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EAD2019 Conference Tracks

There are 8 Tracks for you to consider, take a look at the information below.

Hard hats and bare feet

A healthy attitude towards risk

Social circles

Where is the control?

Designing to learn

Co-designing with nature towards resilience and diversity

Happy accidents

Faster, better, stronger



Understanding opportunity creation between design and entrepreneurship

Theme: New Business


  • Dr Louise Valentine, University of Dundee, UK.
  • Professor Brigitte Borja de Mozota, designence, France


  • Professor Mikko Koria, Loughborough University, UK
  • Professor Poul Christensen,, Southern Denmark University
  • Dr Ida Telalbasic, Loughborough University, UK.
  • Lauren Baker, PhD Researcher, University of Dundee, UK.


Entrepreneurship is an emerging concern in the design profession, as well as in research and education more broadly. We have yet to fully understand, for example, how many designers are now employed in start-up teams, what exactly they do, and what impact this has on the company.

Risk in entrepreneurship remains rather a delicate issue, but it is an incredibly rich research area from a management perspective. Opportunity creation seems to be key to the relationship between design and entrepreneurship, and looking at this area through the lens of opportunity creation is a positive and promising approach.

This track calls for papers that offer specific examples of how design relates to entrepreneurship, how entrepreneurship affects design, as well as research that engages with the role of design in business and opportunity creation. The aim of this track is to generate a varied and unexpected collection of case studies, new knowledge, research papers, teaching models, business models and to better articulate the landscape of design entrepreneurship.


  • How is value created using design-led entrepreneurship as opposed to other types of entrepreneurship?
  • What are the difference and similarities between design and entrepreneurship, and how can these relationships be further developed?
  • How is design thinking contributing to forms of design entrepreneurship in different countries and continents?
  • How could interdisciplinarity between design and entrepreneurship give light to new theories, knowledge, insights and frameworks?
  • Can (or are there examples already of) incubation programmes and accelerator programmes be design-led and how?
  • What role can, or should, entrepreneurship play in design education and design curricula?


Disobedient design research for health and wellbeing

Theme: Health and Wellbeing


  • Dr Claire Craig, Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
  • Dr Chris Lim, University of Dundee, UK.
  • Dr Graham Pullin, University of Dundee, UK


  • Prof Stephen Reay, Auckland University of Technology
  • Sue Fairburn, The Wilson School of Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada
  • Prof Deana McDonagh, University of Illinois, USA
  • Hans Kaspar Hugentobler, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland
  • Sara Nevay, PhD Researcher, University of Dundee, UK.


We need a radical rethink of how healthcare is conceptualised and delivered. With growing pressures on existing healthcare systems, service providers and policy makers increasingly recognise this.

‘Running with Scissors’ might imply recklessness, taking unnecessary risks incompatible with the ethos of healthcare. However, it can also suggest putting aside conventional wisdom, inevitably taking risks.

Design’s ability to focus not only on problem solving, but also on problem formulation, means that it could be central to new and emerging health models. By its nature, this involves working outside the norm, questioning current practice, investigating novel approaches and taking a road less travelled. And valuable lessons can be learned from everything that has been attempted in this spirit – even though it might not always have ended well.

We welcome design-driven research responses that explore alternative ways of delivering healthcare; that consider new methods or methodologies that will positively impact design for future good health and wellbeing; research that illuminates, critiques, speculates…


  • What is the role and impact of design in health and wellbeing, and vice versa?
  • What models of teamwork should be developed in support of the creative process for health and why?
  • Where are the boundaries of design thinking in specialist medical areas, for example heart surgery and neuroscience?
  • How can the exploration and improvisation inherent in design research be related to healthcare ethical protocols,
    whilst also broadening notions of ethical research to include co-ownership and co-direction with participants?
  • How does/could design research contribute to the intent of a greater emphasis on mental health and wellbeing in the sector?
  • How are success and failure determined and honestly discussed in the fields of ‘Design’ and ‘Health’?


