IASDR 2021 invites authors to contribute designed objects to directly or indirectly address one of the eight thematic outlines of the conference. Designed Objects papers will be published in the conference proceedings.

Important Dates

What is a Designed Object

The definition of what constitutes a “designed object” is to put emphasis on the act of design.

A short Google search of “design object” reveals mostly software related ideas regarding object-oriented design of data fragments being collided and connected to form larger systems and applications conducted in iterative and incremental ways. Thus, it is a rather functional and systemic way of looking at design. 

In the field of design, while James Dyson focuses on the modern aspect of design states that “Design means how something works, not how it looks…”, Ron Arad defines design as “… the act of imposing one’s will on materials to perform function.” Both are as much oppositional to the Google search as to the liberal view of Nick Crosbie that “Design is about creatively exploiting constraint.” Thus, referring to John Heskett, in Design: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2005), design, as he notes, grammatically correct, yet somewhat audaciously is, “… to design a design to produce a design.” 

To integrate the existing notion of design objects that seems confusing and antithetical to the deterministic credos of well-known designers, we propose instead the term “designed objects” to get better aligned with the accepted view of designers on what a designed object might be. In doing so we are looking for design, in which the designed object is situated between being systemic functional and notional poetic. The conception of these objects is at the same time an attempt by the designer to define design. We are looking to showcase objects that convey as much about the design itself as they do about the practice of the designer and the state of the discipline today.

Preparing and Submitting Your Designed Objects

  1. Submit Designed Objects for double blind peer review by 10 June 2021:
    • In the first act of submission, authors are invited to submit a short paper with a maximum length of 2,000 words (the word count limit includes title, abstract, tables, figures, and references list). Each submission is limited to four high-resolution images (min. 300 ppi), to be included in the paper.
    • Submissions should specify clearly material types, sizes, scales and context or other applications.  
    • Please download and use the IASDR Designed Objects template.
  2. Accepted submissions will be invited to submit a video by 5 September 2021 representing the designed object(s) in motion and in context. Videos will be limited to 2 minutes in length. Only files of no more than 300MB and in MPG, AVI, or MOV format will be accepted.
  3. Submit your paper here.

Review Criteria

Exhibiting and Archiving Your Designed Objects

At present, and subject to changes with regards of the global pandemic situation, Designed Objects will be exhibited online. For complete accepted submissions, the submitted papers will be published in the conference proceedings, and the associated videos will be showcased and archived on the conference’s website.


Tobias Klein, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Anneli Giencke, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong