DRS OPENSiG Symposium (June 2013, Nottingham UK)

Dates: 10-11 June 2013
Location: Nottingham Contemporary, UK
Contact: tom.fisher@ntu.ac.uk
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 21 January 2013

Good Things and Bad Things: tricky objects, tricky people, tricky processes

This two day symposium on 10th and 11th of June will be an opportunity for discussion that bears on the ‘rights and wrongs’ of designs, designers and designing. Taking an inclusive approach to the definition of ‘design’ – formal and informal; commercial and DIY; normative and subversive – the symposium will connect abstract discussions of the ethics of objects and designing, with concrete examples of things in action. We hope to engage practitioners and academics across fields including sustainable design, material culture, fine art, sociology/ philosophy of technology, design history, cultural studies.

‘Good Things’ is a collaboration between the Design Research Society OPENSiG (objects, practices, experiences, networks), Nottingham Trent University, the Design against Crime Research Centre at Central St. Martins and Nottingham Contemporary. It will be hosted by Nottingham Contemporary to coincide with the exhibition ‘The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things’ curated by Mark Leckey. This juxtaposition is not accidental – the symposium is predicated on the view that as well as being an instrumental process bound up with conceiving and effecting, change, Design is a manifestation of social and cultural practices. The works in the exhibition, focusing on the paradoxical combination of rationalism and animism in ‘common objects’ will form a useful counterpoint to the symposium discussions.

The organisers invite proposals for 20 minute presentations relating to the following themes among others:

  • Speculations on the reality of objects and their ethical effects
  • Roles of engagement – things to do good/ good things to do
  • What is excluded by discussions of objects and ethics?
  • Systems/ organisations – policies and practices
  • Sustainability – what is to be sustained and for whom?

Please send a 150 word abstract of your paper including its title and author(s) biography (50 words) and affiliation to Tom Fisher: tom.fisher@ntu.ac.uk by Monday January 21st 2013. The programme for the event will be published in the week of 4th March 2013 including details of registration.

If you are on Facebook, you can join the ‘Good Things and Bad Things’ facebook group.

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 http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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