Facilitating Justice through Design Research

Mariam Asad
Graduate student
Georgia Institute of Technology

Whereas much academic scholarship engages with the concepts and principles of justice; design research is a unique opportunity to challenge oppression by leveraging design-based resources and practices. This presentation will discuss some concrete and pragmatic examples of design research work that tries to materially contributes to community-based efforts around injustice. I draw from my fieldwork with advocacy and activist communities in Atlanta to explore how to better align design and anti-oppression work. The first vignette takes place during design workshops with housing justice activists: here, we facilitated prototyping exercises to prompt activists to envision technological interventions to support their political work. The second vignette is based in a project to co-develop with local communities a playbook for civic engagement. This series of design workshops marshaled existing wisdom and resources in neighborhoods to increase their capacity for agency and influencing change to address their local needs and concerns. I draw connections across our design research work through these two fieldsites to encourage design work that has higher stakes in local civic change and positions designers and researchers as facilitators to support our community collaborators doing justice and anti-oppression work on the ground.

90 Years of The Society of Typographic Arts

Sharon Oiga
Associate Professor
University of Illinois at Chicago

Guy Villa Jr
Assistant Professor
Columbia College Chicago

In an event that took place in the 1920s, designers affiliated with the Chicago Chapter of AIGA held an unsanctioned, notoriously wild party on Lake Michigan. When the AIGA Board of Directors in New York learned of the incident, they disavowed the Chicago Chapter on the grounds of lack of control over members. The orphaned designers then gathered to form The Society of Typographic Arts (STA). The salacious start of this professional design organization foreshadowed events to come in their 90-year history, including a temporary switch to the name of American Center for Design as well as an infamous dumpster-diving incident to save archival work. These factual incidents, uncovered in the research of the book created for the 90th anniversary of the STA, will be detailed in the presentation. Viewers will expand their knowledge of design history, hear about STA’s periodically controversial timeline of events, see significant works of design, and learn how designers of this era and region characterized design in the American Midwest.

Creativity in Letting Go of Certainties

Dannell MacIlwraith
Assistant Professor
Kutztown University

Admit it; designers are control freaks.

I know that in both my work and my life, I have been a very intentional, controlling person who feels safe within a set of clearly defined parameters. But in order to grow, I have been experimenting with letting myself abandon control and accept uncontrollable components within my designs. The unexpected makes life and design interesting and stimulating. The detachment of control has added new systems to my work, practice, and curriculum. The elements of unpredictability, chance and accident have a long (but under appreciated) tradition in design, threading through the Dada movement and the visual culture of John Cage, Stefan Bucher and Daniel Eatock.

Relinquishing some control has added new techniques to my work, practice, and lifestyle. I employ my newfound methodologies in material explorations, layout techniques, and “blind” elements that create chance outcomes.

Chance methodologies that produce unexpected results can be integrated within both analog and digital techniques. These methodologies have included student projects utilizing india ink with air duster to create abstract shapes. These organic/non-controlled shapes are the first steps to animated illustration. (dannelldesigns.com/ink-2018) Within my own work, I have used the weather as means of ‘choosing’ color for a website. The temperature dictates the color scheme for the site; the warmer the temperature the warmer the colors; the cooler the temperature the cooler the colors. (dannelldesigns.com)

My research is designed for me to accept the imperfections and chaos of life. There will be unexpected elements to work with and through. Is this a relatable subject to society? Designers are problem-solvers and form the elements of their work. The process of being a “chooser” and deciding on fonts, colors, and layout is authoritative. How can we teach our students to not only be ‘choosers’ but to be open to unexpected and uncontrollable outcomes? By letting go of control, we can gain new experiences and happy accidents.

Design as Performance

A. Marcel
Graduate student
Vermont College of Fine Arts

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

Hannah Arendt

The Origins of Totalitarianism

We currently face a phenomenological question: In a hyperreal, post-truth world, how do we orient toward the real and toward freedom?

