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Design and Time. Design History Society Conference 2016
8-10 Sept, Middlesex University

Design History Society Annual Conference 2016

Design and Time

8 September - 10 September

School of Art & Design, Middlesex University, London

Design and Time is the theme for the Design History Society’s 2016 conference, to be held from 8th-10th September and hosted by the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University in London. Confirmed keynote speakers are Elizabeth Guffey (Purchase College, State University of New York) and Jeremy Till (Central St Martin’s, University of the Arts, London).

Please see the conference website designandtime2016.co.uk    for full details.  
Bookings are now open via the Middlesex University online shop.

The conference theme of Design and Time takes the theme of the temporal turn. There has been sustained research and debate across a number of disciplines recently about different global perspectives on time, the rhythms of work and time and the increasing speed of life and communication between different communities. In what ways can the discipline of design history respond to these challenges? How can the past inform the present and the future in terms of design? How has time been designed? The proposed conference will take place at Middlesex University where, forty years ago in 1976, the Second Conference of Twentieth Century Design History took place on the theme of ‘Leisure and Design in the Twentieth Century’. In the current era of rapid prototyping and slow design, this is an opportunity to reflect on the changing nature of time in relation to design history.


The conference intends to explore the following issues:

Discipline, Archive, Object, Process, Heritage, Materials

Please note this is a holding paper for DHS2016 and full details for each of the above strands will appear in the full call for strands and papers in January 2016. In the meantime if you have any enquiries about the conference please do not hesitate contact Anne Massey a.massey@mdx.ac.uk directly.

The Design History Society is the leading organisation that promotes the study of global design histories, and brings together and supports all those engaged in the subject - students, researchers, educators, designers, designer-makers, critics and curators. The Society aims to play an important role in shaping an inclusive design history.

Call for Papers:

Potential themes to explore in 20 minute papers include:


1. Discipline: How can the discipline of design history analyse the theme of time? How does this articulate with other disciplinary approaches?
2. Archive: How can design history respond to the challenges of the digital, with the new ways of archiving, accessing and interpreting knowledge? How do these innovations feed into accounting for the history of design beyond the timeline?
3. Object: How has the passing of time been captured by designed objects, from railway timetables through to digital devices?
4. Process: What part does memory and the passing of time play in design, and in co-design?
5. Heritage: How has design incorporated the past into the present and into the future? Can there be timeless design?
6. Materials: How do the themes of decomposition and patina, sustainability and survival inform our understanding of design?
Individual papers are welcome; proposals of a panel of speakers addressing interrelated themes are also encouraged.

Please send an abstract (no more than 500 words) and a brief CV (one page) by email by 25th March 2016 to designandtime[at]mdx.ac.uk