Colloquium 11.1: Boston University, Call for Submissions

Call for design research abstracts. Deadline: June 1, 2024.

Submission Deadline: Saturday, June 1, 2024.

Event date: Friday, October 25, 2024
Format: In-person Only
Location: Boston University, College of Fine Art, School of Visual Arts

Design + ____________

What is design research?

In honor of Design Incubation’s 10th anniversary, we are examining the ways design and design research has changed over the past decade. How do we define design research, as designers, scholars and educators?

We invite designers — practitioners, creators, educators and students — for a live, in-person event, to examine their own creative research and practice and the adjacencies that touch their work. Design + Social Justice, Design + Curation, Design + Performance …what are some of the subjects that drive your own design curiosity? How does the intersection of such content areas inform your creative practice, your pedagogy, your research? 

The 2024 Colloquium will be organized to showcase your design research in lively, interactive sessions that may take the form of presentations, performances, workshops and / or demonstrations. 

Interact with us!

Submit abstracts describing your Design + __________. 

We invite designers—practitioners and educators—to submit abstracts of design research. This is an in-person event.

Double-blind peer-reviewed colloquium abstracts will be published online. Please review the articles, Quick Start Guide for Writing Abstracts and Writing an Academic Research Abstract: For Communication Design Scholars prior to submitting.

Accepted presentations are videotaped in-advance by the researchers for publication online on the Design Incubation channel which is due by August 1, 2024.

A day-long colloquium will be held at Boston University, College of Fine Art, School of Visual Arts on Friday, October 25, 2024. This event is open to all interested in Communication Design research.

Hosts: Kristen Coogan and Mary Yang.

Moderators: Liz DeLuna, Camila Afanador Llach, Dan Wong.

Colloquium 10.3: Tenth Anniversary Edition June 2024, Call for Submissions

Call for design research abstracts. Deadline: Friday, April 26, 2024

Submission Deadline: Friday, April 26, 2024.

Event date: Friday, June 7, 2024
Location: St John’s University, Manhattan Campus

We invite designers—practitioners, creators, and educators—to submit abstracts of design research, creative investigations, and productions. This is a hybrid event format. In-person will be located at St. John’s University, Manhattan Campus.

Double-blind peer-reviewed colloquium abstracts will be published online. Please review the articles, Quick Start Guide for Writing Abstracts and Writing an Academic Research Abstract: For Communication Design Scholars before submitting.

Accepted presentations will be videotaped by the researchers and published online on the Design Incubation channel which is due by Friday, May 10, 2024. A moderated discussion will be held virtually on Friday, June 7, 2024. We encourage all attendees to watch the videos in advance of the moderated discussion. This event is open to all people interested in Communication Design research.

Presentation format is Pecha Kucha.

For more details, see the colloquia details and description. Abstracts can be submitted online for peer review.

Making History: Teaching Design History Methods in Studio

Learning outcomes emphasized gathering information, examining sources, interpreting evidence, connecting design to social contexts, and crafting historical narratives in text and image

Aggie Toppins
Associate Professor
Washington University in St. Louis

In Spring 2023, Toppins introduced a new course called “Making History” in which students had the opportunity to learn historical research methods and use them in their studio work. At the time, WashU had only one design history course, an elective survey of graphic design, which one student in my class had taken. An ungraded quiz on the first day of class showed that most students had no sense of what was (or was not) considered canonical. None were familiar with prevailing themes in graphic design history. Unlike a survey course, which tasks students with absorbing a broad scope of historical content, this course focused on making inquiries into the past. Learning outcomes emphasized gathering information, examining sources, interpreting evidence, connecting design to social contexts, and crafting historical narratives in text and image. 

Toppins’ teaching methods were hands-on and high-impact. Having secured a $2500 Sam Fox School teaching grant, she was able to bring in a number of guest speakers and take students on field trips. Students visited local archives, museums, and historical sites. They listened to scholars and designers with diverse backgrounds discuss their research methods and outcomes. They got to physically handle historical objects from cuneiform tablets to mid-century paste-ups. Students also read historical texts, critical essays, and watched documentaries to prepare for in-class discussions and debates. After each of these activities, students responded to prompts in a provided sketchbook. The sketchbook served as the “field notes” component of the course, in which students recorded their ongoing reflections and took notes on research. In most cases, the sketchbook helped students locate the topic for their final, self-guided project. Throughout the semester, leading up to this project, students engaged in four workshops that instilled specific methods. Each workshop resulted in a short outcome, like a zine or broadside, that kept students connecting the dots between making historical inquiries and making graphic design. The final project asked students to pursue a topic of their own interest. Students became primary investigators, forming their own questions and mapping out their own research approaches.