This abstract argues that the antidote to disorientation occurs through the embodied praxis of performativity. My research contributes to continued dialogue in media and political theory, as well as performance studies. Performativity is a growing and major new paradigm for the arts in the 21st century. Much like the way conceptual art brought the visual arts out of an object-oriented realm and into a method event based realm in the 1960s, performance has a similar capacity for socio-economic critique via multi-modal, experimental forms of semiotic expression.

This thesis argues that performance orients us toward the real through a creation of the Foucauldian concept of heterotopic space. Performance becomes an index for the real as an index of a 4D world, a spatial dimension we can’t see in a 3D world, but can experience through time-based media or events. Performance thus becomes a method of queering of space and time—and ultimately our relationship to mimesis. This index runs counter to the concept of the single narrative that is the heart of the hyperreal and the simulacra of fascism. The locus for liberatory practice centers in heterotopic spaces and, in turn, the inclusion of multiple narratives—for all of us, as we are always both spectator and participant, audience and actor.

Using fiction as method, I explore this hypothesis through the writing of a play called Hot Dogs 24/7. My theory imagines a tripartite world set within a hypercube, or a tesseract. Hot Dogs 24/7 is a sci-fi retelling of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. The text is then realized into the visual via video installation. Recursively moving between the micro and the macro, my intention is that my work is doing what I am saying; it is performing. Ultimately, the connection to the physical body, as material and sensory, is the piece driving this all. To conclude, this thesis calls for the formal recognition and exploration of performative design as a subset of graphic design.

Writing an Academic Research Abstract: For Communication Design Scholars

The following document is a practical quickstart guide and a rationale and analysis for developing an academic research abstract in the field of communication design.

Writing abstracts about research, teaching practices, creative work, etc. in Communication/Graphic Design can be challenging because there are no clear accepted or uniform protocols for how these documents must be crafted. Standards for acceptable modes of investigation, methodologies, subjects and preferred writing styles are still developing, especially when compared to the norms of traditional research disciplines. What we describe here are the criteria for judging the quality of abstracts that we ask peer reviewers of Design Incubation Colloquium to use. However, you may also find this information helpful as you draft abstracts to submit to other programs and publications.

The following document is a practical quickstart guide followed by a rationale and analysis for developing an effective academic research abstract in the field of communication design. (PDF version here.)

