A constant condition of change is characterizing the contemporary time that involves social, political, economic, technological, environmental, and cultural aspects.

This deep transformation is not limited to specific contexts but is taking geographical dimension, revealing itself in the network of international relations, in the crises between widespread sovereignties and lack of global visions, in the conflict between the urgent demand of society and the weakness of the responses of the ruling classes. All these transformations involves not only the active dimension but also the different knowledge that informs and guides actions and choices.

Design, together with the other disciplines, must face the constant change of these reference scenarios to re-establish its methodological approaches and to redefine its nature.

Identified as a “young knowledge”, because it developed in the culture of the 20th century, today Design, more than other disciplines, has to deal with these crises of that same cultural and technological context, within which it has itself developed and acted.

Design is therefore called to re-read its disciplinary status to consolidate its nature. Having reached the time-frame of 2020, considered by many as a reference, we have the challenge to go further, “steer change” rather than suffer it, reformulate principles and update practices.

In 2015 the UN sets a new milestone for 2030, placing 17 strategic goals and pushing the whole society to face them and reach them.

diid, in 2020, accepting UN exhortation, opens to reflection and testimonies on “if“ and on “how” Design can face and therefore can guide the changes of the contemporary, and evolves towards new forms and models of knowledge, of education, of practice. Setting the time horizon for 2030, the question is how to explore the level of Design awareness at the basis of change and the reference values.

By opening to the international scenario, diid aims to understand how the evolutionary processes of Design are developing in different cultures and geographical areas.

diid #70
Design 2030: Knowledge

Deadline Full Paper 28th of February 2020

complementarity | multidimensionality | knowledge of knowledge |
Knowledge Design | forms of knowledge

The system of knowledge and skills is ever more fragmented, and it evolves rapidly due to the new technological configurations such as the Internet of Things and the digital society revolution.

It is necessary to inquire whether Design can still be considered a discipline of “making”, with a strong technical-applicative value, or if it is giving way to other more specific technological knowledge, such as Engineering, carving out for itself a new role into the fields of cultural and human studies through a mainly speculative-critical approach. Can this trend, that seems to lead towards an asymmetrical, competitive system, be considered a drift, an opportunity or an inevitable evolution?

The issue wishes to investigate whether and which forms of connections are “flourishing” between Design and other kinds of knowledge and how does Design redefine the potential forms that knowledge can assume under the current conditions, being characterized by an increasingly qualitative and powerful dialogue between the analogical world and the digital one (Schnapp, 2015).

The diid issue Design 2030: Knowledge is oriented towards the evolving future of the discipline, starting from the historical statement that, during the years of the most exaggerated methodologism, Design has always preserved its own basically creative roots. According to Ettore Sottsass, making design has never been limited to “oiling the automation of function”, but it has always interpreted in a sensitive manner the real and perceived environment, the individual experiences, the social and technological settings characterizing the lives of human beings.

As the industrial chain has become fragmented, Design has become a monological reference for the project development and it addresses nowadays a multitude of possibilities, constantly renewing itself through the contribution of diversified knowledge. In line with the metamorphosis of contemporaneity, in a highly experimental research field, Design gets combined with Electronics and Materials Engineering, Biotechnologies, Natural Sciences, Social and Economic Sciences, Philosophy and Human studies in general.

«With the segmentation of knowledge, it is impossible to grasp the multidimensional, fundamental and global issues of the present time in their relentless complexity».

Each “knowledge pattern” should contain reasonable margins of flexibility that capture, preserve and enhance the differences and peculiarities of the disciplines and of the operational practices involved in research. The different expertise having their roots in sectorial knowledge should be able to communicate to each other through a common language that can convert and adapt specialized knowledge. We can imagine new forms of relationship, organization and intensification of knowledge, mechanisms that trigger innovation through the “collision” between different disciplinary areas, coming across new possibilities.

In this direction, as Schnapp claims, Knowledge Design becomes an experimental model for human sciences, which means testing new tools in order to design high participation rate initiatives in a deep cross-disciplinarity dimension. Design brings about a new kind of knowledge in order to manage and interact in a critical and innovative way with the big amounts of data and to rethink the transformation into meaningful representations and narrations.

It is a question of rethinking the collective research as a synthesis between the humanistic culture and the scientific one, able to guide people towards living the technological leap with meaning and conscience. This is what Bonomi defines “the discipline of the soul”, of the technical culture that reembodies the topic of collective redistribution of the increasing benefits. Here the process of renewal of thought, knowledge and training would allow us to grasp the links between processes, interactions and inferences among plural phenomena, going beyond hyper specialization, technicalities and knowledge fragmentation.

This requires an overall metamorphosis that conserves the best of the legacy of the past in order to combine it with radical and creative knowledge regeneration.

The aim of the call Design 2030: Knowledge is to investigate the different methodological declinations used in research in order to foster «complementarity and not disjunction anymore, a dialogical culture between homo prosaicus and homo poeticus, between homo faber and homo ludens, between homo oeconomicus and homo imaginarius» (Morin, 2001). In accordance with the diid structure, the call is open to papers for the two sections, Make and Focus, that encourage reflections on approaches where:

– new knowledge is being explored in order to tackle the “multiple”;
– multidimensionality is being interpreted in order to increase knowledge;
– new forms of relationship between “making” with a humanistic approach and with a technical-scientific one are being designed.

Make is the section that opens the debate by sharing research, projects, products that reveal processes, approaches and visions in an experimental way, exploring new knowledge forms and models and requiring contaminations between “pure” research area and the fields of “practice”. This is useful in order to deal with the discontinuity between past and future and to find solutions for the problems of the contemporary society.

Focus is the section that gathers critical reflections on the studied subject by building original scientific-cultural connections related to the topic of the issue.

diid #71
Design 2030: Education

Deadline Full Paper 30th of June 2020

What are the innovative education models and what is left of the models from the past? Does it still make sense to talk about training properly of Design, or is Design becoming a basic discipline for other educational projects focused on the evolving society?
Referring to the international scenario, this issue intends to explore and gives voice to those educational experiences that, in the Design Universities, are imagining new education approaches more suited to the possible future that is uncertain, yet undefined, due the non-stop and rapid ubiquitous and pervasive digital revolution that is proposing and experimenting with new models and styles of learning and knowledge.

diid #72
Design 2030: Practice

Deadline Full Paper 30th of October 2020

Design has been recognized as a discipline of doing. Its practical dimension has always exceeded the theoretical one, and the second has always placed the first at the center. If this assumed a connotation of certainty in the context of the 20th century, today, in the contemporary world, is the Design dimension of doing still valid? How the applied dimension of this knowledge has to be expressed? Can the “profession” of the designer specialized in product categories still valid? What space will it occupy between the professions of the future? What should be its relationship with production and consumption systems? The issue opens up to those applied experiments where Design, within the laboratories and in the places of production, is outlining a different nature and prefigures a new role in and for society.