Strand 1 . History of Technology: Traditions, Transitions and Trajectories

Starting from the perspective that design can be seen as a social-cultural appropriation of technology, we wish to understand more fully the relationships between innovations in technology and innovations in design. Taking the social construction perspective a stage further, we wish to explore the ways in which technology and design are often appropriated, transformed, used and misused by consumers. Employing such an approach, is it possible to gain insights into or even construct a history of mental models of design from the point of view of the designer or equally validly, the user? Papers in this strand might consider, but not be limited to discuss:

Traditions: Traditions of technology, its usage and abusage in socio-cultural or geographical contexts. Is there value in reconsidering traditional techniques in the context of a new technological and cultural landscape where cultural and geographical boundaries are increasingly less of an obstacle?

Transitions: In the face of increasingly rapid developments in technology, what can be learned from exploring the social, cultural or economic impacts involved in the transitions from one technology to another?

Trajectories: With the development of increasingly accessible tools for the realisation and dissemination of design concepts, what are the potential impacts of new and emerging technologies on the production, distribution and consumption of design?


Paul Atkinson
Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Industrial designer, design historian and educator with a PhD from the University of Huddersfield. He is currently Professor of Design and Design History at Sheffield Hallam University and has had articles published in a number of international design journals. He has authored two books on the design history of computers (Computer, Reaktion 2010, and Delete: A design history of computer vapourware, Bloomsbury 2013), and contributed a number of chapters to edited books. He has also written about the future of the design profession and examined the future impact of emerging technologies on the nature of design through practice-based research into Post Industrial Manufacturing.

Vasco Branco
Department of Communication and Art, University of Aveiro, Portugal

PhD in electrotechnic engineering and computers Interaction Design (1997).Associate Professor at the Communication and Art Department at University of Aveiro, Portugal, where he has been the first responsible for the development of the design programs (BSc, MSc and PhD). He is the director of ID+ (Research Institute for Design, Media and Culture) a research unit supported by University of Aveiro, University of Porto and the Portuguese Design Centre. Member of the Executive Committee of European Academy of Design and of the Editorial Advisory Board of some international magazines in the area of Design.


Strand 2 . Materials, Techniques and Processes

Technology has always been at the origin of the progressive achievement of artificiality by design: a “life invented” (Ortega y Gasset) which intention is no longer to respond to human primary needs, but the conquest of wellbeing and happiness. It follows that desire anticipates the project: the design stands today to the place where art and technique go hand in hand in order to undertake a new culture, focused on pleasure. This path has two distinct possible developments: firstly, an increasing use of technologically sophisticated resources, able to with less effort, give the most efficient response; on the other, in response to this technological overdose, the return to traditional techniques: creation, in this way, combines making and feeling. In this context, we welcome theoretical or empirical contributions that question and provide a broader understanding of the role of technology in contemporary society. We consider as developing topics: the relationship design / technology, technology / software, technology / authorship, design / new materials, new processes / design, design / materials sensory properties, – in all areas of the artificial world we live in, a world in which design aspires to be total, responding to a greater purpose which is, after all, creating a life program.


Héctor Flores Magón
Universitarius Centre of Art, Architecture and Design, University of Guadalajara, Mexico

Academic background: Industrial designer; Master in Product Development; PhD candidate in Political and Social Sciences. 36 years of consultant in product development and design strategies, in productive projects at rural communities, sponsored by government and international agencies. Obtained 3 national design competition awards; intellectual property of brands and equipment; a study scholarship at London College of Fashion and a research scholarship about Jalisco’s furniture cultural patrimony. 34 years as Guadalajara University professor member of design research group recognize as the first one consolidated at national level. Publication of design specialized articles and papers for books and national and international forums.

Joana Quental
Department of Communication and Art, University of Aveiro, Portugal

Licensed in Communication Design (mainly dedicated to illustration) and Professor in Department of Communication and Art at the University of Aveiro. In 2009 she completed her PhD in Design under the title “The illustration as a process and thinking. Authorship and interpretation”. She has participated in conferences, seminars and exhibitions. Her interests in research dues to illustration as a privilege mean of communication with children. She has made a considerable contribution in this area, having been awarded with several prizes including an honourable mention in the National Competition of Children’s Illustration promoted by IPLB and IBBY (1997).


Strand 3 . Design and Technology

As a process of mediation between the world and us, the design of industrial artefacts, environments, interfaces and forms of communication presupposes intentional use of technological resources. From the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century to the current post-industrial context, the technological dimension is crucial in design. In the process of use and exploitation of the technology several other design dimensions are involved: aesthetic, ethical, economic, environmental or political. We invite researchers to present theoretical frameworks and / or empirical studies within the context of design and technology. We welcome contributions addressing the track’s topic related to design culture and technology e.g. old media/new media; sustainability; technology and social innovation; biotechnology; vernaculars techniques; new crafts; new materials and new technological applications.


Lucila Fernandéz
Superior Institute of Design, Cuba

Graduated in the Art and Humanities Department at the University of Habana. Post-Graduate studies in Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Sociology and Cultural Theory. Professor of University studies since 1967. Recent publications: From the Abstraction to Irony. Book, 2002. – Modernity and Post-Modernity in Cuban Design. Article in Visual Magazine, Spain; also known under the title Modernity and Post Modernity  from Cuba in the Journal of Design History, Oxford University Press, 2005. – Industrial Cuban Design 1960-2000, in Latin American Design History, compilation by Silvia Fernandez and Gui Bonsiepe, Argentina, 2008. Founder, member and organizer of International Committee of Design History and Studies, from 1999 to the present.. She continues scientific-academic collaborations with Universities in Mexico, Barcelona and France.

José Bártolo
Superior School of Arts and Design, Portugal

Ph.D in Communication Sciences (UNL – Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2006), a postgraduate degree in Communication Sciences (specialization in Communication and New Technologies FCSH / UNL, 2002) and an MPhil in Philosophy, Aesthetics specialty (FCSH / UNL, 1999). He began teaching and researching in art and design fields in 1998. Currently he is Professor, Director of the Graduate Program in Curating Studies and President of Scientific Board at ESAD and Visiting Professor at FAUP and ESAD.CR. Supervised more than 50 Master and Ph.D Thesis in design and publishes regularly on design since 1998. Currently José is Editor-in-chief of Pli Magazine