Strand 1 . Histories of design criticism

In the course of the 20th century in many countries design criticism gradually developed into an independent discipline. Authors with different professional background – art historians, architects, artists, designers… – qualified themselves as specialists in the discussion or evaluation of material products. Coinciding with the worldwide professionalization of industrial design, new magazines were established which devoted special attention to the topic. Although the work of several authors such as Reyner Banham has been thoroughly studied and a few anthologies and critical volumes on design criticism have been published, our knowledge of how the discipline developed worldwide is still limited. This session aims at addressing this lack of knowledge and welcomes papers that focus on key figures, representative media or significant moments in the history of design criticism within a particular country or region. What traditions, transitions or trajectories can we detect within the development of design criticism? How can they inform contemporary research and practice? Through mapping and discussing different histories of design criticism, this session implicitly intends to feed the ongoing debate on the crisis in design criticism, and as such also welcomes papers that address the dynamic possibilities of confronting historical references and interpretations of contemporary practices.


Fredie Floré 
VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands and Ghent University, Belgium

Is an engineer-architect and a Lecturer in Architectural History and Design History at VU University Amsterdam and at Ghent University. Her research focuses on the history of discourses on domestic architecture, home culture, interiors and design in Belgium and the Netherlands in the second half of the twentieth century. She has authored and coedited several books, including Lessen in Goed Wonen (Leuven University Press 2010) and has published in national and international books and journals, including Architectural History, The Journal of Architecture, The Journal of Design HistoryInteriors and De Witte Raaf. Along with Javier Gimeno-Martinez, she organized the 2010 ICDHS conference in Brussels (Belgium).

Heitor Alvelos
Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto, Portugal

Ph.D Design (Royal College of Art, 2003), MFA Visual Communication (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1992). Professor at U.Porto, member of the Scientific Board of the Foundation for Science and Technology, and Director of ID+ on behalf of U.Porto. Since 2006 he has developed R&D at UTAustin-Portugal program for Digital Media, is now its National Outreach Program Director, and curates the digital media festival FuturePlaces since 2008. Since 2000, Heitor has developed sound documents, design and stage visuals for various media labels (Ash International, Touch, Cronica Electronica, Tapeworm). He was editorial director for Manobras no Porto, is a singer at Stopestra, and co-owns the random music label 333. Current research interests include participatory media, creative citizenship and cultural criminology.


Strand 2 . Design Education in Art, Craft, Technology, and other Traditions

Design education was mainly based on art, craft or technology education. From these different traditions, each of which had its own historical and social context, modern design education emerged in the early twentieth century. There are, however, also some other important traditions in education such as home economics which were originally related to design or gradually associated with it. Although they are often considered exceptional or not part of the mainstream, their history is as long as or even longer than that of art, craft, or technology in some countries. We welcome papers which are consciously written on one or some of these different traditions in design education. These papers may be fruitful in helping our understanding of the historical and present position of design education in each country and the world.


Haruhiko Fujita
Osaka University, Japan

Professor of Aesthetics at Osaka University where he teaches Design Aesthetics and History of Art and Design. His major publication includes William MorrisWilliam Morris and the Arts and Crafts MovementJ. M. W. TurnerThe Realm of the National Trust, and The Mingei Movement and Architecture. He organized the 6th ICDHS OSAKA held in Asia for the first time in 2008. He is General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Asian Design.

Henrique Cayatte
Department of Communication and Art, University of Aveiro, Portugal

Designer, illustrator and teacher with extensive work in the editorial area. Runs his own studio, in Lisbon, since 1990. Founder and author of the global design, editor and illustrator of the daily journal “Público” until the year 2000. Co-author of the communication system of signage for the World Expo – EXPO 98 Lisbon, where he was also responsible for the design of the Portugal Pavilion. Designer of the Portuguese Pavilion in the World Expo’s of Hannover 2000 and Aichi Japan 2005. Commissioner and designer of several exhibitions. Designer of the magazine “Egoísta”, “Diário de Notícias”, “Cubo” among other publications. Author of the new Portuguese electronic passport and of the citizen card. Elected member of the European board of design [BEDA 2008-2012]. President of the Portuguese Design Centre (2004-2012). Invited Professor at the University of Aveiro since 2004.


Strand 3 . Aesthetics beyond style

Contemporary design discourse avoids hedonism and aesthetical pleasure as a consequence of relating those experiences to the territory of consumerism and the exploitation of senses. However, hedonism as a refinement of pleasure has been a driving force of humanizing mankind. By portraying the specific field of research based on the experience of things and their sensory properties, we are interested in discussing how design participates in self-construction and civilisation processes, through the aesthetic dimension of things.

We invite researchers to present theoretical frameworks and/or empirical studies within the context of aesthetics of design. We welcome contributions addressing the track’s topic related to the world of things e.g. sceneries, ambiences, atmospheres, public and private spaces, as well as visual signs, graphic diagrams, labels, screens, books, tools, machines and electric appliances, furniture, lights and clothes, etc.

The purpose of this track is to draw out a reflection upon the extent to which aesthetical  contribute to the quality of one design and to the quality of everyday life, enhancing the arguments for happiness. 


Anna Calvera
University of Barcelona, Spain

Professor on Design History, Aesthetics and Design Philosophy at the University of Barcelona (Spain), she teaches at the undergraduate, master and PhD programmes of the Design and Visual Arts Department. She currently researches the History of Design in Barcelona in the industrial era, approaching it as a very local question but fully related to  internationally shared design discourse and research. She is also concerned with philosophical aesthetics employed to understand design practices and its social role. Member of GRACMON, a research unit placed in her university and the Fundació Història del Disseny (Barcelona). 

Fátima Pombo
University of Leuven, Belgium

Guest Professor at University of Leuven, Belgium and member of ID+ Research Institute for Design, Media and Culture
Her research focuses on phenomenology, interior architecture, design theory and aesthetics. She publishes in journals including Idea Journal,, The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial and Environmental Design, Iconofacto (Arquitectura Y Diseño), Journal of British Society for Phenomenology. She is an expert nominated by European Commission to evaluate projects. During the sabbatical of 2005/2006 she researched at University of Barcelona; in 1999/2000 with a fellowship from Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung she researched at University of Munich and during 1993/1995 at University of Heidelberg on the framework of her PhD in Phenomenology, Aesthetics and Education. She is master in Contemporary Philosophy from the University of Coimbra.