6th Swiss Design Network Conference – "Negotiating futures. Design fiction."


From the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition at MoMA (NYC) in 2008.

negotiating futures. design fiction.
6th Swiss Design Network Conference
October 28 – 30 2010 in Basel, Switzerland

It’s super far off (but not the calls for stuff), but this upcoming event next year looks intriguing!

Designers see the world not simply as it is, but rather as it could be. In this perspective, the world is a laboratory to explore the contingency of the existing and the thinking in options. Imaginations of the contra factual are a key source for the creation of alternative political, technological, social, or economic constellations of artefacts, interfaces, signs, actors, and spaces. At the same time, strategies of materialization are pivotal to shift the boundary between the fictional and the real and to finally bring possible new realities into being. The conference addresses the questions of how fictions are designed and how the multiplicity of possible new futures is negotiated and realized.

Important dates 2010

March 08th – Call for papers
April 18th – Deadline paper abstracts
June 3rd – Notification of acceptance
July 18th – Deadline papers
July 18th – Call for workshops
September 27th – Registration
Oktober 28th – Conference opens

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Upcoming Travels and Talk: Design Connexity

From April 1 until the 3rd I’ll be at the Design Connexity conference as part of Eighth International Conference of the European Academy of Design. On Friday the 3rd I’ll give a talk, probably on Design Fiction or Prototypes and Special Effects, rehashing and rethinking some material from my dissertation.

But, seriously. Check out the conference themes.

Design Boundaries

In a post-modern digital age we can witness attempts to combine art and technology crossing the boundaries in what was originally described by C.P. Snow (1959) as the ‘two cultures’. Snow’s fundamentally convergent position sought to expose the cultural divisions between art/humanities and science/technology. New design courses are being developed that embrace the concept of transdisciplinarity, moving beyond traditional subject boundaries. This theme invites papers that explore the boundaries between disciplines and professional practices, for example between design and architecture, design and craft or design and fine art.

Responsible Design

Designers are often cited as being major contributors to the ever-growing problem of waste as landfill sites fill up with discarded products that were designed without any consideration for recycling or reuse. Responsible designing makes it imperative that new products are designed with ‘cradle to cradle’ vision. This theme invites papers that explore the issue of responsible design, developing new strategies and insights into how this may be achieved.

And the favorite of the Near Future Laboratory Theme Evaluation Division:


The Ad Busters web site states that: “We are a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age. Our aim is to topple existing power structures and forge a major shift in the way we will live in the 21st century”. Is this the beginning of anti-design, a reaction against our material culture? This theme invites papers that challenge our notion of the role of design in the 21st century.

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