Emerging Practices 2016: Design Research and Education Conference “Design in Complexity” , Tongji University College of Design and Innovation

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Every autumn, the Tongji University College of Design and Innovation organizes a small, highly interactive conference on design research and design education titled “Emerging Practices” (EPC). Since the first EPC in 2012, this has become an annual forum for debates on such themes as new practices, values, and approaches arising in design and design education; open design; influences on developing practices; DesignX; and design activism.

The main theme of EPC this year is “Design in Complexity.” It will continue and expand the conversation initiated by the DesignX Manifesto in 2014. This conversation developed further in a two-day DesignX workshop hosted by Tongji University in 2015. The first DesignX Manifesto articulated the nature of working in and with complex sociotechnical systems, attempting to explore the framework for designers to address such issues. The follow-up DesignX workshop explored the principles of working with such systems, highlighted the importance and difficulty of implementing solutions to DesignX problems. The workshop focused on several valuable cases. It sparked a lively discussion that we will continue this year.

For meaningful impact on the real world, designers must seek new knowledge and practices at the intersection of different fields. We are standing at the point where the design field attempts to enter, intervene, and hopefully improve the complex systems with which designers increasingly interact. EPC2016 encourages all contributions that take designing for complexity as a starting point of long-term and profound systemic transformation. Grounded in emerging or ongoing cases, as well as cases in the planning stage, EPC2016 aims to bridge the gap between design research and real world changes. This involves careful consideration of how we can change current situations into preferred ones.

Therefore, our cases this year come from not only academia, but also industry and professional design practice. Welcome to EPC 2016 in Shanghai. In the following more information:

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