Quick Start Guide for Writing Abstracts

Aaris Sherin, Dan Wong, Jessica Barness

  1. Start by taking notes based on your responses to the questions outlined below.
    1. It is often easiest to start with your own motivation. Why did you think this research was interesting or has a unique perspective? This is the engaging introduction and the way to hook the reader into your own thoughts and perspectives.
    2. Problem Statement/Hypothesis/thesis. What exactly was the thing being investigated in this particular paper, conference proceeding etc.? Why is your topic particularly important? Who will benefit from this work? What makes this work unique? For example: its historical placement, contemporary challenges being solved, unique methodology for investigation or applying existing metrics or methodologies in new ways.
    3. What was your approach / methodology? For example: what were you researching or investigating? What did you do and how did you do it? Was a theoretical, exploratory framework being used? Or was an established scientific method used? If you are working on an experimental or unusual type of investigation be sure to indicate this to your readers.
    4. What were the outcomes of your investigation, area of inquiry or of your project? What do you want the reader/viewer/participant to know about what you found out? What were the most important things the reader/view/participant should take away from the project? For example: what was the outcome of your client project, your student’s participation in the exercise or course etc.? And, what makes this valuable to other scholars/researchers?
    5. Conclusion. What is your conclusion after undertaking this work and what is the last thing you want your reader/viewer/participant to think about in relation to the project or area of investigation? Your conclusion might be a summation of the outcome (either positive or negative), an indication that further investigation or more in depth work is needed in the area by you or other researchers.
  2. Once you have made notes on the points above organize your thoughts into a linear outline using bullet points.
  3. Craft a more formal narrative using complete sentences and paragraphs. In the first paragraph, capture reader attention and introduce the topic. In the middle paragraph(s), provide context for the project, including relevant theory, literature, methods, etc., including the value of the project. The final paragraph should contain the conclusion.
  4. Make sure to include a title, keywords, your thesis statement, approach/methodologies, outcomes, and a strong conclusion. In some cases it may be appropriate or necessary to refer to other researchers or educators work to show precedence and let your audience know you have a broad and deep understanding of your topic.
  5. Once complete, reverse the process. Re-read your draft and make an outline/notes on the narrative of your abstract based only on what is written.
  6. Then compare this new outline to your original notes and ask the following questions: Is any necessary information or relevant points missing and if so should you add anything into the draft? Critically analyze your writing. Would you follow the thesis of the abstract and understand the significance of the research/pedagogy conducted if you weren’t involved in the project? If not, consider revising for clarity.
  7. Does your draft include enough information about the methodology used and a strong conclusion? If not add these into your draft while still maintaining the approved word count of the organization you are applying to.
  8. Once you are happy, put your draft aside for a day (if possible) and then read your abstract aloud and/or have a computer program (screen reader) read it.
  9. Before you submit your draft double check spelling and grammar. Tools like Grammarly are very useful if these skills don’t come naturally.
  10. Ask at least one academically seasoned colleague—ideally one who has a lot of practice writing and reading and evaluating abstracts—to read yours. Then ask them to paraphrase for you what your thesis/claim was, and what your conclusion/contribution was. If they aren’t sure or answer incorrectly, that’s your clue that you need to revise.
  11. You’re done! Submit your abstract for peer review before the deadline.
  12. Every writer/researcher/designer benefits from feedback. Your abstract may be returned with comments and suggestions. Take this feedback the same way you would feedback on any design project. The reviewer might not be correct in what is wrong with your abstract or even with how to fix particular problems but if a reviewer flags a problem in a particular area it is worth going back and reviewing the writing for clarity of purpose and intent and then revising accordingly.

The Rationale and Analysis of AN Academic Abstract

Dan Wong, Aaris Sherin, Carma Gorman, Jessica Barness

An abstract is a synopsis or summary of

  • An article or book
  • A presentation or speech
  • A workshop or event
What is the Purpose of an Abstract?
  1. An abstract succinctly articulates an original contribution to the current state of knowledge in a specified field by explaining how the work overturns, challenges, inflects, advances, or confirms that field’s current wisdom on that subject.
  2. An abstract enables researchers who are conducting literature searches/reviews to gauge whether or not a published paper/presentation/session/book is relevant to their own research, and whether it makes a sufficiently significant contribution to merit reading in its entirety.
  3. An abstract allows conference organizers, peer reviewers, and editors to efficiently select from a large pool of submissions the research projects that provide the best thematic “fit” for their session/grant/book/journal and those which advance the most compelling claims. Abstracts are also efficient for authors because they do not need to write the full paper until/unless it has been accepted for presentation or publication. Conferences and journals sometimes use the term proposal instead of abstract but they are usually describing a similar piece of writing.
Elements of an Abstract

(Elements described in full in Anatomy of an Abstract, below.)