Student work from this class was strong in terms of formal design and critical positioning. Students could articulate their goals, match appropriate research methods to their questions, and translate their findings into criteria for design projects. They also became familiar with graphic design history’s prevailing themes by thinking critically about historiography and methodology.  Another important outcome of this course is that it gave Toppins the chance to test exercises and content for her forthcoming book, Thinking Through Graphic Design History. Some student work from this class will be published in the book, which will reach market in 2025.

This project was the 2023 Design Incubation Educators Awards winner recipient in the category of Teaching.

Aggie Toppins is an Associate Professor of Communication Design and Chair of Design at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. She combines studio practice and critical writing to explore the social life of graphics. Aggie’s creative work has been internationally exhibited and garnered national design awards including the Type Director’s Club ‘Certificate of Typographic Excellence,’ and the SECAC Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design award. Her recent writing has been published by Design and Culture, Design Issues, Diseña, Slanted, Eye, and AIGA Eye on Design. She has written essays for Briar Levit’s book Baseline Shift: Untold Stories of Women in Graphic Design History and Ali Place’s recent volume, Feminist Designer. Her first book Thinking Through Graphic Design History will be published by Bloomsbury in 2025.

The 2023 Design Incubation Communication Design Educators Awards

2023 Design Incubation Educators Awards competition in 4 categories: Creative Work, Published Research, Teaching, Service

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2023 Communication Design Educators Awards!

SCHOLARSHIP: PUBLICATIONS


Winner

Feminist Designer

Alison Place
Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

Additional contributors: Jennifer Armbrust, Dina Benbrahim, Madeline Avram Blount, Elizabeth Byrd, Benedetta Crippa, Alexandra Crosby, Laura Devendorf, Rachael Dietkus, Ashley K. Eberhart, Griselda Flesler, Aimi Hamraie, Gaby Hernández, Alexis Hope, Jeff Kasper, Ellen Kellogg, Aasawari Kulkarni, Eden Laurin, Una Lee, Andrew Mallinson, Claudia Marina, Victor G. Martinez, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Margaret Middleton, Maryam Mustafa, Becky Nasadowski, Maya Ober, Nina Paim, Elizabeth Pérez, Heather Snyder Quinn, Cami Rincón, Jenn Roberts, Velvet A. Johnson Ross, In-ah Shin, Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard, Ayako Takase, Attia Taylor, Rebecca Tegtmeyer, Aggie Toppins, Ilaria Vanni, Joana Varon, Manon Vergerio, Mandy Harris Williams, Sarah Williams.


Winner

Centered: People and Ideas Diversifying Design

Kaleena Sales
Associate Professor
Tennessee State University


Runner up

Co-Creating Compassion: Engaging the Alzheimer’s Community in Social Robotics for Caregiving

Kimberly Mitchell
Assistant Professor
University of Tennessee-Knoxville

SCHOLARSHIP: CREATIVE PRODUCTION
Winner

You Look Like the Right Type

Mark Addison Smith
Associate Professor
DePaul University

TEACHING
Winner

Making History: Teaching Design History Methods in Studio

Aggie Toppins
Associate Professor
Washington University in St. Louis

Runner up

Visualizing Self-Tracked Data to Navigate Well-being

Yvette Shen
Associate Professor
Ohio State University

SERVICE
Winner

Maternal Health Hackathon:
Community-Led Design for Reproductive Justice in Arkansas

Bree McMahon
Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

Alison Place
Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

2023 JURY

Steven McCarthy (Chair)
Professor Emeritus
University of Minnesota

Helen Armstrong
Professor
North Carolina State University

Anne H. Berry
Associate Professor
Cleveland State University

Warren Lehrer
Founding Faculty
School of Visual Arts, MFA Design

Ana Raposo
Lecturer
ESAD – Escola Superior de Arte e Design
Porto, Portugal

Neeta Verma
Associate Professor
University of Notre Dame

Colloquium 10.2: CAA Conference 2024 Call for Submissions

112th CAA Annual Conference, Virtual Format.
Deadline for abstract submissions: August 31, 2023

We invite abstract submissions on presentation topics relevant to Communication Design research. Submissions should fall into one or more of the following areas: scholarly research, case studies, creative practice, or design pedagogy. We welcome proposals on a variety of topics across the field of communication design.

