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DeSForM: Call for Papers and Demos

8th International Conference on Design and Semantics of Form and Movement

Sept 22-25, 2013 , Wuxi, China
Full paper submission deadline: July 9, 2013 (extended)
Demo proposal submission deadline: July 9, 2013

Please check out the latest version of this CFP on the conference website:

Instructions for submission:

We are intrigued by the notion that the nature of things, the essence of what a fabricated object is, was about to be – and really should be – completely and fundamentally questioned, re-defined, and explored.

We are proposing some challenging questions, which in some way define the scope and the key themes for the conference, these include, but are not limited to:

  • The Aesthetic of Interaction & Digital Representation: What are the key DeSForM insights concerning: Design and meaning, design and aesthetics, new forms, new materials, new media.
  • Co-Creation and Globalism: What are the current challenges concerning Global design, multicultural design, translational design, cooperative design, especially perhaps in the CHINA context.
  • Social Computing and the Nature of Dynamic STUFF: How might Designers respond to; and what are the key changes and challenges we see in the role of design, the nature of systems design, service design and social design; especially when considering the potentially pivotal effects of computational networks on Social Cohesion in the Global contexts (i.e. Social Computing)

DeSForM is about Design and Semantics of Form and Movement. The making of meaning through ‘matter’ is of increasing relevance to the practice of design in the twenty-first century. Rapidly evolving techniques and processes are creating pathways for new modes of interactivity, expression, and experience. These modalities offer expanded opportunities and contexts for design to communicate meaning through form, movement and experience.

Since the first DeSForM conference, the field of design has been changing a lot, but not as much as it should have, to respond to significant societal changes. One important external change is the development and widespread application of social computing. Social media fundamentally change the relationships between people and it changes their behavior. This is significant for design and at DerSForM 2013 we ask: how should design respond. Any innovative system, service, or related product is a combination of material concepts and digital concept. Material form-giving and digital form-giving.  Which are the new tools that the design research community will offer to cope with this new complexity?

Another change is continued globalization. The countries and the peoples of this planet are getting connected more and more. Through travel, migration, trade, the Internet, and new media. Communication and exchange between cultures is an essential ingredient of design. Already since the beginnings of Industrial Design, the designed objects have been considered culturally important. Nowadays we understand that the output of our design work has the power to change the behavior of people. DeSForM always has been trying to pave the way for objects displaying active behavior. We have to ask: what are the best state-of-the-art examples where design is mediating between cultures, countries, people. And the new tools that help us when designing in a multicultural setting?

And still some of the core-questions of DeSForM have been answered only partially so far. These are the questions about our fundamental understanding of meaning and movement. How does meaning arise? Can we assign meaning to the movement of artifacts and our interactions with them without relying on the meaning of their three-dimensional form?  These questions are becoming urgent now meanings are modulated and amplified by the Internet, smart phones  and social media. We should also be prepared for new actuators: smart polymers, memory metals, scent and light as media. What will our design process look like when the constraints of the traditional form are disappearing?

There will be room for 20-30 full papers and 20 interactive demo proposals. Accepted demos will be exhibited at the conference. All the full papers and demo proposals will be published in refereed conference proceedings both online and in a paper volume as previous DeSForM conference proceedings. Selected full papers will be invited to write an extended version of the paper for the following three journals:

DeSForM 2013 will be hosted by School of Digital Media, Jiangnan University, in Wuxi, China.

More about DeSForM 2013: