DESIGN LATITUDES: An exhibition mapping the innovations, influences and future directions of design studies in the north

Dates: May 12 to June 6, 2015 (Reception: May 21, 7 to 10 pm)
Location: Fine Arts Building Gallery, University of Alberta, Edmonton (53.53° N), Canada
Deadline for proposals: 6 February 2015

An exhibition mapping the innovations, influences and future directions of design studies in the north

This exhibition is part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Department of Art & Design at the University of Alberta.

The Design Latitudes exhibition explores shifts of ‘latitude’ and frontiers of ‘north’ in relation to our interdisciplinary Design Studies program at the University of Alberta, which connects design education to research, practice, industry and community engagement. ‘Latitude’ encompasses both geographical context as well as breadth of freedom of action or thought. ‘North’ is bordered geographically, framed in opposition, and conceptualized through a diversity of lenses, experiences and spaces. This exhibition will reflect on, articulate and critique aspects of design education by documenting our past, situating our present and envisioning our future possibilities. Beyond looking at the legacy and prospects of our own program, we hope that Design Latitudes will generate dialogue and debate on how to equip designers to meet the needs of communities in the north and beyond.

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Special Issue of IDEA: Developing Models, Modes, and Methodologies of Practice (Oct 2013)

Guest Editor: Dr. Lorella Di Cintio
Deadline for submissions: 21 October 2013

Academics, research students and practitioners are invited to submit design research papers and critical project works that engage interior design/interior architecture theory and practice with the topic of Design Activism: Developing Models, Modes and Methodologies of Practice.

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Design, Design Activism and the Democratic Production of Future Social Natures (Feb 2012, New York)

American Association of Geographers, New York City, Feb 24th-28th 2012
Session Proposal/Call for Papers: Design, Design Activism and the Democratic Production of Future Social Natures
Deadline for abstract submission: 14 September 2011

In this session we would like to consider the genuine tensions as well as possibilities that design activism and the idea of social design politics generates for a politics of space and possibly a new politics of the environment. Modernist design has always been centrally linked to the consumer economy and technocratic modes of thinking. Nevertheless, it could be observed that in contrast to the maudlin and exhausted feel of much radical left and green politics, the interface between design and diverse struggles for social, spatial and environmental justice and appears relatively buoyant, optimistic about the progressive potential for human agency and imbued with a sense of possibility about the opportunities for ‘remaking reality’. How can we politically evaluate the new design activism? Could a new social and democratic politics of design –beyond technocratic and reductive ‘design fix’ modes of thinking – provide some kind of material substance to a new progressive politics of the environment? Could historical and contemporary engagements with design bring real content to the endlessly iterated but materially unsubstantiated and institutionally vague request in political ecology for a ‘democratic politics of nature’ (Smith, 1984; Braun and Castree,1998, Swyngedowu, 1996/2004)? Could a focus on design and the ‘politics of making’ add material content to the suggestive but often decorative and rather exclusive feel to the politics advocated by a-modern and post human geographers (Barry, 2001; Whatmore 2003; Thrift 2004; Hinchliffe,2010)?

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Visual Activism and Social Justice Conference 2012 (Aug 2012, Buenos Aires)

ISA/TG05 Call for Session/Workshop Organizers
Dates: 1-4 Aug 2012
Contact: Regev Nathansohn
Proposal deadline: 15 May 2011

Under the auspices of the International Sociological Association Forum on Social Justice and Democratization, the Visual Sociology Thematic Group (TG05) will hold its mid-term conference August 1-4, 2012, in Buenos Aires, Argentina and will focus its session on Visual Activism and Social Justice.

In our sessions, we would like to both create the opportunity for a sociological discussion of the meaning of Visual Activism and Social Justice, and at the same time endeavour to democratize the ways our knowledge and practices are produced and shared.

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Design Action, Leadership, and the Future (July 2011, Brisbane)

Dates & Location: Brisbane HotHouse 22-24 July, 2011
Expressions of interest due: 6 May 2011

Design practice (in all its disciplines, including architecture) is at a crossroads. Notwithstanding the introduction of ‘sustainability’ in design education and in commerce, design dominantly still serves the unsustainable. To move toward ‘sustainment’ as project and process, radical and effective action is needed. For this to happen, a dynamic, global change community of focused thinkers, activists and leaders has to be created. This intensive ‘HotHouse’ event aims to explore the creation of this community and to be a catalyst for its creation. It is only for the committed.

Anyone – educators, design practitioners, writers – can apply. 50 people will be selected. The event will be conducted in English.

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Design Activism and Social Change (Sep 2011, Barcelona)

The Annual Conference of the Design History Society
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 January 2011

Papers are expected to make an original contribution to the field of design history that address the conference theme of ‘Design Activism and Social Change’.

People who are interested in presenting a paper should send an abstract for refereeing. Paper proposals will be selected by the Scientific Committee to cover a range of historical moments, geographical locations and discursive fields.

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