The Illustrator as Public Intellectual (Nov 2015, Rhode Island School of Design, USA)

Dates: 6-7 November 2015:
Location: Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, USA
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1 June 2015

Keynote Speaker: Rick Poynor
Visiting Professor in Critical Writing in Art & Design at the
Royal College of Art London

Illustrators and all who study their work have long understood the importance of pictures to communicate ideas and shape opinion, and to possibly provoke the viewer in unpredictable ways. What should illustrators say in the public sphere? What forces limit the illustrator’s expression of thought? What are the key issues and debates around the communication of ideas through illustration?

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Off the Lip: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Cognitive Innovation (Sep 2015, Plymouth UK)

Dates: 7-11 September 2015
Location: University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
Contacts: (for papers), (for workshops)
Deadline for submissions: 15 May 2015 (for papers), 28 February 2015 (for workshops)

The promise of cognitive innovation as a collaborative project in the sciences, arts and humanities is that we can approach creativity as a bootstrapping cognitive process in which the energies that shape the poem are necessarily indistinguishable from those that shape the poet. For the purposes of this conference the exploration of the idea of cognitive innovation concerns an understanding of creativity that is not exclusively concerned with conscious human thought and action but also as intrinsic to our cognitive development. As a consequence, we see the possibility for cognitive innovation to provide a theoretical and practical platform from which to address disciplinary differences in ways that offer new topics and concerns for research in the sciences and the humanities.

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Cumulus Mumbai (Dec 2015, Bombay India)

Dates: 4-6 December 2015
Location: Industrial Design Centre (IDC), at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Mumbai.
Deadline for submissions: 31 May 2015

Cumulus Mumbai 2015: ‘In a planet of our own – a vision of sustainability with focus on water’.

The event Cumulus Mumbai 2015: ‘In a planet of our own’ is being held at Mumbai, India on 4,5, 6 December 2015, hosted by the Industrial Design Centre(IDC), at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Mumbai.  This international event is aimed at creating design awareness on sustainability bringing focus on water and simultaneously offers a platform for interaction for the art, design and media community. The events are centered around the interests of students, educationalists and practicing professional designers. The event is expected to throw light on the role of art, design and media in an interconnected global world within the context of sustainability.  The event has been designed to be lively, interactive and thought provoking and will provide great opportunity to converse with grandmasters of design, interact with thought leaders and listen to visions by outstanding speakers.

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Material Culture in Action: Practices of making, collecting and re-enacting art and design (Sep 2015, Glasgow UK)

Dates: 7-8 September 2015
Location: Glasgow School of Art, UK
Contacts: Dr Frances Robertson ( and Dr Elodie Roy (
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 March 2015

This two-day international conference will investigate new directions in material culture studies by focusing on creative, critical and theoretical engagement with the material culture of art and design, both within and beyond the art school. The material culture of art and design covers a wide range of art practices, from professionally designed works within the art school, to the less official works of the self-taught amateur. An emphasis on processes means paying close attention to places of production; from the art school, the studio, the print workshop, the pressing plant, the factory, the street, to the discrete – yet equally significant – realms of domestic life. Although places of consumption and display have been readily mapped out in academic and non-academic literature (Attfield 2007; Bronner 1989; Zola 1883), little has been written about the eminently complex environment of the studio and the art school. As such, the aim of this conference is to discuss these under-explored areas in material culture studies. For instance, traditional approaches fail to fully engage with the multi-materialities and ‘plasticity’ or flexibility of works of art and design, or with the affective resonances of objects (Andrews and O’Sullivan 2013; Moran and O’Brien 2014). We would like to engage more explicitly and more closely with the sensorial aspects of the object and realms of seeing, touching, hearing, making. By recentering our attention on material practices and processes, on artists and makers, we may be able to reconcile the study of material culture with that of affect and aesthetics–and politics.We hope to generate a cross-disciplinary dialogue, engaging theorists and artists, thinkers, makers and collectors/connoisseurs of objects.

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IASDR 2015 Interplay (Nov 2015, Brisbane Australia)

Dates: 2 – 5 November 2015
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Deadline for submissions: UPDATED 20 April 2015

IASDR 2015 invites papers, posters, workshops, exhibitions and doctoral colloquium submissions from any area of design research that explores the interplay between design research, science, technology and the arts. All submissions will be double blind reviewed. Submissions must be in English and submitted through the online submission system. All submissions should comply with IASDR 2015 guidelines.

