Themes

Theme 1: Disciplines of Design

  • People and artefacts: exploring uses and useability.
  • The design of processes and human systems.
  • Communications designs and knowledge media.
  • Digital, software and multimedia design.
  • Designing information architectures.
  • Design approaches, strategies, methodologies and tactics.
  • Design thinking: cognitive modes and learning styles.
  • The meaning of innovation and creativity, in theory and practice.
  • Residues: learning from our historical and contemporary design experiences.
  • User-centred design and the changing role of the designer.
  • Design without designers: everyday, organic and living designs.
  • An epistemology of praxis: the dialectic of theory and practice in design.
  • Scenario planning: designing for alternative futures.
  • Problem solving: recognition procedures, hypothesis development, reasoning processes, solution testing.
  • Life cycles: designing products and services for the longer term.
  • Sustainability: design in an environmental, economic, social and cultural setting.
  • Ergonomic design.
  • Designing design: from conceptualisation to specification.
  • Design evaluation: working out what works.
  • Cases: empirical studies of design practices.
  • Product and service typologies, schemas, ontologies and thesauri.
  • Markets for design and designing for markets.
  • Design for diversity: culture, gender and disability.
  • Globalisation and the design professions.
  • Professional stances: the designer's skills, capacities and attitudes.
  • Professional communities; issues of (self-)governance and (de)regulation.
  • Design politics: making technologies, spaces and institutions more responsive to human needs.
  • The ends of design: pragmatic, aesthetic, and emancipatory.

Theme 2: Interdisciplinary Design

  • Multidisciplinary and cross-professional approaches to design.
  • Fundamentals of design across the design disciplines and professions.
  • Professionalism and its trajectories: narrowing specialisms or multiskilling?
  • The humanistic and the technological: tensions and synergies.
  • Evaluation, judgment and decision-making in complex contexts.
  • Methods of observation, frames of interpretation and criteria for assessment of design.
  • Values, culture and knowledge systems in design: the role of perspective, subjectivity, and identity.
  • Working with research and researchers: design practitioners as researchers or users of research.
  • Grounding theory in the everyday and theorising the empirical.
  • Conceiving design: complexity, heterogeneity and holism.
  • Design pedagogies: teaching and learning in the design professions.
  • Design as a factor of production, an economic force: valuing 'intangibles'.
  • The business of speed: the economics and pragmatics of rapid delivery, design alongside construction.
  • Design as policy, planning and politics.
  • Making and breaking codes: regulation in the design industries.
  • Legal aspects of design: risk management, documentation, compliance, regulation and contractual relations.
  • Science and technological system in design.
  • Sustainability built in: working with scientists, social scientists, and economists.
  • Ecodesign: environmental design and sustainability.
  • Disability and access.
  • Metropolis: cross-disciplinary perspectives on cities of the future.
  • Cultural studies: difference, diversity, and multiculturalism in design.
  • Educational designs: teacher as instructional designer.
  • Designed artefacts and processes as learning experiences.
  • Knowledge management as a design process.
  • Design narratives: stories and sensemaking in the design process.

Theme 3: Collaborative Design

  • The logics of collaboration: interactivity, responsiveness, and reflexivity.
  • Collaborative design processes: working in communities of practice.
  • Co-design: designing with users.
  • Public and professional understandings of the role of the designer.
  • The democratisation 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.
  • Developing participatory design systems.
  • Project management methodologies and processes.
  • Design 'projects': planning, management and afterlife.
  • User-centred design and client-centred project management.
  • Close to customers: design as dialogue.
  • Cross-cultural encounters: working on diverse and global design teams.
  • Niche markets: working with diverse clients and users.
  • Health, safety and public welfare in design practice.
  • Common knowledge: sharing insights, research, theories and designs in communities of practice.
  • Copyright, patents and other intellectual property: proprietary and in the commons, commercial and in the public domain.

Theme 4: Modalities of Design

  • Spatial and visual thinking.
  • Design discourse.
  • Synaesthesia or crossing representational modes: language, image, space and medium.
  • Points of comparison: precedent, analogy and metaphor in the design process.
  • Critical analysis in design evaluation.
  • Virtual product development.
  • Modelling and representation: graphic, symbolic, logical and mathematical.
  • Computer simulations and computational tools: conceiving new objects and spaces.
  • Documenting the design process: methodologies, heuristics and routines.