  1. Title
  2. Keywords
  3. Motivation/Problem and/or Opportuntiy
  4. Thesis
  5. Approach/Methodology
  6. Results/Outcomes/Analysis
  7. Conclusion
An Abstract is:
  • Is a synopsis of ideas specific to an article, presentation, workshop or event etc.
  • Requires a one-sentence thesis or claim that ideally is easy for even non-specialists to identify and understand.
  • Contains a clear, concise statement explaining the original contribution that the work makes to a specific field or discipline.
  • Includes facts which are clearly stated directly.
  • Includes findings, outcomes, and conclusions.
An Abstract is not:
  • Is not a teaser. It is not suggestive, hidden, or allusory, nor is it text written in an overly opaque or verbose narrative.
  • Is not primarily for marketing the work/practice/project/research.
  • Is not difficult to read, follow, or understand. Researchers/scholars often read the abstracts of papers to determine the relevance to their own work, and they may pull the details from the abstract, or reference it, without reading the entire paper. Peer reviewers use the abstract for a base-line evaluation of the work.
  • Is not a document that has references or citations.
Anatomy of an Abstract
Title
  • “Good research paper titles (typically 10–12 words long) use descriptive terms and phrases that accurately highlight the core content of the paper.” (editage.com)
  • Like the abstract itself, the title should not be a teaser. Instead it should state the facts plainly and directly.
  • The goal is to convey information and relevance, therefore overly casual titles are generally not appropriate in an academic setting. But intriguing titles may help draw an audience to your presentation if your abstract is for a conference presentation. Journals may shy away from funny/clever or casual titles and these may be more appropriate for industry/marketing-articles/conferences/events.
  • The title should be compelling, so as to encourage the reader to read further.
  • The title should contain as many intuitive or “natural-language” terms and phrases as possible, to increase the odds that search engines and indexes will facilitate discovery of your paper based upon natural-language searches. (See also keywords, below.)
Keywords
  • Keywords aid researchers in their search for papers and other text on a specific topic. Often, authors are required to select all or most of their keywords from a pre-existing authority list. Keywords can be more formal or technical than general usage words, which is why it’s important to make sure that natural-language terms are used in the title (see above).
  • Research databases index articles and books based on the abstract title, the words within an abstract, and the keywords assigned to it.
  • In most cases, keywords should not be brand names or proper nouns. They should be words selected from an appropriate taxonomic structure or topic list and should include general topics and specific topics.
  • It is appropriate to designate multiple keywords which is often limited in number by the publication/venue. Keywords are often phrases containing multiple words.
  • When listed, keywords should be arranged alphabetically.
Motivation/Context/Problem Statement (one sentence)
  • The abstract is often introduced with the motivation, background context, or problem, that frames the circumstances in which the research and article will be discussed.
  • Examples: “Most historians of design have argued that a postwar shift in the size and nature of corporations is the reason why the field of visual identity design flourished in the USA after World War II, but not before.”
  • “Although the US printing industries had shifted en masse to using the subtractive CMY(K) primaries by the mid-1940s, by which point the color photography, color film, and even the fledgling television industry had already adopted the additive RGB primaries, many of the faculty teaching art-and-design foundations courses continue to teach subtractive color mixing using the centuries-outdated RYB color wheel.”
Thesis (one sentence)
    • A strong thesis is key to a successful abstract, and that which makes it worthy of acceptance for publishing. Peer reviewers and/or an editor will ask, is the thesis statement clear and unique/original? Is it grounded within an established discipline or area of study?
    • A thesis is an original argument made about a specific topic which you claim to have knowledge of or expertise in because of the research you conducted prior to presenting or writing about the topic.
    • No topic is completely new. It is expected that you frame your original contribution as a response to the current state of knowledge in the field. To convincingly claim that your work is an original contribution to the field, you must first explain what the common wisdom currently is, which usually involves acknowledging the most influential and widely accepted claims that previous scholars have made. Establishing that frame of reference allows you to demonstrate how your own work builds upon and also challenges or inflects that previous work/understanding. (See references and citations.)
    • A helpful resources for use in drafting a thesis is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Center for Writing Studies who publishes useful information on how to craft a thesis.
Approach/Methodology (one to two sentences):
  • The approach/methodology is the meat and potatoes “what I did, the why and how” section of the work.
  • Descriptions of this aspect of a project may be repeated across papers/abstracts. (Since stringent protocols don’t exist in our field, the methodology itself could be included in the thesis if the approach is innovative.)
  • The methodology should focus on the problem statement/hypothesis and how the author went about investigating their area of research. It may include information about what makes this approach unique or how existing methodologies are being used to investigate a new subject area.
Results/Outcomes (one sentence):
  • This section is only applicable to abstracts if you are working on a project or research with clear outcomes. You would begin by telling your reader what the results were of the project or investigation.
  • This section may include raw results and/or artifacts that come from the execution of the methodology or approach. For example: you may describe a finished design and how and where it was used.
  • It is also appropriate to present the initial analysis of the results and commentary on the methodology and/or the final outcomes.
  • Note about outcomes: Often, outcomes reveal unexpected results which may be byproducts found during the methodology/execution of the research. Typically research would be restructured and replicated to verify the outcomes. But due to funding or schedules, initial surprising outcomes might be presented. This is completely acceptable as long as the “results/conclusions” are not overstated.
Conclusion (one to two sentences):
  • The conclusion explains the significance of the work or project for the field, calling attention to generalizable knowledge or principles that others might be able to use successfully in similar situations.
  • The conclusion not only reiterates the thesis/claim, but also explains how and why the thesis/claim might be useful to others in the field.
  • It may also suggest ideas for further on what research might follow this work and why the work is worthy of presenting to an audience and/or to readers.
References and Citations:

References and citations recognize work that has already been done in the field, and is similar in topic, concept, and content. Though not included in the abstract, references and citations are expected and/or required in a manuscript of a full conference paper, journal article, book proposal or manuscript.

This exclusion is largely because abstracts should be concise, and referencing and citing other’s work simply takes up too much space. (The Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill)

Notes about originality and duplication in multiple publications/venues.

In the purest form of academic publishing, research is published once, in one place. Then any reference to that idea/paper will be cited in subsequent publications both by the same author and by other researchers. However, it is acceptable to write multiple papers on a single research effort/investigation. It’s basically pulling apart the research, and focusing on all the possible elements/ideas/theses/results that were investigated or discovered. This reuse of results from one research effort is done in many disciplines.

In our field, researchers often get asked to present the same content or paper at multiple venues. For example, someone might see a presentation you made at a conference and then ask you to come and make the same presentation at their institution or to another group whom may benefit from the knowledge you are sharing.

How often it is acceptable to repeat conference presentations focused on the same project or content, and in what context it is appropriate to do so, is still being negotiated. How you choose to navigate this issue may depend on criteria indicated by the Promotions and Tenure committee at your institution.

In the very least, you may be asked to change the title of your presentation when you present the same content at a different venue. At some institutions it may be frowned upon to present the same material at multiple venues.

Academic and trade journals usually have rigorous specifications about when and where materials from your writing can be republished and in what form(s) are acceptable. In these instances we suggest you check with the editor for more information about each publishers criteria and also find out who holds copyright to the work and/or the ideas after the work is published.

Appendix/References/Bibliography

The structure may be adjusted depending on context, discipline and the requirements of particular organizations or publishers.

Some of the standard academic writing style formats are:

Modern Language Association (https://style.mla.org/formatting-papers/)

Chicago Style (https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html)

American Psychological Association (http://www.apastyle.org/)

Academic Sources

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
(https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/abstracts/)

University of Illinios at Urbana Champaign (writing resources: writer resources)
(http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/tips/thesis/)

USC Libraries: Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: 3. The Abstract
(http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/abstract)

Articles

How to write an effective title and abstract and choose appropriate keywords
(https://www.editage.com/insights/how-to-write-an-effective-title-and-abstract-and-choose-appropriate-keywords)

3 Basic tips on writing a good research paper title
(https://www.editage.com/insights/3-basic-tips-on-writing-a-good-research-paper-title)

Springer Title, Abstract and Keywords
(https://www.springer.com/gp/authors-editors/authorandreviewertutorials/writing-a-journal-manuscript/title-abstract-and-keywords/10285522)

How to Write an Abstract
(https://users.ece.cmu.edu/~koopman/essays/abstract.html)

Books

A Manual For Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations
(https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/M/bo27847540.html)

Stylish Academic Writing
(http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674064485)

Guide to Publishing in Psychology Journals
(https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/guide-to-publishing-in-psychology-journals/DD1F7119040A76CE996FC683C23E2F25#)

The Elements of Style Fourth Edition
(https://www.pearson.com/us/higher-education/program/Strunk-Elements-of-Style-The-4th-Edition/PGM258483.html)

The Design Incubation Residency at Haddon Avenue Writing Institute

Rolling acceptances until Sept 30, 2018. Only 12 seats are available for this event.

Design Incubation is proud to be able to partner with the Haddon Avenue Writing Institute to offer a design-writing residency. This 2-3 day residency allows researchers and scholars time to work on existing writing projects or to start a new writing project. The residency is open to design faculty and to those working in related fields. It offers participants concentrated time to work on writing projects and the opportunity to take advantage of one-on-one consultations with event facilitators Maggie Taft and Aaris Sherin. Using the online registration system (see below), applicants should submit a CV and a 200-500-word synopsis of the project they intend to work on. The cost is $100 for 2 days and $150 for 3 days. Participants may choose to attend either 2 or 3 days. A total of 12 seats are available for this event.

Applications will be considered immediately upon submission and they can be submitted through September 30th, 2018. Official letters of acceptance will be provided to allow attendees to request funding from their institutions.

Location:

Haddon Avenue Writing Institute
2009 W. Haddon Ave, Chicago Illinois

Please note: Housing is not included as part of this residency. Participants are encouraged to stay in Ukrainian Village or a nearby neighborhood though if you choose to stay at a hotel you may have to stay in downtown Chicago as options in the immediate area are limited to Airbnb’s.

REsidents:

Meaghan Barry
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
Oakland University

Anne Berry
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
Cleveland State University

Lilian Crum
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
Lawrence Technological University

Sherry Freyermuth
Assistant Professor
Lamar University

Kimberly Hopkins
Assistant Professor
Towson University

Jessica Jacobs
Assistant Professor
Business & Entrepreneurship
Columbia College Chicago

Pouya Jahanshahi
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
Oklahoma State University

Sarah Rutherford
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
Cleveland State University

Ruth Schmidt
Visiting Industry Professor
Institute of Design (IIT)

Dimitry Tetin
Assistant Professor
State University of New York, New Paltz

Jennifer Vokoun
Associate Professor of Graphic Design
Director of the Food Design Institute
Walsh University

Penina Acayo Laker
Assistant Professor, Communication Design
Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts
Washington University in St. Louis

 

Dates:

October 26-28, 2018

The Haddon Avenue Design Writing Residency Schedule:

Friday, October 26th: 10-5

Facilitators: Maggie Taft and Aaris Sherin

10-12:30: Individual writing session

12:30-1:30: Lunch

1:30-5:00: Individual writing session

 

Saturday, October 27th: 9-5, 6-8 (optional reception)

Facilitator: Maggie Taft

9-9:30: Welcome; Goal setting

9:30-12:30: Individual writing session

12:30-1:30: Lunch (bring your own or in the neighborhood)

1:30-2:00: Techniques for overcoming writer’s block, the blinking cursor, and other writing obstacles

2:00-5:00: Individual writing session

5:00-6:00: Break

6:00-8:00: Reception (optional)

 

Sunday, October 28th: 9-4:30

Facilitators: Maggie Taft and Aaris Sherin

9-12: Individual writing session and optional one-on-one strategy sessions by appointment

12-1: Lunch (bring your own or in the neighborhood)

1-3:30: Individual writing session and optional one-on-one strategy sessions by appointment

3:30-4:30: Group wrap up

DePaul Colloquium After Party

Attendees and presenters of the Design Incubation Colloquium 5.1: DePaul University, and the Design Incubation Writing Residents will come together at the Haddon Avenue Writing Institute for a reception and tour of the facilities from 6-8pm. Drinks and refreshments will be provided.

October 27th, 2018
6-8pm
Haddon Avenue Writing Institute
2009 W. Haddon Ave, Chicago Illinois

Contact information:

Questions can be sent to Aaris Sherin, Director of Fellowships at Design Incubation

The Fellowship Program at Design Incubation

Call for Participation: 3-day academic design research and writing workshop. Application deadline, September 1, 2018

Application deadline: Sept 1, 2018
Fellowship dates: January 10-12, 2019
Location: St. John’s University, Manhattan Campus, 51 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003

Target Audience: Design academics in one or more of the following areas: graphic design, information design, branding, marketing, advertising, typography, web, interaction, film and video, animation, illustration, game design. Full-time tenure track or tenured faculty are given preference but any academic may apply. Applicants who are tenure track or tenured faculty are given first priority but other faculty or independent researchers may apply.

