co-coordinator Robin on Skype
Presentation around concepts of Care and Share
From me to we to the world workshop around CARE & SHARE


Women in Design Working Group
November 3, 2018
Time: 13.30 – 15.00
Local Contact: Qian Xiaobo
Venue: School of Design A102-1

Theme: Building Conversations and Strengthening Diversity
Chair: Rachel Troye
This new Cumulus working group: “Women in Design” will be a platform for exchange, inspiration and mentorship. To discuss challenges, share experiences and start building a global network of women in design to support and promote each other.
This is an opportune time to create an arena for women in design across the world. We believe there is a potential for supporting and empowering women in design to have the courage to take on visible, important positions within their society to help design fulfill its potential and gain the full impact and make a real difference.
The majority of design students tend to be female, however the design business is still to a large degree dominated by men. We believe there is an untapped potential in the many female design students that are educated that needs to be nurtured. Women have different approaches, mind-sets and different ways of working in their contribution to creating and designing preferable ways of living: futures that will lead to collective well-being and sustainable growth.
Accessing and sharing knowledge on the challenges many women face can contribute to building assertiveness across cultures. Strategies and methods for coping, dealing with challenges and for developing confidence and empowerment can be shared and further developed together.
The goal of this first “Women in Design” working group is to co-create what this working group should be in the future, based on the needs, insights and potentials of women in design across Cumulus. What format should these working groups have, what knowledge and tools would strengthen women across the globe, in Cumulus? We will build a network, share experiences and articles, tools and more on the Cumulus website. The goal is also to identify mentors across the globe, that will make themselves available to the Cumulus community on the Cumulus web- site.
In order for Cumulus to share best practice and strengthen the position of design across the world, this working group is necessary in order to engage and transform our diverse design society as well as for design education to fulfil its mandate. This answers to SDG 5 and more, and contributes to a more inclusive and democratic society as well as potentially altering the possible career paths for women.


ReVeDa Research Vectors in Design and Art Working Group
November 3, 2018
Time: 13.30 – 15.00
Local Contact: Long Juanjuan
Venue: School of Design A207

Chair:Lorenzo Imbesi, La Sapienza Rome Italy;
Loredana di Lucchio, La Sapienza Rome Italy;

ReVeDA, the Working Group about Research in Design, Art, and Media, has launched the call for the Survey finalized to collect the most interesting research experiences developed in the Schools thata are members of the Cumulus Association.
The results of this Survey will be collected in a book, that will be published in the Cumulus Think Tank Series, and analyzed and commented by experts in the field of Design Research.
Our goal is to offer to the Cumulus Community a picture about what is Research in Design, Arts and Media in our contemporary debate e what’s the most interesting benefits in terms of knowledge, innovations and cultural improvement.
For the Working Group during the DODT Conference we are glad to present a first mind map about the Survey, as well as, to host some of the most interesting Research experiences developed in the School of Design of Jiangnan University.
Therefore, we’d like to invite you to join us at the ReVeDA Working Group to share with us your experiences, opinions, impressions, practices and methodologies about Research in Art, Design and Media.
The results of the Workshop will be reported in the ReVeDA Book and the attendees will be included as Advisories for the next steps


Service Design Working Group kick-off meeting
November 3, 2018
Time: 13.30 – 15.00
Local Contact:
 Xiao Dongjuan
Venue: School of Design A102-2

This is an open invite to a meet-up to form a Cumulus working group on education, teaching and learning in the area of service design. As more designers work in areas where a service perspective is dominant, new demands on knowledge, skills and attitudes are being forefronted. As relational perspectives become more important to design, culture and design can strengthen each other across old borders. As more designers call themselves service designers, new constellations of and relations between design practices develop. As more non-trained designers are doing and being involved in design work, new possibilities and challenges ensue to act as a trained designer. As universities and design schools increase their engagement in service organisations, social or societal challenges, new ways of working develop that relates to taking responsibility in such relationships. These challenges are not uniform for all universities, design schools, programs or courses. Across countries and cultures there is a large variation and a pluralism that is a good growing ground for sharing and developing knowledge.
While this invitation uses terms like ‘service design’, which may assume a prefigured field, this working group is also open to other understandings of what ‘service’ and ‘design’ might mean when framed from another culture or practice. Exercising diversity is one aim of this meet-up so we may respectfully connect and share in our encounters.

The basic idea of the working group is to connect universities and design schools around the new challenges for design and design education when engaging in service industry, public sector, civil society and societal transformation. The fundament is open sharing of challenges, ways of working, development goals, ideas for solutions, curricula, etc. The goal is to develop each other into being better in responding and handling the challenges, so that our students become better designers and our collaborators are better for designers.
We foresee that we will hold Share/Critique sessions in Cumulus conferences, organize DoTanks inbetween conferences, and publish our joint work through e.g. the Cumulus ThinkTank series.

In Wuxi we want to meet up with interested parties, that later will be part of forming the formal Working Group in time for the Rovaniemi conference. The initiators behind the call is the network of universities behind the ServDes conference (; Politecnico di Milano, Linköping University, University of Lapland, AHO, Aalborg University, Sungkyunkwan University, RMIT, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Laurea UAS.

For the Wuxi meetup the organisers are
Yong Se Kim, Sungkyunkwan University
Piia Rytilahti, University of Lapland

Not a Member yet? Apply here!


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