Submit an abstract of 300 words using the Design Incubation abstract submission form found here (indicating preference for virtual or in-person session):
https://designincubation.com/call-for-submissions/

Submissions are double-blind peer-reviewed. Reviewers’ feedback will be returned. Accepted presentation abstracts will be published on the Design Incubation website.

For the virtual session, accepted researchers will be required to produce a 6-minute videotaped presentation that will be published on the Design Incubation channel. The CAA conference session will consist of a moderated discussion of those presentations.

In-person sessions would involve 6-minute presentations from each accepted submission researcher, followed by a moderated group discussion.

112th CAA Annual Conference
Virtual and Chicago, IL
February 14-17, 2024

Recorded Presentations and
Live Moderated Discussion Online

Final format of conference event will be determined at a later date. Presenters will follow the basic membership and fee requirements of CAA.

We are accepting abstracts for presentations now until August 31, 2023.

The 2022 Design Incubation Communication Educators Design Awards

2022 Design Incubation Educators Awards competition in 4 categories: Creative Work, Published Research, Teaching, Service

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2022 Communication Design Educators Awards!

SCHOLARSHIP: PUBLICATIONS

The Black Experience in Design: Identity, Expression, and Reflection 

Anne H. Berry
Associate Professor
Cleveland State University

Jennifer Rittner
Visiting Assistant Professor 
Parsons School of Design

Kelly Walters
Assistant Professor of Communication Design 
Parsons School of Design

Lesley-Ann Noel, PhD
Assistant Professor
NC State University

Penina Laker 
Assistant Professor
Washington University in St. Louis

Kareem Collie
User Experience Design Lead
IBM

Design after Capitalism: Transforming Design Today for an Equitable Tomorrow 
Matthew Wizinsky
Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director (MDes) & Associate Professor
University of Cincinnati

SCHOLARSHIP: CREATIVE PRODUCTION

Tangible Graphic Design 
Taekyeom Lee 
Assistant Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison

TEACHING

no award

SERVICE

In the Round Series // Moving A Land Acknowledgment Statement Toward Action and Practice

Jenn Stucker 
Associate Professor
Bowling Green State University

Heidi Nees
Assistant Professor
Bowling Green State University

2022 JURY

Steven McCarthy (Chair), University of Minnesota, 

John Bowers, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

Maria Rogal, University of Florida, Florida

Kaleena Sales, Tennessee State University

R. Brian Stone, The National University of Singapore

Teal Triggs, Royal College of Art, London

BIOGRAPHIES

JOHN BOWERS

John Bowers is chair of the Visual Communication Design department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Through making, writing, and teaching, he explores issues of individual and collective identity. His making practice repurposes newspapers from public to private record, and billboard paper into forms that address their underlying targeting strategies and have been sold through Printed Matter. He worked as a Senior Identity Designer at Landor (San Francisco) during the dot-com bubble. His professional work has been published in 365: AIGA, Communication Arts, ID, and Graphis. His writing includes “A Lesson from Spirograph,” (Design Observer), Introduction to Two-Dimensional Design: Understanding Form and Function, Second Edition (Wiley), and Visual Communication Design Teaching Strategies, which isposted on the AIGA Educators Community website. He has been a curriculum consultant and visiting designer in the US, Canada, and Sweden.

STEVEN MCCARTHY (CHAIR)

Steven McCarthy is Professor Emeritus of Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He established the Design Incubation Communication Design Educators Awards and chaired the jury from 2016-2018. McCarthy’s teaching, scholarship, and contributions to the discipline include lectures, exhibitions, publications, and grant-funded research on a global scale. His creative work was featured in 125+ exhibitions and he is the author of The Designer As… Author, Producer, Activist, Entrepreneur, Curator and Collaborator: New Models for Communicating (BIS, Amsterdam). From 2014–2017, McCarthy served on the board of directors of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

MARIA ROGAL

Maria Rogal is a Professor of Graphic Design and founding director of MFA in Design & Visual Communications at the University of Florida. She is the founder of D4D Lab, an award-winning initiative codesigning with indigenous entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to support autonomy and self-determination. After over a decade working with partners in México, she cofounded Codesigning Equitable Futures to foster respectful collaborations among the university and local community in Gainesville, Florida. She continues to speak and write about social and codesign, recently presenting at Pivot 2020, and co-authored “CoDesigning for Development,” which appears in The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design. Her research has been funded by AIGA, Sappi, and Fulbright programs, among others, and her creative design work has been featured in national and international juried exhibitions.

