Theme 1: Design Education

On learning to become a designer.

  • Design thinking: cognitive modes and learning styles
  • Design approaches, strategies, methodologies and tactics
  • Problem solving: recognition procedures, hypothesis development, reasoning processes, solution testing
  • The meaning of innovation and creativity, in theory and practice
  • Residues: learning from our historical and contemporary design experiences
  • Cases: empirical studies of design practices
  • Professional stances: acquiring the designer’s skills, capacities and attitudes
  • Methods of observation, frames of interpretation and criteria for assessment of design
  • Grounding theory in the everyday and theorizing the empirical
  • Conceiving design: complexity, heterogeneity and holism
  • Design pedagogies: teaching and learning in the design professions
  • Science and technological system in design
  • Educational designs: teacher as instructional designer
  • Designed artifacts and processes as learning experiences
  • Design narratives: stories and sense making in the design process
  • Points of comparison: precedent, analogy and metaphor in the design process
  • Critical analysis in design evaluation
  • History of design
  • Instructional design

Theme 2: Design in Society

On the social sources of design and the social effects of design.

  • Design in social policy, planning and politics
  • Health, safety and public welfare in design practice
  • Design as business
  • Markets for design and designing for markets
  • Design as a factor of production, an economic force: valuing ‘intangibles’
  • The design of human systems and cultural processes
  • Design without designers: everyday, amateur, organic and living designs
  • Ergonomic design
  • Design for diversity: culture, gender, sexual orientation and disability
  • Globalization and the design professions
  • Design politics: making technologies, spaces and institutions more responsive to human needs
  • The ends of design: pragmatic, aesthetic, and emancipatory
  • The humanistic and the technological: tensions and synergies
  • Values, culture and knowledge systems in design: the role of perspective, subjectivity, and identity
  • Ethnography of design
  • Universal design and access
  • Psychology of design
  • Sociology of design
  • Cultural studies: difference, diversity, and multiculturalism in design
  • Cross-cultural encounters: working on diverse and global design teams
  • Niche markets: working with diverse clients and users

Theme 3: Designed Objects

On the nature and form of the objects of design.

  • Industrial design
  • Ergonomics
  • Ceramics
  • Decorative arts
  • Engineering and design
  • Fashion
  • Interior design
  • Jewelry
  • Textiles
  • Retail design

Theme 4: Visual Design

On representation and communication using the medium of the image.

  • Communications design
  • Visual arts
  • Fine Arts
  • Illustration
  • Photography
  • Film and video
  • Graphic design
  • Typography
  • Technical communications
  • Telecommunications design
  • Interface design
  • Digital, internet, and multimedia design
  • Animation
  • Communications designs and knowledge media
  • Digital, software, and social media design
  • Virtual product development
  • Designing information systems and architectures
  • Copyright, patents, and other intellectual property: proprietary and in the commons, commercial and in the public domain
  • Synesthesia or crossing representational modes: language, image, space, and medium
  • Modeling and representation: graphic, symbolic, logical, and mathematical
  • Computer simulations and computational tools: conceiving new objects and spaces

Theme 5: Design Management and Professional Practice

On the organization of design, design work, and design as a professional practice.

  • People and artifacts: exploring uses and usability
  • Designing design: from conceptualization to specification
  • Multidisciplinary and cross-professional approaches to design
  • Professionalism and its trajectories: narrowing specialisms or multiskilling?
  • Evaluation, judgment, and decision-making in complex contexts
  • Working with research and researchers: design practitioners as researchers or users of research
  • The business of speed: the economics and pragmatics of rapid delivery and design alongside construction
  • The logics of collaboration: interactivity, responsiveness, and reflexivity in communities of practice
  • Co-design: designing with users
  • Public and professional understandings of the role of the designer
  • The democratization of design and public accountability: consultation and consensus building
  • Evolutionary design: collaborations over time
  • Expertise as facilitation: designers who know what they might not know
  • Participatory design systems
  • Project management methodologies and processes
  • Design ‘projects’: planning, management, and project afterlife
  • User-centered design and the changing role of the designer
  • Close to customers: design as dialogue
  • Client-centered project management
  • Common knowledge: sharing insights, research, theories, and designs in communities of practice
  • Design evaluation: working out what works
  • Scenario planning: designing for alternative futures
  • Making and breaking codes: regulation in the design industries
  • Legal aspects of design: risk management, documentation, compliance, regulation, and contractual relations
  • Professional communities; issues of (self-)governance and (de)regulation
  • Professional ethics
  • Documenting the design process: methodologies, heuristics, and routines
  • Product and service typologies, schemas, ontologies, and thesauri
  • Design knowledge management

Theme 6: Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

On building design, landscape design, and sustainable design practices

  • Architecture
  • Urban planning
  • Landscape architecture
  • Event design
  • Interaction design
  • Lighting design
  • Theater and set design
  • Sustainability: design in an environmental, economic, social, and cultural setting
  • Eco design: environmental and green design
  • Environmental standards and regulations
  • Environmental certifications
  • Energy use and environmental footprints
  • Water and natural resource use
  • Life cycles: designing products and services for the longer term
  • Recycling
  • Sustainability built in: working with scientists, social scientists, and economists
  • Metropolis: cross-disciplinary perspectives on cities of the future
  • Nature designed: parks and wilderness access
  • Rural designs