Strand 1 . Design Policies

This strand looks at the tensions between the private and the public as encapsulated in design policies. State control on the public domain might be easy to perceive. Architecture design and urban planning are subdued to strict regulations affecting their design. However, what about the private domain? How does the state shape design? And what are its benefits? States have promoted design by means of promotional bodies and exhibitions. Their goals have been diverse ranging from the indoctrination of the population, the protection of domestic markets, the increase of exports or putting own’s country on the creative map. Both domestic and external aspects are at stake when studying design policies. Accordingly, analysing design policies calls for a sophisticated framework to properly look at the relationship between power and materiality. This strands welcomes papers that reflect on the role of the state in promoting design and on the cultural effects of design policies. This strand particularly welcomes papers that delve into these aspects from a historical or theoretical perspective.


Javier Gimeno-Martinez
VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands

Assistant Professor at the VU University Amsterdam, where he runs the Design Cultures MA programme. His research explores the cultural status of design, fashion, and craft from the 1950s up to today. His articles have been published in Design IssuesDesign and Culture and The Burlington Magazine among others. He has been a research fellow of the Research Foundation-Flanders (2007-2010) and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Design History (2008-2013). Along with Fredie Floré, he organized the 2010 ICDHS conference in Brussels (Belgium).

Beatriz Vidal
Designer | Design Manager and coordinator of national and international projects and actions, Lisbon, Portugal

Designer | Design Manager . Education: . Interior and Product Design – IADE ( Cum Laude) .”Design Audit” – Design Council, promoted by Centro Português de Design | CPD. Professional Experiences: From 1979 to 1991 head of the Design team at Altamira. From 1991 – Freelance activities: > Senior Consultant of Centro Português de Design | CPD on the areas of: . Design Management | Training Projects | Communication actions (Exhibitions, Seminars) | Juries | Technical Councils | Publications > Member of national and international juries > Organization and Participation in seminars and conferences > Design Manager of the project “MGlass” – Marinha Grande > Co-authorship (with Henrique Cayatte) of a text-book of Visual and Technological Education. From July 2004 to April 2012 – Executive Vice- President of Centro Português de Design | CPD: > Manager and coordinator of national and international projects and actions.


Strand 2 . Design Activism

This strand welcomes proposals that will address design history and design studies from the perspective of social issues and design activism. We expect to promote critical discussions, based on original research, about design activism and the importance of tradition in activism language, its relations with politics, music, gender, ethnicity, and environmental issues. That comprises debates on the status of what we may call “design in the streets”: relations to vernacular design, street art, dystopia and resistance, as exemplified in recent popular manifestations in major cities around the world. The list of possible topics also includes weird, queer, and post-colonial approaches to design history and design studies; and new models of design activism, such as crafts as activism, open design as activism, participatory design, resilience.


Priscila Farias
University of São Paulo, Brazil

A graphic designer, a professor, and a researcher. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Semiotics from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (Brazil), and is a professor at São Paulo University School of Architecture and Urbanism (FAU-USP, Brazil), where she coordinates the Visual Design Research Lab (LabVisual). She is the editor of InfoDesign – Brazilian Journal of Information Design, and has published widely on typography, graphic design and semiotics. She is the author of the books Tipografia Digital (Rio de Janeiro: 2ab) and Fontes Digitais Brasileiras (São Paulo: Rosari), and of typefaces distributed by T-26. In 2012, she organized the 8th issue of ICDHS conferences, in São Paulo (Brazil).

Raquel Pelta
Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Barcelona

Historian of Design holding degrees in History and Geography and Audiovisual Communication, and a PhD from the College of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona. She is a Professor at University of Barcelona. She has previously taught at the Elisava Graduate Design School in Barcelona, where she was also Head of the Humanities Department. She is founder and co-director of Monográfica magazine ( and Board member of the Design History Foundation in Barcelona. Member of GRACMON, a research group linked to the Art History Department at Barcelona University investigating art, architecture and design history in the modern world.


Strand 3 . Design Ethics

Today, as design operates in a global framework and in many situations outside the market, the question of ethics is yet more complicated. Clearly designed objects are parts of production and distribution systems so that a great design for the Apple iPhone is embedded in a process of unfair labor practices in China. Thus, ethics no longer relates only to the design of single objects but also to the nature of the larger systems of production and consumption in which design is embedded. On the other hand, since it is impossible to think Design without its implicit know-how, we find ourselves in a field where ethical action may easily be conceived as a project against the globalization of indifference, which requires that the design in question shows its authentic solicitude. For this strand, we seek papers that consider the question of ethics broadly in terms of product quality (not producing products that are harmful to individuals or to the environment) as well as product systems. We are also interested in papers that discuss positive contributions to the social world within frameworks such as social design, universal design, design for all, ecodesign, and others that are related.


Victor Margolin
University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

Professor Emeritus of Design History at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is a founding editor and now co-editor of the academic design journal Design Issues. Professor Margolin has published widely on diverse design topics and lectured at conferences, universities, and art schools in many parts of the world. Books that he has written, edited, or co-edited include Propaganda: TheArt of Persuasion, WW II, The Struggle for Utopia: Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy, 1917-1936Design Discourse, Discovering Design, The Idea of Design, The Politics of the Artificial: Essays on Design and Design Studies, and Culture is Everywhere: The Museum of Corn-temporary Art. He is currently working on a World History of Design to be published by Bloomsbury in London.

Rosa Alice Branco
Superior School of Arts and Design, Portugal

Essayist, poet (with books in several countries), translator and researcher at the Institute of Design, Media and Culture of the Universities of Aveiro and Porto. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and is a Professor of the Theory of Perception at ESAD (Escola Superior de Artes e Design) in Porto. Her last volume of essays is The Secret Condition of the Visible: Perception of Nature and the Arts, published in Brazil in 2009. She is an active organizer of international cultural and humanitarian events and colloquia such as, “Le ravissement de l’Altérité“, “The Excluded Third”, “Non-places in the Urban Environment” and “Interfaces”. Member of the European Academy of Design, she is also director of an upcoming Design collection.