Format: All Fellows accepted into the program participate in the Fellowship Workshop as part of the overall experience. The Fellowship workshops offers participants the opportunity to share and develop ideas for research and individual writing projects while receiving constructive feedback from faculty mentors and peers in their field.

Fellows arrive with a draft of their writing and work on this specific project throughout the various sessions of the Fellowship Workshop. Each meeting includes a number of short informational sessions and a session devoted to analyzing and editing written work. The remainder of the 3-day workshop will be focused on activities which allow participants to share their projects with peers and receive structured feedback. Between sessions, Fellows will have time to execute revisions, review others participants work, and engage in discussions. Initiation of and work on collaborative projects is encouraged.

For more further details visit:
The Fellowship Program at Design Incubation

To apply visit the application details and online form:
Fellowship Program format and online application process

For Frequently Asked Questions visit the FAQ page:
Fellowship Program frequently asked questions

Colloquium 5.2: CAA Conference 2019 Call for Submissions

Deadline for abstract submissions: August 6, 2018.

Session Chairs:

Liz DeLuna
Associate Professor
St John’s University
Robin Landa
Distinguished Professor
Michael Graves College
Kean University

Hosted by CAA Affiliated Society, Design Incubation.

We invite designers—practitioners and educators—to submit abstracts of design research.  Presentations are limited to 6 minutes, preferably Pecha Kucha style. A moderated discussion of the research will follow.

Design Incubation Colloquium 5.2: CAA 2019 New York City
February 13–16, 2019
Hilton Hotel, Midtown Manhattan

Date, time, and location to be determined.

We are accepting abstracts for presentations now until August 6, 2018.
For details visit the Colloquium Overview description, and online Colloquium Abstract Submission form.

Questions can be directed to info@designincubation.com.

Colloquium 6.1: Quinnipiac University

Design Incubation Colloquium 6.1 (#DI2019oct) will be held at the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University on Saturday, October 5, 2019.

Design Incubation Colloquium 6.1 (#DI2019oct) will be held at the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University on Saturday, October 5, 2019.

Hosted by Courtney Marchese and the School of Communications. This event is open to all interested in Communication Design research.

Details and attendee registration to follow.

Abstract submission of presentations deadline: Saturday, August 3, 2019.  For details visit the Colloquia Overview and  Online Submission Form. 

Thoughtful Social Impact Through Scaffolded Design Methods and Well-Time Fieldwork

A spring 2018 design studio, case study—how to attain that balance of a good quality course and meaningful social design.

Cynthia Lawson
Associate Professor of Integrated Design
Parsons, The New School

Alik Mikaelian
MFA Transdisciplinary Design Candidate
DEED Lab Research Fellow
Parsons, The New School

Devanshi Sihare
Design Strategist

Megan Willy
MFA Transdisciplinary Design Candidate
Parsons, The New School

The past decade has seen an explosion of interest from the design academy in running projects and courses on design and social impact. The challenge remains, however, to have students get enough exposure on relevant competencies in the 15-week semester.

This presentation discusses a spring 2018 design studio as a case study in how to attain that balance of a good quality course and meaningful social design. Specific methods of both course development and delivery as well as conducting design research are discussed. The ultimate stakeholders of this course’s projects were in a different country and not easily accessible, adding a particular complexity.

The first part of the semester included exercises such as an Ecosystem Map and the Business Model Canvas. Students developed a Theory of Change placing special emphasis on the assumptions they were making about their stakeholders, which were clarified during the fieldwork research which took place in Guatemala over Spring Break.

The second part of the semester included expert interviews and guest visits, to support each project in becoming  as realistic as possible.

We argue that while the design process is often used as the central point of discussion for studios, there are, in fact, other variables such as the weekly structure, the timing of fieldwork, and the explicit scaffolding of learning, which can yield more effective social impact design. The key is getting enough exposure on relevant competencies dealing with social impact design into the 15 week semester.