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Annual Design History Society Conf: How we live, and How we might live: Design and the Spirit of Critical Utopianism (Sep 2015, San Francisco USA)

Dates: 11-13 September 2015
Location: California College of the Arts, San Francisco, California, USA
Deadline for submissions: 28 February 2015

California College of the Arts, which is at once the westernmost outpost of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the gateway to Silicon Valley, is pleased to host the 2015 conference of the Design History Society. Inspired by the spirit of critical utopianism that connects the 19th century reformers to the 21st century techno-visionaries, this multidisciplinary conference will explore the diverse ways in which designers have sought to balance critical realism with utopian idealism.

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1st PARSE Biennial Research Conference (Nov 2015, Gothenburg Sweden)

Dates: 5-6 November 2015
Location: Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Deadline for submission of proposals: 1 March 2015

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS – Panels, Papers, Performances, Screenings, and Workshops. The first biennial PARSE conference at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden takes as its point of departure the question of TIME.

Time arguably has always been at the center of the research initiatives of the natural sciences, of philosophy and of the many different practices of history and social criticism. However, time also occupies a central place for the curiosity and attention of artist researchers across all the arts. The intensification of the question of time has, in recent years, prompted some to speak of a “temporal turn” across the disciplines. This conference seeks to bring together a range of researchers, drawn mainly from the artistic fields but also inviting researchers from across all domains (sciences and humanities) to consider questions with respect to the practices, processes and perturbations of time.

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COLOR/FORMS: The 24th Annual Parsons/Cooper Hewitt Graduate Student Symposium on the History of Design (April 2015, New York)

Dates: 23-24 April 2015
Location: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, USA
Contact: Ethan Robey,
Deadline for proposals: 26 January 2015

Coloration is intrinsic to the social meanings of objects. Colors shape our interaction with things and other people in fundamental ways; they can appeal to our most visceral senses of pleasure or desire. Colors affect behaviors, and we use colors metaphorically to describe attitudes, feelings and moods. In the world of consumer goods, the need to produce certain colors has driven innovations in mechanical processes, and markets can rise and fall based on color trends.

This symposium is seeking papers on the forms color takes and the roles color plays in the meanings of design and the decorative arts since the Renaissance. We are especially interested in research that touches on moments of change: for example, on transitions from monochrome to full-color production, or when particular colors became available, fashionable or unfashionable.
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Teaching the History of Modern Design: The Canon and Beyond (July 2015, Philadelphia USA)

Dates: 6-31 July 2015
Location: Drexel University, Philadelphia USA
Deadline for application: 2 March 2015

This exciting four–week NEH summer teaching institute will prepare twenty-five college faculty from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to meet the increasing demand for as well as interest in courses on modern design history. In-depth seminars will focus upon three interdependent thematic units:

  • taste and popular culture
  • political and global interpretations of design after world war II
  • women as consumers and producers of design

The director’s and visiting scholars’ complementary approaches to “The Canon and Beyond” will build upon and reinforce participants’ familiarity with standard material, while simultaneously introducing new material and critical perspectives. Field trips to regional museums and collections such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Hagley Museum in Delaware will provide participants direct experience with objects, and suggest ways to use local collections in their own teaching. Group presentations by our participants will take place during the final week of the Institute.

Content is in development, for more information please contact

ACM Creativity & Cognition (June 2015, Glasgow Scotland)

Dates: 22-25 June 2015
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Deadline for submission of papers: 6 January 2015
Deadline for submission of posters, etc: 6 March 2015

ACM Creativity and Cognition 2015 invites papers, posters, demonstrations workshops and Artworks investigating how interactive computing systems and sociotechnical processes affect creativity. We cherish creativity as a wonderful aspect of human experience, transformative and potentially transcendental. Creativity is the partner of inspiration, of moments when we seem to go beyond ourselves to reach new heights. Creativity is the font of innovation. Creativity and Cognition papers address the impact of computing on individual creative experiences, as well as social and collaborative contexts. In all cases, we seek for the presentation of work to include forms of validation featuring data about people, in order to show how computing environments impact human creativity. The data can take many forms, including qualitative, quantitative, and sensory. Creativity and Cognition 2015 will present papers addressing: (1) creativity support environments, (2) studies of technology, people, and creativity, and (3) creative works that utilize computing to engage, stimulate, and provoke human experience. We see research on the impact of computing on creativity not as a fledgling field, in which methodologies are unknown and uncertain, but rather as having reached a relatively mature state, in which various diverse methodologies have been developed and applied. Methodologies and theories, while perpetually under development, are already quite viable.

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