How design, social innovation and the circular economy can create and foster disruptive change

Sustainable Communities


  • Professor Rebecca Earley, University of the Arts London
  • Prof. Dr Lucy Norris, Weissensee Art Academy, Berlin


  • Simon Widmer, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, UK
  • Emma Fromberg, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, UK
  • Dr Jen Ballie, V&A Dundee, Design for Business Research Manager
  • Dr Clara Vuletich, Industry Consultant, Sydney, Australia
  • Bridget Harvey, PhD Researcher, University of the Arts London


Design, social innovation and the circular economy can act as complementary—and often opposing—forces, working together for the future of society, culture, business and the economy.

The rise and rise of the circular economy debate has resulted in new support structures for organisations that essentially enable business as usual rather than challenge the economic and social status quo. ‘Closing the loop’ offers us the opportunity to reimagine and redesign multiple aspects of our lives, our communities and our industries.

In saving valuable resources, we can use design to envision more equitable ways for us to be fed, clothed, housed, educated, entertained and transported. As designers, we can explore a extremely varied range of approaches to engaging with these issues—from evolving mindful and spiritual inner questions and processes, through ethics, agency and consent (von Busch & Palmas 2016), to the IoT and new technologies that engage and support in previously unimaginable ways.


  • Networks and coalitions do not emerge by chance; they are themselves the result of design” (Manzini 2015). How do we design a social circle? How do we connect between circles?
  • What new skills do designers need to engage with and form new social circles?
  • Who do they need to collaborate with and how do they do this?
  • What experts do they need to bring on board to ensure their efforts are successful in the long-term?
  • How can designers find new roles to support social movements, up-swelling and disruptive campaigns that may also lead to economic self sufficiency, and also contribute to more efficient use of (local) resources?
  • How can designers give up power and pack their egos away, to enable the creation of new, disruptive social innovation & business models?
  • How can designers foster local and regional regeneration through circular design – creating new materials, models or mindsets within social innovation contexts?
  • How can we as designers create new contexts for all design stakeholders to support excluded communities and individuals?


Machines, democracies and post-human design

Theme: Artificial Realities


  • Prof. Stefano Maffei, Politecnico di Milano
  • Prof. Leon Cruickshank, Lancaster University


  • Nina Trivendi Royal College of Art, UK
  • Malé Luján Escalante, Lancaster University, UK
  • Massimo Bianchini, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • Paolo Volontè, Politecnico di Milano, Italy


Design is at the start of a period of radical change. The traditional role of the designer as the gatekeeper of our relationship with the “means of production” is changing profoundly. The ability to design and make things is being democratised, changing the ways in which products and services can be made and implemented.

Now people can make and control their own designs. Very soon, this will be complemented by non-human entities, digital algorithms or machines which will have autonomous agency and will be skilled and creative in their own ways.

Their rights and participation will have to be considered when we design, requiring a fundamental shift in the way we think about design itself.


  • What could be the role of technology in shaping the future of design discipline?
  • Why the change of traditional manufacturing process undermines the classical role of design as the generator of new products-services?
  • What will be the impact of AI/machine learning in the traditional set of designer’s skills and capabilities?
  • Data and data science will be part of the transformation of design heuristics?
  • How distributed technology (artefacts, infrastructures, systems) will change society and societal change?
  • How the controversial singularity question will be connected to the evolution of the discipline?


The heroics of running together

Theme: Learning Together


  • Professor Marlene Ivey, NSCAD University, Halifax Canada
  • Christine Kingsley, University of Dundee, UK


  • David Townson, Design Associate, Design Council UK.
  • Professor Ozlem Er, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
  • Dr. Carey Normand, independent educational consultant, UK


The days of the heroic master designer are over. How do we create educational approaches where we navigate the design landscape together, learning through experience? To meet the needs and expectations of challenging world issues, the learning sector, especially in design, requires competency and sensitivity around collaborative discovery.

We invite papers that critique design knowledge and explore how we enable people to learn design in response to global needs. This could be at any stage of life and career, from toddler to octogenarian.

This track welcomes responses from design thinkers, philosophers, para-academics (Weller 2016) and those promoting diversity in the landscape of learning to design. We seek insights, provocations and experience from practitioners, coaches, teachers, researchers, advisors, consultants, technologist and technicians. Whether you are a heroic marathon runner, sprinter or walker, where do you find your agility, stamina and pace?


