Cumulus Johannesburg: Design with the Other 90%: Changing the World by Design (Sep 2014, South Africa)

Dates: 22-24 September 2014
Location: Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg; and Greenside Design Center (GDC)
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1 April 2014

In 2007, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum hosted an exhibition entitled ‘Design for the other 90%’ which focused on design solutions that addressed the most basic needs of the 90% of the world’s population not traditionally served by professional designers. In 2008, Cumulus members signed the Kyoto Declaration, wherein they committed themselves to the ideals of sustainable development. The Cumulus Conference to be hosted by GDC and FADA seeks to bring discussions around the role art and design can and should play in sustainable social advancement, particularly in the context of the African Continent. Focusing on notions of respect, responsibility and sustainability, this conference seeks to explore the vital role that design, visual culture and design education plays in addressing pressing problems of our planet, particularly for under-served communities that are rarely benefactors of the work of artists and designers. It is envisaged that Africa’s distinctive capacity to respond to such problems will be highlighted.

Contributions are invited for the following streams:

1)    Respect and responsibility:

This stream explores the social responsibilities of designers in their engagements with communities in a variety of social, cultural and political contexts. It is envisaged that papers will deal with the following issues:
– Collaboration and participatory design: interactivity, responsiveness, and re_exivity
– Design for diversity: site, culture, gender, disability, history and identity
– Multidisciplinary and cross-professional approaches to design

2)    Sustainability:
This stream foregrounds the economic and environmental aspects of sustainable design, and may address the following:
– Adaptive reuse, design and preservation
– Nature as design resource
– Best practice for designing in developing and under-resourced communities
– Roles of government, the individual, industry and commerce in sustainable design

4)    Socially responsible design education:
This stream focuses on the role and importance, as well as challenges, of design education in furthering sustainable and socially responsible design. Possible topics may include:
– Cases of best practice in socially responsible design education
– Critique of dominant educational strategies
– Graduate attributes of the next generation of designers

The event will run for three days from 22 to 24 September 2014. The following will be included:
– Addresses by three international keynote speakers
– Presentation of conferences papers in the mornings
– Breakaway sessions in the afternoons
– An exhibition of student and alumni work from both institutions
– A gala dinner (additional cost)
– An exhibition of academic posters at GDC

Call for Abstracts from Professionals and Educators
Contributions are welcome on all topics related to design, design education, and visual culture more broadly as they relate to the rubric of this conference. The theme encourages dialogue between dfferent disciplines that may include (but is not restricted to) design, installation art, performance art, public art, interior design, architecture, the built environment and craft initiatives. The editorial committee for the conference will review abstracts of 400-600 words. Authors whose abstracts are accepted will be invited to produce a full conference paper not exceeding 2,500 words and to present the paper at the conference. Thus, authors are accepted to present at the conference based on acceptance of the abstract. In addition, full papers will be reviewed by the editorial committee to provide formative feedback before the conference. Presenters will be allocated 20 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for discussion.

Abstracts will be evaluated against the following criteria:

– Significance of the paper to the theme of the conference (i.e. that it makes a meaningful and valuable contribution to the issues that the conference seeks to explore)
– Appropriate relation to the discipline (i.e. that it is relevant to the fields of art, design and architecture)
– Quality of the research, originality and academic rigour (i.e. that the research is new and original, based on sound methodologies, and the writing follows academic protocol)

Please email your abstracts to by 1 April 2014

Key Dates
Deadline for Submission of Abstract Tues 1 April 2014
Notification of Acceptance of Abstract and Invitation to Present at the Conference Wed 30 April 2014
Early Bird Conference Registration Mon 5 May 2014
Conference Registration Opens Mon 2 June 2014
Submission of Full Papers for Feedback Tue 24 June 2014
Feedback to Authors on Papers Fri 8 August 2014
Conference Mon 22 September – Wed 24 September 2014

Travel and Accommodation
All conference costs, including costs for travel and accommodation, will be for the participants’ own accounts. The conference travel agent, Sure Travel (, will be able to assist participants in finding and booking flights and accommodation in Johannesburg.

All selected papers will be published on Cumulus website with ISBN number.
Additionally, a selection of these will be published in the conference proceedings and/or separate publication e.g in the Cumulus Working Paper series edition Johannesburg

For any queries, please contact<>.

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 Cumulus Johannesburg: Design with the Other 90%: Changing the World by Design (Sep 2014, South Africa)

  1. Pingback: Cumulus Johannesburg: Design with the Other 90%: Changing the World by Design (Sep 2014, South Africa) | Papers Wanted - Call for Papers, Journals and Conferences

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