Cumulus 2012 (May 2012, Helsinki)

Dates: 24-26 May 2012
Location: Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
Deadline for abstracts/proposals: Updated 22 Nov 2011

“Open, participative cities: how design knowledge can support public services in the development of open, participative human environment”
The Cumulus conference, interlinked in the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012, is organized in the premises of Aalto University, in the School of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland and in the neighboring city of Espoo. The conference program has the opportunity to include pre-conferences and site events.

The Cumulus conference organizing committee is pleased to announce the first call for abstracts/proposals.

We invite proposals for papers from the following themes

Public space is interesting question. Is it declining? Transport is supposed to be more public in the future, but there is a privacy demand in the public spaces of transportation. Is a space only public when there is interaction discussion and politics involved? Or does shared material environment or share objects make a space public? Ethical consumption initiatives, and the politics involved in private consumption, make the commercial spaces public in a new way.

How are traditional product-service-systems changing? What are the new ways to organize production chains (car sharing etc.)? What kind of actors are/can be engaged in provision of services? What is the role of public authorities, civic society, small business etc.? What about co-operatives? What kind of spaces and interactions do particular services imply?

Can we have sustainability in design, what kind of sustainability results from interventions by design professionals? How various design tools and other elements of the design profession fit into this? What kind of sustainabilities are issued, based on these tools, such as LCA?

What is artistic research? What is the role of artworks in it? How is artistic research related to various traditions of combining art and research: a) Research for art, b) Research of art, c) Art for research, d) Art + theory = research? Why are (some) artists trying to combine art and research? What can be gained with it? What are the possible dangers or failures of it? What is it needed for? What is “artistic knowledge” or “art’s own knowledge”? What is included in it, what separates it from so called scientific knowledge? In what sense is art research? How should art and research be combined in the university context?

Design has its roots in artistic expressions, hands on practice and in the rethinking of the existing. What is the role of art in design education? How is design integrated in art education? How do these two go about? This track welcomes submissions that reflect these questions from art education to industrial design and beyond.

Is art a) a way of killing time and a way of momentarily forgetting the reality, or b) a potentially profitable commercial business like any other, or c) a way of facing and changing the reality? How can art, artistic knowledge and artistic practices be used or embedded in society, for example in dealing with social and political issues?


Tracks will be grouped into academic papers and papers emphasizing the artists’/designer´s profession and practices. Papers from the artist and designer professional category will be grouped separately.

All submissions will be blind reviewed. Selected papers will be published in the conference proceedings e.g. Cumulus Working Papers or any other with ISBN.

Abstracts and full papers should be submitted on-line. Online system for submissions will open in the end of October 2011.

Please clearly indicate the category and theme of your proposal, whether it is for explorative papers, case studies, research papers, interventions, artwork or a proposal for workshop. Please include your full name, affiliation, email and contact address in the proposal. All papers must be written in English.

Abstracts should not exceed 200 words in length should be structured to summarize the background, aims, significance and focus of the question addressed, as well as conclusions. Abstracts should be saved in common file format (Word, .rtf or .PDF). Other formats are not accepted. Any proposals can be accompanied by video or image files (.mov, .jpeg, .tiff). In the professional’s category the proposal can be accompanied or presented as a PowerPoint, if necessary. Please keep all files less than 3 Mb, including illustrations and videos.

Please send your abstract/proposal to the organizers no later than November 15, 2011

The Academic Board of the conference will review and select the proposals. The Academic Board will communicate if the abstract has been admitted for the consecutive submission of full papers.

The full papers should be limited to 4500 words in length (excluding references) and the academic papers should follow APA 6th referencing style for in-text citation and reference lists (<>). Papers should be saved in common file format (Word, .rtf or .PDF). Other formats are not accepted. Any proposals can be accompanied by video or image files (.mov, .jpeg, .tiff). Please keep all files less than 3 Mb, including illustrations and videos.

Aalto University
Professor Kari Heiskanen, material technology
Dr. Mikko Jalas, business economics
Dr. Tuuli Mattelmäki, industrial design
Professor Teemu Mäki, fine arts
Professor Eija Nieminen, sustainable innovation
Professor Maija Rautamäki, landscape architecture
The Academic board has the right to invite new members.

Deadline for abstract submission: November 15, 2011
Notification of abstracts acceptance: Week 51, 2011
Deadline for full paper submission: February 3, 2012
Notification of full paper acceptance: February 27, 2012
Notification of revised papers acceptance: March 19, 2012

COPYRIGHT: By submitting papers for publication in the conference proceedings, authors are assigning copyright of the submitted papers to the conference host. Authors’ traditional rights will not be jeopardized by assigning copyright in this manner, as they will retain the right to re-use the content of the paper.

Inquiries on the Call for Papers:<>

General conference inquiries:<>

Conference manager Mr Juha Järvinen;<>

About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is

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