Ilpo Koskinen, Tiina Härkäsalmi, Jung-Joo Lee, Ramia Mazé and Ben Matthews (eds) (2011) Proceedings of the Nordic Design Research Conference (Helsinki, May).

"The theme of the conference, 'Making Design Matter', came from three sources. First, it reflects a lingering question in design research, the meaning of design in society. As the opening keynote speaker of Nordes 2011, Andrea Branzi, has recently noted, design is not what it used to be in days gone by. It has become a mass profession and, with this growth, new questions are raised about how design contributes to society and how design research anticipates and matters in light of such developments. Second, it came from the feedback from previous conferences. While these conferences have been important in developing a vibrant discourse on issues central to the Nordic community, such as relations between materials (matter, in its basic sense) and new technologies, one key feedback was that they were becoming too much focused on interaction design. Scientific quality aside, we felt that this focus was turning Nordes away from some of the bigger questions that design – and by implication design research – has to face. Third, we wanted to make the conference theme interesting and relevant for a variety of design researchers, ranging from industrial and interaction design to design history and design management. While the materials, processes and outcomes of design and research remain fundamental, a focus on the wider issues facing design expands the discourse to other disciplines relevant to developing and understanding the impact of design. ...

Given the diversity of perspectives and range of experience of contributors to Nordes this year, we have taken special care and creativity with the conference programme. With our focus on quality within the review process as a whole, we embrace the intimate quality of the conference this year. Plenary sessions ‘bookend’ the conference days, which means that we will largely share the same content during the conference, as well as highlight a variety of perspectives that are particularly relevant to the conference theme. We have tried to group sequences of sessions in ways that build a thematic – for example, the morning session and all plenaries on the first day revolve around the theme 'Design Matters – In Social and in Public Life'. The morning of the second day begins with a plenary with reflections on significant and recurring topics of theory-practice relations and participatory processes in research – these circle the theme 'Making Design – Research Matters', and the parallel sessions in the morning will take this up from more specific perspectives. Again raising issues of design activism and participation, the last plenary in the conference, appropriately enough, takes up the critical question of ethics.." (excerpts)

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/ Events / Nordic Design Research society conferences