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Six Tracks on Open Design Debates


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CUMULUS Hong Kong 2016 invites submissions on six tracks for the theme “Open Design for E-very-thing”. Submissions can be in the form of research papers, artefacts of products or artworks, fashion collection, movies, or workshop proposals.

The main theme is organised into six tracks on different aspects of design and openness with academic presentations, showcases and keynote speeches.
  1. Open Design for Empathy
    • Chaired by Professor Lorraine Gamman (Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, UK)
    • Professor Cai Jun (Tsinghua University, China)
    • Mr Roger Bateman & Dr Claire Craig (Sheffield Hallam University, UK) and
    • Mr Niels Hendriks (LUCA School of Arts, Belgium)

    The “Empathy Deficit” (Obama 2006) refers to a social divide derived caused by the failure to recognise and celebrate empathy as an essential mental habit that should inform human action. Over the years, designers have significantly benefited from introducing empathy into their research processes. Design “WITH” empathy has helped define real but unexpressed and unmet needs. Yet the role of designers can be separated from the so-called mysterious-to-them users. As open design encourages more citizens and non-designers to embrace innovation, design “FOR” empathy may have new value beyond consumerism and individualism to promote empathetic understanding among diverse sectors of society. Can empathetic “things” (the socio-material interactions surrounding the processes and products of design) help find new ways to bring diverse or conflicted parties to better understand the perspectives of the “other”? This track will explore empathy and how design FOR empathy might contribute to social change.
  2. Open Design for Ethnography
    • Chaired by Dr Francis Müller & Ms Franziska Nyffenegger (Zurich University of the Arts , Switzerland)
    • Dr Zhao Chao (Tsinghua University, China) and
    • Mr Albert Tsang (Hong Kong Design Institute)

    The role of ethnography in design has shifted from designers being informed of the “users” in real-life settings by ethnographers to designers now being the ethnographers themselves, mixing the real and here with future intervention. Ethnographic methodology also changed from merely informing design to providing critical elements to the practices, especially the process. This encounter is also mutual, because ethnography gains new forms and possibilities as it is employed designerly. The freedom and experimental propensity in design research do reciprocate to the methodology itself. What does it mean by now for ethnographic design research? What will be the impact for this if design and production are further opened?
  3. Open Design for Experiment
    • Chaired by Professor Maria Hellström Reimer (K3, Malmo University, Sweden)
    • Dr Liesbeth Huybrechts (University of Hasselt, Belgium)
    • Professor Andrew Morrison (The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway) and
    • Ms. Ann Merete Ohrt, Dr. Jacob Bang, Dr. Kirsten Marie Raahauge and Dr. Troels Degn Johansson (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Denmark)

    Practices of experimentation are of particular importance to contemporary design research, be it orientated towards social, cultural, and organisational contexts of meaning, towards manufacturing and the industry, or towards form and artistic practice. As a tentative play with contingent fields of forces, experimentation also presents important speculative and differentiating potentials. In this framework of experimentation, errors tend to pop up in the concrete design process, understood as something uncontrolled that happens to the material in the process of forming it in some intended way. This being the case also in other disciplines, the interest here focuses on the effect of errors when working concretely with form, materiality and space. Sometimes errors have unproductive effects, but it might also lead to productive results. Actualising both potentials and risks, the track will address whether errors can be embraced via experimentation within design practice and design research. This call for abstracts is about practices of experimentation in design processes, and how to deal with errors in this practice. We especially encourage critical explorations of the concepts of error and experimentation, and of the role these elements play in design processes as obstructions as well as openings toward new knowledge and objects.
  4. Open Design for Environment
    • Chaired by Professor Mathilda Tham (Linnaeus University, Sweden)
    • Ms Susan Evans (Tongji University, China) and
    • Dr Henry Mansah (The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway)

    The alarming environmental predicament provokes gigantic challenges for design, and also presents opportunities for new design practices.

    To date the sustainability discourse has been focused on solutions in the technological or at least material remit. Yet, it is clear that the magnitude and complexity of challenges also require attention to both resistance to change and resources for change that may sit within the individual and communal emotional remit.

    Realising future of sustainability poses challenges that are increasingly more complex, therefore requiring trans-disciplinary work and holistic and systemic design approaches. The designer is tasked to re-consider design practices, and think about the integration of new approaches. How can designers plan for and assess their success in meeting these goals? What frameworks, methods and tools can design adopt and evolve? How can designers engage in and host trans-disciplinary collaborations and participatory design? What skills must designers develop to embrace and harness design towards sustainability?

    We are hoping for a diverse range of research endeavours that also engage keenly with previous efforts, future challenges, and show empathy to a wide range of stakeholders. Projects may be local and small, but should discuss how they relate to a bigger world.
  5. Open Design for Education
    • Chaired by Professor Sally Wade (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)
    • Professor Rachel Troye (The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway) and
    • Ms Bente Irminger & Ms Linda Lien (Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway)

    Design thinking is increasingly applied to different contexts and business models beyond its traditional arena. As a result, designers are expected to identify solutions for complex problems, which extend beyond the artefact or service and require new knowledge, skills sets, and understanding.

