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Design in the digital economy

Theme: Digital Economies


  • John Knight, Aalto University, Finland


  • Daniel Fitton, University of Central EnglanD, UK
  • Riccie Audrey Janus, Ravensbourne College, UK
  • Jacob Lawson, Camelot UK, UK


We live in a world of rapid, disruptive change, where new technologies and practices are radically changing our lives as citizens and designers. What was once science fiction, is now closely present in our increasingly technologized everyday lives. The context for design is similarly transformed in the realm of digital products and services we use, consume, shape and research. Agile, Open and Lean are just some of challenges and opportunities for the new context for design that our practices must take account of in the here, now and the future. Similarly, new digital tools, materials and outcomes are radically changing our craft and design potential impact and value in society.

Revolutionary times call for revolutionary responses. As designers, we must be cognisant of these profound shifts, continuously curious in finding new ways of working and teaching and emphatic in our designerly response to the new digital economics. This track invites industry practitioners and academics to contribute cases, artefacts, prototypes, theories, and initiatives to start to map a faster, better and stronger design future.


  • What is good design in the digital products and service lifecycle?
  • How do we work in increasingly open, democratized and technology supported design context that includes makers to developers?
  • How do designers thrive in agile, distributed and multidisciplinary workflows and practices?
  • How does the adoption of ‘Design Thinking’ in business affect professional design?
  • How should we prepare students for work in the digital economy?
  • How might we bridge the divide between academic research and real-world practice?

“Even in mature economies, digital’s benefits to society are substantial.”

Pierre Nanterme