Keywords: Social design, Service design, Social innovation, Social transformation, Communities of practice.
The SOCIAL-DESIGN MODES theme aims to rethink the way design links with socio-technological transformations, and behavioural change. The emergence of social media and the networked society, for instance, is generating transformations in the dynamic interactions of people, practices and artifacts, impacting human relationships, the man-made environment, cultural and service systems and social sustainability. How do we approach these fields and potential sub-domains that re-define and reposition design approaches, outline new concepts and methodologies, generate ethical frameworks and values, initiate new forms of knowledge, extend collaborative processes and develop communities of practice? What are the emerging design-social complexities and constellations that foster social innovation, new social forms, social design and social sustainability? How and in what combinations can research and praxis address the merger of design —as a tool, a practice and/or a vision— with the ‘social’, in its transformative capacity to respond to pressing social questions?


Keywords: Technology, Explicit and tacit knowledge, Distribution vectors, State of the Art.
The MAKING-DESIGN MODES theme facilitates ‘thinking through making’ as a mode of material practice. In what way do the capacities of design alter in the context where new methodologies of making and production are combined with technical and scientific data sets? Antedating the ‘maker movement,’relationships between making and design structured translations of explicit knowledge from technology and engineering into tacit knowledge-driven practice as a distribution of the ‘state of the art.’ This distribution is evidently changing through new and more effective communication networks, agent practices, and materialisation nodes as vectors. How do these vectors contribute to technological distribution and what is their stock in trade? Compared to 20th Century distribution vectors, how do their priorities and biases differ? How do these biases relate to technological distribution and how do they effect relationships between technology and society?


Keywords: Design thinking, Transformation, Value creation, Design-driven entrepreneurship, Transdisciplinary.
The BUSINESS-DESIGN MODES theme wishes to look into the relationships between design research and business, economies and their circular or linear structures. Over the last two decades design literature has investigated the relationships and patterns of different design modes in business. This in itself has devoted attention to tackling the ‘design-heterogeneity’ in response to critical and emerging business issues related to opportunity identification, problem-solving, and solution-seeking modes. This further questions:how does design become responsive to the modes of business and the dominant economic paradigm? This theme is necessarily broad to help illuminate the firm-specific factors which play into the design behaviours, structures, and economic paradigm. Contributions are open to academia and practice-based inquiries, and along the following interpretations of mindsets, measures and case studies may encompass: design as a structure for innovation, design as a market-orientation, design as a strategic asset and design as alternative ways of thinking, acting, and doing business, e.g., life-centric.


Keywords: Cross-over, Hybridity, Interplay, Appropriation, Disruption, Discourse.
The CRITICAL-DESIGN MODES theme wishes to critically engage with the notion of ‘Design.’All established disciplines inherently depend on particular knowledge bases and mechanisms for their subject-coherent development performed through codes, categorisations, preconstructed modules, and standardised rules and formulas.In Design those commonly evolve around considerations of functionality, materiality, technology, applicability and others. We are looking to challenge the un-/subconscious social norms and assumptions prevalent in the professional and educational conventions of Design. We may speculate on the effects that changing cultural, technological, and scientific contexts may have on Design practices.Ultimately, this theme is interested in exploring how alternative/external knowledge systems, theories and practices, notions and perspectives may critically inform design positions and practices. How may Design’s ‘disciplinary subjectivity’ be critically questioned, opened and potentially remodelled through approaches and methodologies beyond its common sources? How may such ‘cross-fertilisation’ affect properties originally inherent to the design field, like its values?


Keywords: Design, Colonialism, Heritage preservation, History, Future, Vernacular.
The theme of HISTORICAL / PROJECTIVE-DESIGN MODES aims to explore how historical, colonial, and heritage perspectives alter design’s future modes and challenge the dominant modes of framing the meaning and scope of design as a largely Anglo-European practice. The recent emergence of new historical frameworks has both directly and indirectly challenged the interpretation of legacies and practices of design. This theme welcomes contribution from scholars and practitioners concerned with how the past and future of design is implicated in the complexity of ecological devastation, racial and political tension, coloniality, technological futures, and the dominate of contemporary Western culture. Contributors are encouraged to scrutinise how traditional, cultural values and vernacular design impact the dissemination and reprocessing of design modes and how design capacities will develop in the age of globalisation.  


Keywords: Design, Design research, Design impact, Social transformation, Critical reflection
The role of design in society, industry and business has been changing and evolving into one that deals with ‘problem solving’ and ‘problem finding.’ Nowadays, designers and design researchers contribute, in a more impactful role, to innovation, decision-making and strategic planning in organisations. Design research is featured as a powerful tool to address the real-world approaches and processes, explore theoretical questions in context, and derive research findings from formative evaluations. Instead of serving at the end-point, the emergence of design as an impactful factor has the potential to influence a wider and deeper range of activities, changes and transformations. How can designers increase impact in terms of research and how is this demonstrated to a wider field of research and making? The IMPACT-DESIGN MODES theme invites research projects, case studies, critical reflections upon the topics under ‘Impact of Design, ’such as the definition of impact in design research and how design impact is assessed.


Keywords: COVID19-design, Pandemic design, Design response, Process modifications.
Over the last twelve months, the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic have changed both the approach and praxis of design. 'Design as a response', 'design as a protective mechanism', 'design as a praxis against future pandemic challenges' has brought to the fore a range of questions centred on health, society, predictability and impact of design in a pandemic setting. The PANDEMIC-DESIGN MODES theme wishes to explore how design responds to the context of the COVID 19 pandemic, as social framework, as critical position, as new computational model or as new emergent streams of research. Moreover, what are other unforeseen outcomes when the pandemic enforced into the variety of design domains as both challenges but also as new opportunities?


Keywords: Design thinking, Thinking through design, Transdisciplinary design, Design capacity, next design scenario.
What unconventional and alternative modes of design thinking emerge when we frame our thoughts in other terms? Combination, mergers and transformation of design and thinking can lead to innovation if approached from a new perspective, but what is that perspective? What will be ‘new’ or ‘other’ design modes that could stimulate debates on next design scenarios and future challenges? This alternative mode of design thinking may refer to fundamental viewpoints and reflections that embrace our action of mind. The ALTERNATIVE-DESIGN MODES theme invites contributions to explore both thinking ‘through design’ and impact that design holds with its transference into other terms that challenge underlying assumptions (e.g., human-centred) or are expressed through other capacities (e.g., AI for design). With this theme, we wish to open key debates on design thinking and intangible activities to envision future design scenarios. These scenarios can be applied to artefacts, services, systems, procedures or even situations.