    Creating innovative solutions not only for today’s society but also future generations is a global challenge. Designers are faced with more opportunities than ever before. This conference track examines the impact on future design education and asks the following questions:
    • What is the nature and scope of design education in order to prepare students for the ethical, political, socio-economic decisions they will be confronted with?
    • How do we educate designers to engage citizens in co-creation and participatory design initiatives?
    • What is the role of the academia in meeting societal expectations and global challenges?
  6. Open Design for Engagement
    • Chaired by Professor Adam Thorpe (Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, UK)
    • Professor Leon Cruickshank (Lancaster University, UK)
    • Ms Virginia Tassinari (LUCA School of Arts, Belgium)
    • Dr Yanki Lee (Hong Kong Design Institute, Hong Kong SAR, China) and
    • Dr Francesca Valsecchi (Tongji University, China)

    The novelty, diversity and complexity of current social challenges and the contexts in which they are situated demands similar diversity of interventions to address them. Multiple and diverse proposals are most readily generated via the involvement of many different people, with many different perspectives and resources, contributing to the process of innovation. These are the tenets of “open innovation” – that by “opening up” the innovation process – the process of coming up with, implementing and exploiting new ideas – we can increase the diversity of, and capacity for, innovation within a (eco)system. To “open up” the innovation process to a diversity of actors – to democratise design innovation – a diversity of people must encounter the design process such that they can engage with and contribute to it. This track aims to explore these early stages within the collaborative innovation journey. Enquiring into the strategies that are applied to support the assembly and formation of publics, from which design coalitions may precipitate. We ask “What are the methods, tools and approaches that favour encounter and foster engagement – and ultimately participation - in ‘open’ processes of collaborative enquiry, visioning and production?” From living labs to design performances - we are interested in the platforms and practices that “stage” these encounters and engagements. We also welcome the sharing of examples, as well as reflections and theories as to what works in what contexts - how, why and for whom.

CUMULUS Hong Kong 2016 invites submissions in two stages.

Stage 1: Announcement for Abstract Submission

The abstracts reviews have been completed. Authors will receive an email notification on the review result no later than 26 July 2016 (Tuesday). Authors of accepted paper are expected to submit a camera-ready abstract no more than 250 words in plain text with abstract reference number for the conference abstract book (with an ISBN).

Should you have any questions on receiving review result, please contact us at info@cumulus.hongkonghkdi2016.org.

Stage 2: Full submission

Research Papers and Workshop Proposals:
Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by email by Mid-July 2016. Research paper (full or short paper) and detailed workshop proposal should be submitted by 7 September 2016. Second round of double-blind review will be conducted. Final/ revised research paper and proposal should be made by 15 October 2016.

Actual Works (Artefact, Fashion Collection, Movie/ Video):
Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by email by Mid-July 2016. Detailed proposal with project description and display requirement should be submitted by 7 September 2016. Actual work must be delivered to the Hong Kong Design Institute in person for installation on 19 November 2016. (Early travel is recommended)

All selected works will be published in Cumulus Hong Kong 2016 Working Paper (with an ISBN) and uploaded to Cumulus Publications App. A link to download the Working Paper will be provided to all participants and Cumulus members.

There are six categories for full submissions.
  1. Full Paper
    Full papers on Open Design are limited to 6,000 words on 10 single line-spaced A4 pages, presenting original, unpublished ideas or research. Research papers should be revised according to the review reports and checked by a native English speaker.
  2. Short Paper
    Short papers on Open Design are limited to 3,000 words on four single line-spaced A4 pages on on-going projects that are open for discussion. Compared to full papers, short papers may provide a novel design, method or theoretical concept, without a full evaluation or with less detailed explanation. Short papers are reviewed under the same standard as full papers. Research papers should be revised according to the review reports and checked by a native English speaker.
  3. Artefact - products or artworks
    Proposals should be no more than 1,500 words on three single line-spaced A4 pages with the following details:
    • Title
    • Project description
    • Thematic statement for artwork(s)
    • Images, sketches or drafts
    • Links to video documentation online (if applicable)
    • Technical and logistical requirements

    Actual works can be in the form of real objects, sketches or videos. They will be displayed at Cumulus Hong Kong Open Design Exhibition on 21-24 November 2016 at Hong Kong Design Institute campus. Designated display area will be provided to authors. Details will be advised following the acceptance notice by 30 September 2016. Authors are responsible for the transportation and installation of their actual works on 19 November 2016.
  4. Fashion collection
    Proposals should be no more than 1,500 words on three single line-spaced A4 pages with the details below:
    • Title
    • Project description
    • Images, sketches or drafts
    • Links to video documentation online (if applicable)
    • Technical and logistical requirements

    Actual works can be in the form of real objects, sketches or videos. They will be displayed at Cumulus Hong Kong Open Fashion Collection on 21-24 November 2016 at Hong Kong Design Institute campus. Designated display area will be provided to authors. Details will be advised following the acceptance notice by 30 September 2016. Authors are responsible for the transportation and installation of their actual works on 19 November 2016.
  5. Movie/video
    Proposals should be no more than 1,500 words on three single line-spaced A4 pages with the details below:
    • Title
    • Project description
    • Length of the movie
    • Links to video documentation online or DVD (if applicable)
    • Technical and logistical requirements, preference and specific way of showing
  6. Workshop
    A series of Open Design Workshops will be organised according to the six tracks during Cumulus Hong Kong 2016. They are interactive sessions that encourage active participation. Possible formats of workshops include mapping of problem definition, small group discussions, etc.

    The proposal must be submitted for recruitment online by 7 September 2016. It should justify the need for the workshop, list out the workshop’s goals, format, methods or techniques used to structure the workshop, its relevance to the selected track and schedule.

    Proposals should not exceed 1,500 words on three A4 single line-spaced pages with the details below:
    • Title
    • Project description
    • Duration (any time between 2pm to 5pm)
    • Abstract and rationale
    • Expected number of participants and target audience (academics/ professionals/students, etc.)
    • Short biography of organiser(s)
    • Preferred venue and equipment required, if any