Ninth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices

'Industrial- Post-individual- Neo-industrial Design'

University Center Chicago
Chicago, USA

12-14 March 2015


Conference Focus

This conference will address a range of critically important themes relating to design today. It is a place to explore the meaning and purpose of ‘design’, as well as speaking in grounded ways about the task of design and the use of designed artifacts and processes. The conference is a cross-disciplinary forum which brings together researchers, teachers and practitioners to discuss the nature and future of design. The resulting conversations weave between the theoretical and the empirical, research and application, market pragmatics and social idealism.

We are inviting proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, or colloquia (See Proposal Types) addressing Design Principles and Practices through one of the following themes:

Design Education Design in Society
Designed Objects Visual Design
Design Management and Professional Practice Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design
Special Focus for 2015:
Industrial-Post-Industrial-Neo-Industrial Design: Reflecting on the Transformation of Production in the Project

Proposal ideas that extend beyond these thematic areas will also be considered. For more information about the ideas and themes underlying this community, see Our Focus.

We also offer participation options for those individuals who cannot attend the conference. Authors who wish to submit an article for potential publication in the Design Collectionl may submit a Proposal for Article Submission, while all members of the knowledge community with an accepted proposal may submit an online presentation to the knowledge community YouTube channel.


Special Focus for 2015 - “Industrial-Post-Industrial-Neo-Industrial Design: Reflecting on the Transformation of Production in the Project”

New technologies are revolutionizing not only the way we communicate, but also how we manufacture the artificial world we live in. As a consequence, we are experiencing a new generation of processes of production affecting not only industry as we know it, but also the overall organization of society and our objects and services, reaching into the environment, the architecture, and the urban spaces we live in.

The new technological revolution questions the way we produce, manufacture, distribute, and fund everything, from small to big objects we deal with in our everyday lives. The design profession is changing its nature in an interdisciplinary way, merging the role of the producer and the consumer, thereby challenging our professional practices, approaches to design education, and management of the design process.

New words and platforms such as 3D printing, mass customization, crowd funding/crowdsourcing, networked manufacturing, peer production/open source, and BIM Building Information Modeling are revolutionizing the principles and practices of the professional, all the while, creating new opportunities through which to manage the increasing complexity of the project.

The conference introduces an interdisciplinary critical reflection on the past, the present, and the future of industry in order to outline the disruptive shift at any scale in its immaterial processes and physical products and to bring out the challenges for the design profession.

The city of Chicago, through its history and character, personifies the past and future of industry. In fact, the architecture and the shape of the city both reflect the organization and the aesthetics of the old manufacturing production, yet we also can discover in Chicago the innovation of the present and the expectations of future technologies. Therefore, the Design Principles and Practices Conference in Chicago aims to look to the memory of the industrial revolution while questioning the future opportunities coming from the next technological revolution.

The conference attempts to address the following questions from an interdisciplinary approach, through keynote speakers, garden sessions, workshops, and parallel sessions:

  •     How does industry change the process of design and conversely how does design contribute to the future of production?
  •     What tools and approaches for design have been developed in the past and will emerge in the future with the raise of new technologies?
  •     How is changing the organization of the design practice? How is this opening to new forms of participation and self-production?
  •     What projects and creative solutions are emerging through the new technologies of production?
  •     What is the relationship between individual action of the designer and the collective process of networking?
  •     What are the new opportunities and challenges for the environment and sustainability?

Submit a Conference Proposal

To learn more about preparing and submitting your conference proposal, including guidelines, deadlines, and "how-to" information, go to Submitting Your Work: Conference Presentations.


Conference Details

To learn more about the conference, including speakers, session formats, venue, registration, and the like, stay in The Conference section of the website and use the navigation bar on the left to access desired information.


Chicago & Design

Now in its ninth year, the Design Conference travels to Chicago. Nestled on the edges of Lake Michigan, Chicago's skyline is world-famous. Its buildings – living monuments to some of the world's most influential architects – are complemented by Chicago's renowned public art found in the streets, with works from Chagall, Picasso, Miro, and Calder. The conference, hosted in Chicago's downtown Loop and theater district, is just near Grant Park – home to Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum Campus. Engaged by the historic and cultural spirit of Chicago, we bring to topic design principles and practices – providing a cross-disciplinary forum to explore the meaning and purpose of design.