Strand 1 . Design Process and Practice

This strand seeks to explore the processes that lead to the construction of cultural identities in the field of design, through trajectories that incorporate traditional approaches, transitions between tradition and modernity, or that exemplify the tensions between the two. We welcome the study and analysis of the impact on systems of production, on the material culture of design and on the structure and practice of design, of processes that favour the confrontation or cohabitation of tradition and modernity: geopolitical influences such as colonial and postcolonial contexts, processes of hybridisation and acculturation, the impact of globalisation and delocalisation, specific instances of transition between political systems or the impact of grassroots activism and social movements. From the point of view of examples of practice, and drawing from both traditional craft and design processes, we also look for the analysis of processes and projects employing traditional cultural values and which retrieve and/or emphasize craft techniques in the type of contexts mentioned above, and propose new solutions through innovative practices, either for self-production or mass production. We hope researchers and designers will analyse these processes by exploring the most diverse areas of design, allowing the end result to offer an overview of how traditional values can serve as a baseline to rethink a project, and the relationship between understandings of tradition and modernity can give rise to new products, while maintaining or redefining a local identity as the basis for new opportunities.


Viviana Narotzky
President of ADI-FAD, the Industrial Design Association of Barcelona, Spain

Design historian, writer and curator. She is President of ADI-FAD, the Industrial Design Association of Barcelona, and a Trustee of the Design History Foundation. She writes and lectures on design and contemporary material culture, curates shows on contemporary and 20C design and is the director of the Open Design/Shared Creativity International Conference, which takes place yearly as part of the Barcelona Design Festival. Among other academic positions, Viviana has been Director of the History of Design MA at Kingston University, Senior Research Fellow at the AHRC Center for the Study the Domestic Interior based at the Royal College of Art, and Tutor on the History of Design MA course run jointly by the RCA and the Victoria & Albert Museum of London. Viviana has worked for institutions such as the World Economic Forum, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona, the Victoria & Albert Museum London, and Hong Kong Television.

Raul Cunca
Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Designer and Teacher. Master Degree in Industrial Design from Milan Domus Academy and a PhD from Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade de Lisboa in Industrial Design. Associate Professor at Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade de Lisboa and visiting Professor at Facoltà di Architettura – Sapienza Università di Roma and in the Fakultät für Design und Künste – Freie Universität Bozen. Member in several scientific committees, namely referee for the diid_disegno industrial industrial design magazine and member of the international board of referees of Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca – MIUR, Italy. He is author of the books “Territórios Híbridos” published by UL-FBA in 2006 and “A Magia da Polaroid – Colecção Raul Cunca —The Magic of Polaroid – Raul Cunca Collection”, published by Casa da Cerca in 2012.


Strand 2 . Localities / Globalities

Addressing identity issues in design, which is a complex task, is a challenge for researchers in the area. Identity is never complete, never accomplished, and is an on going process that needs constant reflection, confronting local versus global, past and present and the present and a possible future, inside a transitional world. Through this specific research field we are interested in discussing how tradition, transition and trajectories can affect identity and therefore design in a confrontation of scales and links between localities and globalities. When we create the right kind of identity, we are able to communicate with others and contribute to a better way of life. Contributions addressing different manifestations in design identity, innovation, technology and creativity as part of development processes and the evolution of traditional culture, related with design are welcomed. This strand wants to incentive reflection, underlining the importance of design identity within design strategies, enhancing the different micro and macro project scales. So, we invite researchers to present theoretical and/or empirical works addressing its influences within the context of localities and globalities in design.


Oscar Salinas
National University of Mexico, Mexico

Over 38 years of professional activity, focusing in three main areas of expertise: professional practice, teaching, and research. Professor at the Industrial Design School and Researcher and professor specializing in design history in Industrial Design Postgraduate Program, at the National University of Mexico (UNAM). Permanent member of the International Conference Board, of International Conference on Design History and Design Studies since the year 2000, and member of the Board of Trustees of Design History Foundation in Barcelona. Has been member of different scientific committees for international meetings on Design research, theory and history. Is currently director of Editorial Designio, publisher house especialized in design books, situated in Mexico City, with international distribution.

Fernando Moreira da Silva
Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Full Professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Lisbon (FA/U Lisboa); PhD and MSc by the University of Salford, UK; Post-Doctorate at the University of Salford in Visual Communication Design, Inclusive Design and Colour; President of CIAUD – Research Centre in Architecture, Urbanism and Design; Coordinator of the Design Scientific Area, Coordinator of the MSc degree in Communication Design and Coordinator of the PhD degree in Design, at FA/U Lisboa; Member of FCT panel for the PhD and Post-Doctorate grants; Honorary Researcher at SURFACE Research Centre. Coordination and participation in several research projects, many of them FCT funded. Publications in scientific journals with peer review, chapters of books and three books.


Strand 3 . Authorship and Anonymous Design

This strand will explore a tension between the identity of things and the identity of authors, or designers. Making is a key mode of expressing identity. Design is popularly understood as the product of an individual, and design teaching emphasises individual creativity and authorship. Yet, the majority of design is a group effort, and the output of practitioners working anonymously, rather than noted named designers, and many objects are best described as type forms. New technologies and techniques such as the use of algorithms mean that those working in design studies and design history alike need rethink their methods for explicating anonymous design. We welcome papers by historian-detectives revealing the truthful authorship of well-known or less well known objects. We are, however, especially interested in the collective construction of an idea of design by social groups that act as authors, such as nations, regions or “schools”, determining an underlying authorship through taste or Alois Riegl’s ‘worldview’. This panel invites delegates to consider: How can we best understand the work of anonymous designers? Is the drive to identification essential? Does an emphasis on authorship obscure the achievements of anonymous designers? What can theories and methods centred upon authorship lend to the analysis of anonymous design?


Eduardo Corte Real
Institute of Art, Design and Enterprise – University (IADE-U), Portugal

Associate professor and IADE-U’s president of the scientific board. His books include The Smooth Guide to Travel Drawing and The Triumph of Design (2009), O Triunfo da Virtude, as origens do desenho arquitectónico“(2001). He organized a co-chaired UNIDCOM’s 6 international conferences, namely DRS wonderground in 2006. He also coordinates IADE-U’s doctoral program on design and is the editor in chief of “The Radical Designist Journal”.

Grace-Lees Maffei
University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Reader in Design History, where she leads the TVAD Research Group, and Managing Editor of the Journal of Design History. Her books include Design at Home: Domestic Advice Books in Britain and the US since 1945 (2013); Made in Italy, co-edited with Kjetil Fallan (2013), Writing Design (2011) and the Design History Reader, co-edited with Rebecca Houze (2010). She has chapters in Must Read: Rediscovering American BestsellersPerformance, Fashion and the Modern Interior; and Autopia and articles in Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, the Journal of Design HistoryModern Italy, and Women’s History Review.