Cumulus Dublin Conference 2013: More for less – design in an age of austerity (Nov 2013, Dublin Ireland)

Dates: 7-9 November 2013
Location: National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 May 2013

Today’s global recession forces design practice, research and education to address a number of questions:

  • Consumption – How can design find a balance between excess and austerity
  • Growth – How can design stimulate sustainable economic growth?
  • Research – Is design research and development a luxury we can still afford?
  • Education – How can we change pedagogical content and delivery methods to become more efficient while maintaining standards?
  • Environments – How can we use design to create places and spaces for renewal and growth?
  • Wellbeing – How can design improve our wellbeing and welfare in the face of public sector cuts and financial hardship?
  • Communities – How can design bring local communities together to work on projects that improve how we live, work and play?

We propose that in the deepest recession since the great depression of the 1930s we need to turn the modernist mantra ‘less is more’ on its head as the reduced budgets of governments, business and people demand ‘more for less’, and develop a ‘New Deal’ for design.

Vibrant economies are built on innovation, but with this comes an ethical responsibility that Design, the engine of the previous decades unsustainable consumerism and excess needs to address. This conference hopes to stimulate discussion on how design researchers, practitioners and educators can respond to today’s fiscal constraints, and stimulate growth and renewal in our economy, culture and society. After all you can’t impose austerity on the imagination!

This international conference is intended to act as platform for sharing ideas and concepts about contemporary design research in this age of austerity. Contributors are invited to submit research that addresses contemporary approaches to design research. The conference is open to research through, for and into design.

The conference will consist of keynote talks, paper presentations, poster exhibition and curated gallery exhibition. The conference coincides with Dublin Design Week 4 – 10 November 2013, a celebration of design including walks, talks, launches, exhibitions and workshops. The festival’s audience includes the designers who design things, the business community who purchase design services and most importantly, the public who are the end users of all designers’ services.

We invite submissions of abstracts for papers and posters that relate to the themes of the conference.


Authors are invited to submit an abstract of up to 400 words.

Abstracts can be submitted using the downloadable template via e-mail to

The deadline for abstract submission is Friday the 31st of May.

The abstract text should be submitted in English using the conference template, and will not be accepted if submitted in any other format.

All abstracts submitted will be double blind peer reviewed by the conference’s Review Panel, who will provide feedback where necessary.

The conference welcomes papers that discuss both work-in-progress projects as well as finished work. Papers are required to demonstrate originality and, irrespective of the range and stage of your research, the conference organisers expect the highest standards of scholarship in terms of establishing context, explicating the methods of inquiry, and reporting results that may aid other researchers or creative practitioners. We especially welcome early career researchers and PhD candidates.

Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to present full papers at the conference, with the abstracts published in printed and digital form at the event.

All paper presentations will last 20 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of questions.

Please note that each person can only submit one conference paper as main author. In the case of several papers submitted by a group of co-authors, a different ‘primary author’ must register for each paper.

A selection of authors will subsequently be invited to submit their full papers – between 3000-5000 words – for review and inclusion in a published book, edited by the conference chair and team, for publication in early 2014.

Submissions details and templates are downloadable from


We also invite submissions of posters that relate to the themes of conference ‘More for Less – Creativity in an Age of Austerity’.

The Cumulus Dublin 2013 fly poster exhibition aims at communicating knowledge of both research and practice to the conference community and City as a whole. Designers, academics and researchers will be able to present their work to delegates during the conference.

Accepted posters will be printed by NCAD and fly posted over the conference venue, feature in the conference publication and online archive. Submissions will be reviewed by the conference team to ensure a high quality of publication. We especially welcome early career researchers and PhD candidates with work in progress.

Posters should be A1 in size, at 300 dpi.  They should be submitted electronically and will be printed by the Conference team at NCAD.

Submissions details and templates are downloadable from

The deadline for submitting an intention to produce a Poster is Friday 31st of May 2013.

Final Posters must be submitted for printing by Friday 27th September 2013.


Friday 31st May 2013               Deadline for Abstracts and Poster Proposals
Friday 28th June 2013 on         Authors informed of decision/feedback
Friday 30th August 2013          Deadline for early bird registration
Friday 27th September 2013    Deadline for Final Posters
Friday 11th October 2013        Deadline for author registration
Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th November 2013  Conference 


Conference Coordinator

Nicky Saunders
National College of Art and Design

Conference Chair
Professor Alex Milton
Head of the Faculty of Design
National College of Art and Design

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: