Isabel Prochner posted an articleThe Tricky Design Symposium took place 7-8 June 2019 at the London Design Museum see more
Event Report: Tricky Design Symposium
The Tricky Design Symposium: Design Ethics for a Complex World took place 7-8 June 2019 at the London Design Museum. It accompanied the launch of the essay collection Tricky Design: The Ethics of Things, co-edited by Tom Fisher and Lorraine Gamman and published by Bloomsbury (2019). The book includes chapters on guns, designs for the military, assisted suicide, passports, policing and policy to interrogate what constitutes trickery in design. Its overall research question asks “can tricky design reasoning help solve global design challenges?"
The event helped widen discussion of the book’s themes, engaging an audience of approximately 150 practitioners, researchers and PhD students. There was a lively debate, which showed a distinct appetite for discussion on design ethics. These discussions positioned ethics as a much-needed contribution to understanding design beyond market-led accounts. They also showed variety in the topic of design ethics, as well as applications to design practice and PhD student work.
The symposium was supported by the Social Design Institute and Design Against Crime Research Centre of the University of the Arts London, the Design Museum and DRS OPENSig. Day one was divided into four panel discussions that addressed the following questions:
- How can we design with others in an ethical way?
- How does ethics shape the things we design?
- How should design practice intervene in the public sphere?
- Can new ecologies provide a more equitable path for design?
Videos of these panel presentations are available here.
As well as the strong sense that design is already ethically implicated, highlights from Day 1 included reports on participative projects and critical accounts of the ethical implications of particular designs. The moral passion of contributors was especially inspiring and produced insightful questions, strong audience participation and lively debate.
Day two started with a presentation by Professor Lucy Kimbell on the newly emerging UAL Social Design Institute. Her paper inspired a strong audience discussion about the need for social sustainability and new social design narratives.
Professor Lorraine Gamman led the second event of day: a workshop and discussion on ethical vignettes presented by invited design academics. Participants choose a dilemma to interrogate and conducted a ten minute round-table discussion, before a bell rang and each group moved to the next table. The vignettes proved a successful participatory design technique for stimulating ethical discussion.
The final event of the afternoon consisted of six short presentations on ethical dilemmas encountered by design researchers in their practice and research. This included discussions about sound in hospitals and challenges to modernism, anthropology and material sustainability. Each presentation was followed by audience questions and debate, with strong suggestions from the audience about ethical challenges that should be addressed in future talks on tricky design.
For more information, the complete Tricky Design Symposium program is available here.
Tom Fisher, OPENSig Convenor and DRS Hon. Treasurer; Professor, Nottingham Trent University
Lorraine Gamman, Professor, University of the Arts London
Derek Jones posted an articleLearnXDesign 2017 Conference prvided a future vision of design education see more
The fourth international DRS / CUMULUS / ED-DESIGN Conference on Design Education - LearnXdesign 2017 - was held at the end of June 2017 at Ravensbourne in London, UK.
The opening keynote by Susan Orr (@Susan_K_Orr) superbly summarised the current landscape in design education, focusing on significant aspects of core design pedagogy and noting how these are being understood in our own discipline(s) as well as how they could transfer to other subject domains. Looking into the near future, she described design as continually developing, where “students are the definers of the discipline”.
On Thursday, keynote Jo Twist (@Doctoe) demonstrated just how significant the games industry in the UK is - both economically and as a discipline and professional endeavour. She observed that “play allows you to fail” before calling for even greater integration between the Arts and traditional (but unhelpfully segregated) STEM subjects that often lead game design.
The closing Keynote was given by Dori Tunstall (@Dori_Danthro) presenting how OCAD U are continuing to decolonise their curriculum and implement Respectful Design across their studios and processes. Echoing Orr’s Keynote observation, that the widening of design curricula must be a focus of design education in the coming years, Tunstall presented a positive and optimistic interpretation of how this can be achieved inclusively and without the ‘race to the bottom’ some may think it entails.
In between these keynotes were the usual range of interesting and well-researched presentations of papers, positions and works-in-progress from across the world. Anyone who has attended a LearnXdesign event will understand that it’s usually a group of really committed and passionate practitioners, coming together to share and expand their personal and collective knowledge in design education. In summing up the conference, Ravensbourne’s Gary Pritchard and Linda Drew reflected what delegates were thinking - it was, as always, the people who made the event.
A huge thank you to all of the Ravensbourne organisers and support staff who made the event so successful.
The conference proceedings will be available in the next few weeks.
The location for the next LearnXdesign conference in 2019 has yet to be confirmed so if any DRS members are interested or have any ideas for this then just get in touch with PedSIG lead Mike Tovey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Peter Lloyd posted an articleThe Design Museum is now open in its spectacular new location on High Street Kensington. - See more see moreThe Design Museum is now open in its spectacular new location on High Street Kensington.See more at https://designmuseum.org/new-design-museum
Derek Jones posted an articleJony Ive appointed RCA Chancellor see more
Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple, has been appointed Chancellor of the Royal College of Art. Ive joins the RCA at a critical point in its evolution, expanding its research and knowledge exchange centres into the domains of computer and materials science, the impact of the digital economy, advanced manufacturing and intelligent mobility. As Chancellor for a five-year term, Ive will advise the College during a period of expansion.