Call for Papers // MUTATIONS: Where is Design Heading ? 

Posted on: 13. November 2023


Where is Design Heading ? 

International Colloquium organized on the occasion offor the 50th anniversary of the École de design at UQAM, taking place in Montreal, from September 18— to 20, 2024.

To mark its 50th anniversary, the École de design of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) is issuing a call for papers for the colloquium MUTATIONS : Où va le design ? (MUTATIONS: Where is Design Heading?), to be held in Montreal from September 18 to 20, 2024. The aim of this event is to explore how design is responding to present day environmental, social, and technological mutations, which innovative practices are being adopted, and what issues are at stake what issues are at stake]. 

‘As socially and morally responsible designers, we must respond to the needs of a world that is up against the wall. The clock of humanity is always striking thirteen.’

Victor Papanek, Design for the Real World, 1971 


In his manifesto Design for a Real World published some fifty years ago just as the École de design of UQAM was opening its doors Victor Papanek was already stressing  the importance of integrating social and environmental concerns into the design process. Since then, as design evolved beyond its traditional role of primarily producing physical objects, it has emerged as a powerful force that influences our social interactions, cultural and economic systems, as well as our environment. But our times, marked byfaced with monumental challenges – escalating disparities, erosion of social cohesion erosion, cultural polarization, persistent refugee crisi ongoing crisis of displaced populations, intensifying climate emergency – are once again prompting us to question the role of design, at a time when the technological acceleration affecting all spheres of human activity raises is raising the very question of the discipline’s future. The colloquium MUTATIONS : Où va le design ? offers an opportunity for collective reflection on these issues, to help shape a more stable and equitable future.


The symposium will focus on the following four themes:


  1. Design and social commitment: how can design serve as a catalyst for social change and inclusion?
  1. Design and (de)materiality: how does design questions and addresses today’s digitized world, where materiality and dematerialization coexist?
  2. Design and the climate emergency: how can design help mitigate the effects of the climate crisis and enhance our resilience in the face of ongoing disruptions?
  3. Design and artificial intelligence: how does design respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by generative artificial intelligence?


We invite researchers and designers engaged in the study and/or practice of various design disciplines, including graphic design, experience design, interaction design, environmental design (architectural, object, and urban design), fashion design, and event design, to submit paper proposals. We encourage sharing work related to a range of topics, such asincluding historical perspectives, theoretical and critical reflections, prospective approaches, andor case studies. The Full description of the themes, objectives, and content can be found in the attached document provided in Frenchhere.





  • Length of proposals: 350 words maximum
  • Biographical note: 250 words maximum

 Please specify include your academic or professional affiliation and specify the focus of theme your proposal addresses.

French will be the working language of the conference.
Each participant will be allocated a 20-minute slot for their presentation.


C O N T A C T  

Send your proposals to:


Organizing committee:

Amandine Alessandra

Réjean Legault


Scientific Committee:

Amandine Alessandra Réjean Legault

Ron Filion-Mallette Carole Lévesque

Thomas-Bernard Kenniff Stéphane Vial


The original complete call for papers [in French] can be found here : 

click here