KALEENA SALES

Kaleena Sales is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Chair of the Department of Art & Design at Tennessee State University, an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) in Nashville, TN. She is co-host of Design Observer’s The Design of Business | The Business of Design Minisodes podcast with Omari Souza. Her design writing and research centers on Black culture and aesthetics, recently co-authoring the book Extra-Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-Racist, Non-Binary Field Guild for Graphic Designers, alongside Ellen Lupton, Farah Kafei, Jennifer Tobias, Josh A. Halstead, Leslie Xia, and Valentina Vergara. Kaleena has a Master’s Degree from VCU Brandcenter, an MFA from Savannah College of Art & Design, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Design at NC State University. 

R. BRIAN STONE

 R. Brian Stone is an Associate Professor at The National University of Singapore. His award-winning work and teachings are centered in the areas of motion design, interaction design, information visualization, and user experience.

Professor Stone is the co-founder of the bi-annual MODE Summit, an international conference bringing together motion design educators to present research and discuss the discipline. In addition, he is the co-editor of a collection of essays entitled, The Theory and Practice of Motion Design: Critical Perspectives and Professional Practice published by Routledge.

Prior, to his tenure at NUS, Brian taught at the University of the Arts and The Ohio State University. Apple recognized Professor Stone’s teaching with the Apple Distinguished Educator award. He is also a recipient of the Ratner Distinguished Teaching Award, The Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Order of Omega Faculty Recognition Award, and the National University of Singapore’s Annual Teaching Excellence Award.

Brian holds a MA and MFA in Design from The Ohio State University and a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of the Arts.

TEAL TRIGGS

Teal Triggs is Professor of Graphic Design and leads on the MPhil/PhD programme in the School of Communication, Royal College of Art, London. As a graphic design historian, critic and educator she has lectured and broadcast widely and her writings have appeared in numerous edited books and international design publications. Triggs’s research focuses on design pedagogy, criticism, self-publishing, and feminism. She is Associate Editor of Design Issues (MIT Press) and was founding Editor-in-Chief of Communication Design (Taylor & Francis/ico-D). Her recent books include: co-editor with Professor Leslie Atzmon of The Graphic Design Reader (Bloomsbury), author of Fanzines (Thames & Hudson)and the children’s book The School of Art (Wide Eyed Editions) which was shortlisted for the ALCS 2016 Educational Writer’s Award. She is Fellow of the Design Research Society, International Society of Typographic Designers and the Royal Society of Arts.

Radical Characters: Studying Graphic Design and Typography through Chinese Characters (Hanzi)

The relationship between design and culture in the Chinese and Chinese American community

Mary Y Yang
Assistant Professor
Boston University

Radical Characters is a study group and curatorial project that explores the relationship between design and culture in the Chinese and Chinese American community. Each project seeks to decentralize the design canon and to co-build history and community by initiating dialogues through educational experiences. Looking beyond Western design pedagogy, Radical Characters studies Hanzi as a point of inquiry to learn, innovate, and study graphic design from a non-linear approach. Radical Characters looks to projects such as Decolonising Design and the People’s Graphic Design Archive that model methods for challenging practice, pedagogy, and contributions to the design field. The first project was “Radical Return,” an exhibition that draws inspiration from the Chinese character 回 hui, which means to return, to turn around, to circle or to reply. An international call for submissions prompted participants to use 回 as a grid—visually and conceptually—to consider a path they seek to retrace as Chinese or Chinese American designers. Thirty-six Chinese and Chinese American artists and graphic designers were selected to exhibit their graphic work simultaneously at Boston University Art Galleries and IS A GALLERY. The designers’ work accompanied with statements and additional commissioned essays were published in a bilingual catalog. The exhibition opened up a collective space for designers to explore the concept of return through language, typography, cultural traditions, identity, and design history. Radical Characters acknowledges that the works by no means form a complete picture of the multifaceted and complex narratives experienced by Chinese and Chinese American designers, but rather shape an in-progress collection site for building knowledge through the exchange of graphic design and culture. The exhibition presents a framework for a design curatorial process that instigates cultural dialogue among the participants and offers alternative ways for exhibition-making and the exhibition design process.

This design research was presented at Design Incubation Colloquium 9.2: Annual CAA Conference 2023 (Virtual) on Saturday, February 18, 2023.

Slowing Production, Increasing Socio-Political Context: Beyond “Spreading Awareness” in the Design Classroom

A feminist base motivates us to engage questions around power relations, knowledge production, and systems of violence

Becky Nasadowski
Assistant Professor
University of Tennessee at Chattanoo
ga

In recent years, many universities have embraced “diversity” with oblique statements of support. Related, design educators have rightfully sought strategies for inclusive pedagogy, increasing representation and working toward ensuring the classroom is comfortable. But inclusive is not synonymous with anti-racist, which requires antagonism and a reckoning with the pervasive inequities baked into our different fields and methods, the university, and our social relationships and histories.

In this presentation, I will provide an overview of my studio-seminar course Politics and Ethics of Design, where a feminist base motivates us to engage questions around power relations, knowledge production, and systems of violence. A substantial reading list frames sustained conversations on the politics of race, class, and gender as it relates to the field of design, creating a critical foundation for design practice. Select topics include data feminism and counter cartography, the designer’s role in constructing notions of citizenship, the limits of empathy in design thinking, and the neoliberal entanglement of work and passion. 

By providing an anchor through reading and conversation, I ask design students to consider in their studio practice urgent questions: How do we respond to historical omissions? How do we interface with social movements? How do we act with an awareness of history that complicates liberal concepts of empathy as paramount? If we want students to engage power and sincerely explore what an anti-racist practice and education look like, then we need to fully engage in how design has traditionally played—and continues to play—a role in bolstering social inequity.

This design research was presented at Design Incubation Colloquium 9.2: Annual CAA Conference 2023 (Virtual) on Saturday, February 18, 2023.

Design Incubation Colloquium 9.1: Kent State University

Saturday, October 15, 2022
Time: 1:00pm–2:00pm
Online ZOOM event

Hosted by Jessica Barness, Associate Professor and Sanda Katila, Associate Professor, School of Visual Communication Design, Kent State University.

Presentations will be published on the Design Incubation YouTube Channel after October 7, 2022. Virtual Conference will be held online on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at 1pm EST.

MODERATORS

Jessica Barness
Associate Professor 
Kent State University

Sanda Katila
Associate Professor
Kent State University

PRESENTATIONS

Subject, Material, Tool: A Strategy for Harnessing the Visual Communication Possibilities of Physical Materials
Anne Jordan
Assistant Professor
Rochester Institute of Technology

Gadzooks: An Embellished Connection Between Like-Minded Characters
Susan LaPorte
Professor
College for Creative Studies

Come Back Home: a Case Study of a Collaborative Arts-based Research Project
Liese Zahabi
Assistant Professor
University of New Hampshire

An Argument for Including the Banal in Design Histories
Gabi Schaffzin
Assistant Professor
York University

Prototyping Interactive and Exploratory Visualizations for Interdisciplinary Dialogues
Eugene Park
Associate Professor
University of Minnesota

Designing with Power: Drawing Parallels Between Design Pedagogy and Writing Workshops
Joshua Korenblat
Associate Professor
State University of New York at New Paltz

Voices Heard: Designing an Oral History Archive
Kimmie Parker
Assistant Professor
Oakland University

Say No to Stigma: Making Mental Health Visible in Rural Ugandan Primary Schools
Penina Laker
Assistant Professor
Washington University in St Louis

Colloquium 9.2: CAA Conference 2022 Call for Submissions

111th CAA Annual Conference, Virtual or In-Person.
Deadline for abstract submissions: August 31, 2022

We invite abstract submissions on presentation topics relevant to Communication Design research. Submissions should fall into one or more of the following areas: scholarly research, case studies, creative practice, or design pedagogy. We welcome proposals on a variety of topics across the field of communication design.

Submit an abstract of 300 words using the Design Incubation abstract submission form found here (indicating preference for virtual or in-person session):
https://designincubation.com/call-for-submissions/

Submissions are double-blind peer-reviewed. Reviewers’ feedback will be returned. Accepted presentation abstracts will be published on the Design Incubation website.

For the virtual session, accepted researchers will be required to produce a 6-minute videotaped presentation that will be published on the Design Incubation channel. The CAA conference session will consist of a moderated discussion of those presentations.

In-person sessions would involve 6-minute presentations from each accepted submission researcher, followed by a moderated group discussion.

111th CAA Annual Conference
New York, NY, February 15-18, (EST)
Live Sessions Online

Final format of conference event will be determined at a later date. Presenters will follow the basic membership and fee requirements of CAA.

We are accepting abstracts for presentations now until August 31, 2022.