  • How has learning changed for design?
  • How do collaboration, co-production and the systems of design management and education support new needs in design learning and design strategy?
  • What are the emerging models for PhD training that acknowledge the needs and opportunities of industry and practitioners?
  • As the means of production are becoming more accessible how can we help the people to design well and what are the implications for the design profession (good and bad) of this opening up of the means of production.
  • What are the benefits of teaching design as a universal subject for thinking to everyone, what impact should this have on design curricula at all levels and what are the implications for specialist design provision?
  • How can designers foster local and regional regeneration through circular design – creating new materials, models or mindsets within social innovation contexts?
  • How can we as designers create new contexts for all design stakeholders to support excluded communities and individuals?


Theme: Ethical Resilience


  • Elizabeth Resnick, Professor Emerita, Massachussets College of Art & Design, USA.
  • Jackie Malcolm, University of Dundee, UK


  • Professor Gideon Kossoff, Carnegie Mellon School of Design, USA
  • Dr David Sanchez, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico
  • Eric Benson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Dr Keith Skene, Director, Biosphere Research Institute, UK
  • Fraser Bruce, University of Dundee, UK
  • Jade Cawthray, PhD Researcher, University of Dundee, UK


This track invites conversations, knowledge, insights and reporting of research that discusses nature-inspired design. The track has a particular focus on the promotion of regenerative cultures and how this relates to emerging ethical considerations.

For example, a level of disruption is required to ensure the biosphere becomes resilient, achieving a balanced ecosystem. But this disruption can have a disastrous, very real effect on the most vulnerable members of society. For example, initiatives for the greater good (such as organic and locally produced food), can have untenable cost implications for society’s poorest members.

How might nature-inspired design shape our own values as designers and citizens, and so shape this landscape of disruption, and its consequences?

In turn, how might this impact us as designers, and as citizens of the world? What theories for change—and tools—might be required to envision a regenerative design culture?


  • Can nature inspired design offer new insights in the creation of new resilient futures?
  • Where do we situate our own values when faced with the real-world implications of the application of these values through design?
  • What are the theories of change that can help achieve societal balance and how can Transition Design contribute to this?
  • What are the human interventions needed to achieve balance and resilience?
  • How can we as designers create new contexts for all design stakeholders to support excluded communities and individuals?


Serendipity in design research

Theme: Open Track


  • Prof. Paul Atkinson, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
  • Dr. Stephann Makri, City, University of London
  • Co-Chair(s)
  • Prof. Tevfik Balcioǧlu, Yaşar University, Turkey
  • Raul Pinto, University of Aveiro, Portugal


Breakthrough research discoveries have often been attributed to serendipity – from Fleming accidentally discovering penicillin in a petri dish to de Mistral designing Velcro after noticing that cockleburs stuck to his jacket.

Through chance meetings, experimentation, improvisation, ‘mistakes,’ or unexpected results, happy accidents can combine with sagacious insights to lead to novel research outcomes, method innovation, changes in research direction, or new areas of research.

The increasing professionalisation of design research has had many benefits, not least that its increased status enabled increased levels of funding. However, there has been a drive to tightly define projects and outputs at the start in order to meet funder’s criteria. This has the potential to lead to a risk-averse approach that may hinder opportunities for chance discoveries and encounters.

We invite contributions describing the role of serendipity in the research process, case studies of unintended (but useful) research outcomes, or experiences of chance meetings/occurrences that led research in exciting new directions.


  • Is it possible to design a space for serendipity in an increasingly controlled research environment? If so, how?
  • How can the opportunities for chance meetings and creative connections between researchers and/or designers be maximized?
  • In what ways can researchers and/or designers ensure they are most receptive to serendipity?
  • What benefits might derive from leaving some aspects of the research or design process to chance?


Design in the digital economy

Theme: Digital Economies


  • John Knight, Aalto University, Finland


  • Daniel Fitton, University of Central Englan, 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?
You don’t really understand human nature unless you know
why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his
parents every time around – and why
his parents will always wave back.”
William D. Tammeus