Intl Conf: Design Culture: object, discipline and practice (September 2014, Denmark)

Dates: 18-19 September 2014
Location: University of Southern Denmark, Kolding
Contact: Pernille Dahl Kragh,
Deadline for submission of proposals: 16:00, 17 March 2014

This conference provides an inaugural international forum for scholars and practitioners to examine design culture, as object, scholarly discipline and practice, in all its diversity and depth. It is expected that the conference will play a key role in defining the field and moving it forward.

Confirmed Guest Speakers:
Alison Clarke, Vienna University of Applied Arts
Kjetil Fallan, University of Oslo
Ben Highmore, University of Sussex

The past decade has seen increased use of the term ‘design culture’ to denote particular designerly co-existences in a range of settings. Design Culture has been established as a recognized field of study in universities. It has also emerged as a particular form of creative and strategic practice. It is time to cross-exam these formations and consolidate debate.

Design Culture studies resolutely focuses on design’s contemporary manifestations and meanings, collapses traditional disciplinary boundaries within design, is interested in design as a social practice and how it functions in society and in the movement of things and knowledge within its networks.

A number of questions arise, including the following.

■How do these three modes of design culture (object, discipline and practice)  intersect?
■Is this consolidation of design culture specific to an historical moment?
■How does it challenge other academic traditions?
■What is needed for it to thrive as a mode of practice?
■Where, when and how are design cultures revealed?

The conference is divided across two days with a single-track of invited speakers and panel discussions through the first day and then conference paper strands on the second. We invite paper proposals that fall within one of the following three headings.

Case studies – researched examples of the conjunction of contemporary design, production and consumption that reveal new methodological approaches, disciplinary challenges and opportunities, unusual locations, scales and dynamics and challenges to approaches, thinking or theories in its cognate disciplines in the social sciences, arts and humanities.

Educational approaches – analysis of Design Culture studies in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, focusing on such issues as its productive capabilities for design education, its role against or within fields such as sociology, economics, cultural studies, media and communications, management studies, human geography or comparative literature.

Professions and publics – evidenced discussion of how design culture opens onto new professional specialisms, forms of economic, social and environmental policy-making and implementation, notions of citizenry, everyday social practices, new networks and relations or technological imaginaries.

Paper proposals

Please submit:

■a 200-300 word outline of your paper proposal;
■five keywords;
■contact details (name, address, email) and a short biographical outline of author(s) on a separate page;

to Pernille Dahl Kragh,

Deadline:  1600h, Monday 17 March.

Proposals that clearly state how they address this field of design culture are encouraged.

The selection of papers will be made by a conference committee of academics drawn from the University of Southern Denmark , the University of Brighton and related institutions.

Notification of acceptance will be given on or before Monday 28 April.

Other information

The full conference fee is €130, payable by all delegates. This fee covers lunches, refreshments and the conference dinner on the evening of Thursday 18 September.

The conference will take place in the brand new building of the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) campus in central Kolding, adjacent to the Kolding School of Design. The University of Southern Demark runs a BA Design Culture programme with over 300 students and shares a Design Culture research milieu with the Kolding School of Design (see

Kolding, at the south eastern point of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula is a 30 minute taxi ride from Billund Airport, 2hrs train from Copenhagen and 3hr 35mins from Hamburg.

The Kolding municipality is leading a radical regeneration programme that places design at the centre of its entrepreneurship, education and social innovation activities.

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

One Response to Intl Conf: Design Culture: object, discipline and practice (September 2014, Denmark)

  1. Pingback: Intl Conf: Design Culture: object, discipline and practice (September 2014, Denmark) | Papers Wanted - Call for Papers, Journals and Conferences

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