IASDR 2021 is the ninth Congress of the International Association of Societies of Design Research. The overarching theme of IASDR 2021 is ‘[ _ ] With Design: Reinventing Design Modes’. Design finds itself at a critical moment where the conventional ‘modes’ of doing, thinking and application are increasingly challenged by the troubled ideology of globalisation, climate changes, migration patterns and rapid restructuring of locally driven manufacturing sectors. In addition, the wider call for design to become more open and more cross- and trans-disciplinary has further blurred boundaries between disciplinary and knowledge domains, challenging both design discourses and designers to steer praxis and thinking across unchartered territory for the sake of innovation and advancing research.  In combination with the environmental, cultural, technological, and, crucially, pandemic transitions, the call heeds for design at large to fundamentally alter its modes of practice. Beyond the conventional models of conducting research, or developing solutions to ‘wicked’ problems, the recoupling of design with different modes should be seen as an expression to embrace other capacities of thinking, criticisms and productions. The coupling of DESIGN with SOCIAL, MAKING, BUSINESS, CRITICAL, HISTORICAL/PROJECTIVE, IMPACT, PANDEMIC and ALTERNATIVE MODES necessitates the rescripting of all aptitudes and practices. ‘[ _ ] With Design: Reinventing Design Modes’ encourages design researchers to discuss, elaborate and investigate emerging modes of design research that transcend disciplines in order to serve a multitude of goals and scales. This overarching theme wishes to solicit the definition of new frameworks, models, methods, products and unexpected outcomes in this questioning of design futures.

IASDR 2021 and Hong Kong

This is the second time the conference is hosted in Hong Kong, after a 14 years’ interval. Hong Kong represents the amalgamation of socio-economic diversity informed by an east meets west legacy as a design locale. The Special Administration Region of Hong Kong is described as one of the truly and uniquely modern ‘Market Cities’. The hosting School of Design of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a driving force brings out Chinese design research potential to international arena, allowing for the cross-fertilisation of research agendas and expertise to impact design and its research futures.

IASDR Conference Format

In the ever-changing global pandemic context of 2021, the conference is prepared to be hosted in online format. More information will be made available in due course.
IASDR 2021 participation formats include full and short papers, pictorials, designed objects, workshops and panel discussions, as well as graduate consortium.

IASDR Conference Proceedings

For the first time, the IASDR proceedings will be published by Springer in their book format. The proceedings will include presented papers, pictorials, designed object papers, and doctoral short papers from the Graduate Consortium. Springer proceedings enjoy high degree of exposure and will be submitted to all major citation databases such as Scopus and SSCI for their evaluation and approval for inclusion.

Key Dates

5–9 December 2021

Main Conference

5 December

Pre-conference ex-curricular activities in connection to the events of Business of Design Week 2021 (BoDW2021).

6–8 December

Main Conference Programme

9 December

Graduate Consortium