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.
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, faced with monumental challenges — escalating disparities, erosion of social cohesion, cultural polarization, 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 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.
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