May 24th, 2024

Cidadania / Citizenship

After a longer break, probably also due to the pandemic, the DESIGNA conference will take place for the 8th time in octobre. This time with the topic of Citizen. Abstracts may be submitted untill 1st of june.

In a time characterized by the ecological emergency, the effects of economic neoliberalism and the constant threat to fundamental human rights, Design has been embracing causes that, although departing from its project matrix, break with disciplinary circumscription and many academic and professional conventions that have characterized it. However, many areas of traditional Design activity persist and coexist with progressive procedural hybridization, opening themselves up to contamination, but also nurturing other areas of cultural and economic action that are fundamental to contemporary urban life.

Design relates to multiple aspects of life in common, mediating relationships and projecting responses to pressing Citizenship issues, sometimes assuming a great ideological and political focus. Hence, the practice of Design in contemporary society demands a permanent and constant critical capacity in the face of the present, whether in professional responses or in its clear and recognized performance in formulating and articulating changes in social habits, imposed by the adoption of new values, motivated by the effects of austerity, climate change, pandemics or migration, among others.

This edition of DESIGNA aims to bring together, highlight, and discuss contributions of Design to Citizenship, both in the sphere of its relationship with citizens, individually considered, and in this declared and admittedly political perspective. On the other hand, in line with previous editions, the aim is to identify opportunities for new activities and design practices, generating responses to complex emerging problems, both from an ecological and geo-strategic point of view, reconciling this scale with the public and private sphere of individual action. The natural constitution of Design as an academic and scientific field depends on the ability to interpret and react to these cultural changes, whose economic and technological implications alter the epistemological framework of Design, its teaching, and its practice.

DESIGNA 2024 is an in-person international conference which will take place on October 24th and 25th, 2024, at UBI, Covilhã, Portugal, aimed at the presentation and discussion of articles, research results, and projects, encompassing workshops, book launching, and the inauguration of exhibitions in the wide field of Design as well.

Thematic panels are located in the areas Theory and Criticism, History and Education, Communication Design, Product Design, Multimedia and Interface, Fashion Design. Design and Sustainability, or Textile and Community.

Theory and Criticism
The current practice of Citizenship is globally confronted with multiple disruptive issues such as the environmental crisis, demographic obsolescence, migration, identity tensions, lack of housing, populism, digital disinformation accelerated by AI (Artificial Intelligence), geostrategic interests, wars (cold, hot, economic, and cultural) motivated by the possession of material, energetic, and technological resources. Are these dystopian disruptors a constraint on Citizenship and on the practice of Design, through the induction of misinformation, perceptions, and identity values that only reflect global vulgarity, banality, deep fakes, extremist polarizations, and economic interests from a political agenda of local and global actors?
On the other hand, technological heterogeneity, supported by AI, is a leveraging factor in Industry 4.0 through which Europe is devising its reindustrialization (similarly to other global actors), generating a production characterized by a logic of integration between the physical and digital in the use of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), which allows the launch of extensively individualized and flexible products into the economy, integrating customers and partners in the Design and creation of value process through a logic of proximity.
Are we facing a window of opportunity in the reinvention of new Design practices? Where specific cultural identities can adapt and reinvent themselves, intersecting with humanist values, a Design where cultural specificities will be an added value in originality and creativity, and where different identities will recognize each other in a citizenship with universal values: can the approach to new project practices in product Design (both physical and digital), supported by Industry 4.0 AI technologies, enable a tool for the rejuvenation of a progressive and inclusive Citizenship?

History and Education
It is through education that the complexity of the world gains meaning, and through history that this meaning gains context. Therefore, the articulation between Design and Citizenship cannot be exempt from these two dimensions. Before being designers, we are citizens and must understand that (1) our vision of ourselves, the world and others tends to be informed by the specificities and limitations of what was and is closest to us; (2) current and future generations will have to design for a world affected by multiple tensions and contradictions, capable of expanding the ethical and political impact of Design on a local and global scale; and 3) history and education of and for Design are not limited to academia, industry, or the concrete dimension of its practices, fully affecting the understanding of what it means to be Human. As educators, we are faced with the need to quickly adapt to new tools and ways of teaching Design, making it imperative to consider that preparing for the urgency of future challenges should not spare the critical analysis of past ones. All considered, this panel is interested in creating opportunities for a multidisciplinary reflection and discussion around different approaches, philosophies, models, processes and methods applied to education in, for, and through Design, giving visibility to new curricula, alternative and emerging educational structures and paradigms, and plural modes of thought, knowledge, and research.

Communication Design
By giving shape to what we intend to communicate, Design acts as an intermediary between the exercises of turning common our experience of the world, which is communication, and that of the organization of our life in common, which is citizenship. Communication Design has, thus, an important role in the creation of the public sphere, fundamental to citizenship. Papers on Communication Design (in its diverse aspects) and citizenship are accepted for this panel. We encourage critical and / or reflexive approaches, but also approaches concerning the practice of citizenship by means of this area of design.

P4 Product Design
What is the role of Product Design in an increasingly volatile world, marked by cross-cutting problems such as climate change, aging, desertification of inland territories, disinformation, the emergence of a certain radicalism, war, and the asymmetry between poor and rich countries? What challenges does Product Design face, in its different scales of action, given the pressing need to produce more responsibly, equating such important variables as inclusion, sustainability, repair/maintenance, versatility, interaction, and the emotional relationship between subject and object? How are these variables reflected in the design process and in the methods of production and manufacture? Can Product Design contribute to the return of a certain poetry to an everyday life so dominated by consumption? We invite the authors to share the results of their scientific research of a more theoretical, experimental, or applied nature that intersects with these themes and issues.

Multimedia and Interfaces
In the current context of deep mediatization, the web 3.0 emergence, the metaverse, artificial intelligence, e-governance, successive economic, political, social, ecological, and ethical crises, design is increasingly assuming itself as a structural activity of citizenship evidencing its ability to reframe the contemporary digital paradigm.
We invite authors to submit communication proposals that correlate, analyze or reflect on user interface design (Graphical User Interfaces, Natural Language Interfaces, Voice User Interfaces, Gesture-based Interfaces, Tangible User Interfaces, Haptic Interfaces, Hybrid User Interfaces, Collaborative User Interfaces, Multimodal Interfaces, or others) or/and multimedia design scenarios (Text, Image, Audio, Video, Animation, Three-Dimensional Content, Web, Mobile, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality) within the scope of citizenship.

Fashion Design
Of all the areas of Design, the theme of fashion is the one that most triggers the conflicts of our time in its economic, social and environmental complexity within a world that is trying to be more sustainable. Still, it is a pure reflection of societies and cultures in constant movement in time and in the emotional relationship with the human being.
For this panel, we seek the interfaces with the body and with identity. We accept communications that reflect fashion design through different approaches and contributions, from technologies to a historical, heritage, industrial, anthropological, socio-economic vision or to interfaces with art, music, technology and other possibilities in the scope of scientific research today.

Design and Sustainability
The Design agenda for Sustainability and Citizenship is linked to a vast and interconnected set of themes. Environmental justice and Human Rights, lifelong learning, inclusivity and education for all, the preservation of biodiversity and natural habitats or new approaches beyond the Anthropocene perspective express the diversity and interest of this broad line of research and action, and offer an infinite and challenging space to discuss, explore and build new knowledge. Within this framework, research of a theoretical or applied nature that addresses citizenship in its contemporary understanding is very welcome and will be seen as an important contribution from the practices and values of Art and Design towards a more sustainable planet and a happier citizenry.

Textile and Community
We all have an opinion on textiles, beginning with the choice of the clothes we wear and buy. But textile material, transformed by craft techniques or industrial technologies, records stories that intersect the public and private spheres, and acquires meanings that go beyond commercial value. The textile transformation itself creates a space for experimentation, community and exercise of citizenship. Therefore, this panel invites authors to reflect on how design, in its multiple specializations, can enhance textile materials and modes of production, artisanal and industrial, to create communities, value endogenous resources, renew crafts, and promote civic transformation.

International Conference on Design Research
24 and 25th October . FAL—UBI . Covilhã . Portugal

© DESIGNA 2024