Decipher tackles the complexity of the problems we seek to address through design research in order to create a better future. Decipher also applies to our collective efforts to elucidate what “design research” actually means, shaping a stronger foundation through teaching research at various levels, and clarifying how we share our capabilities with other disciplines. The discussions and actionable outcomes of this event will help us work together to move design research forward.
Hosted by the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, Decipher will:
Designers increasingly work to understand and address complex interconnections while creating new things, especially when taking on challenges like social or environmental concerns. People interpret the word “design” in many ways; when “research” is added to the mix, the ambiguity increases. Decipher will bring together design researchers, practitioners, and educators at all stages in their careers to explore the fusions of research and practice through the ways we accomplish, talk about, and teach design research.
Decipher will be what you make it: all participants will submit a written contribution, which will become part of the record of the various voices at this conference. We include a number of submission and participation formats to engage people at different stages and degrees of comfort with design research. All contributions, regardless of length, are of equal value. Because everyone will bring something to the conference, there will be no mere “attendees”—everyone will participate in different capacities!
Taking into consideration AIGA’s current trends for the future of design education, research, and practice and their relation to our conference themes of defining, doing, disseminating, supporting, and teaching design research, we strongly encourage submissions to acknowledge and address these trends in some way.
The sessions at Decipher will comprise facilitators and participants. Facilitators will lead the Activity Groups, Conversations, and Workshops of the conference. The submission, review and selection process of facilitators has been completed, and now, we open our call to people interested in joining us as participants (non-facilitator/non-presenter engaged attendee).
At Decipher, participants are engaged attendees who will be involved in our selected facilitators’ Conversations, Activity Groups, and Workshops, and conference networking sessions in a variety of ways. To know more about the difference between facilitator and participant, please, visit our FAQ page.
Only one submission is required to participate in Decipher. The additional information you share in your submission form will help us understand your level of interest in the themes and develop the conference structure accordingly. If selected, we will ask you to take part in a specific session organized with your designated cohort. Beyond your designated session, you are free to join any other cohort as a participant as long as there are available seats. While you are welcome to enter as many submissions as you wish, multiple submissions are not necessary to participate in the various tracks and themes of the conference.
Below are the coming deadlines for facilitators, participants, and attendees to the graduate student forum. Please, note that “General participation” refers to the modality of participant (non-facilitator/non-presenter engaged attendee). The last day for participant submissions is September 1st, 2018, 11:59 PM Eastern.
Aug. 1: Registration deadline for facilitators, poster presenters, and graduate forum participants (to confirm your spot in our schedule)
Aug. 27: Final Graduate forum submissions due
Sept. 1: Revised submissions from facilitators and poster presenters (for use in conference proceedings)
Sept. 1: Submissions close for General Participation: Please encourage your colleagues to apply to attend as participants! See our Decipher FAQ for details on why we are asking our participants (non-facilitator engaged attendees) to contribute a brief 250-word submission.
Whether it’s your first or fiftieth time, we feel that it’s important to share your design scholarship with the larger community. Accepted submissions for facilitation or participation in activity groups, conversations, workshops, and the graduate student forum will be included in the conference proceedings. There may be opportunities to further develop some of the initial submissions. Those selected as Activity Group, Conversation, and Workshop facilitators will document and synthesize findings from their sessions to be considered for possible publication in a special issue of Dialectic.
If you indicate interest in being considered to facilitate an activity group, conversation, or workshop, you should be prepared to submit additional information regarding your intended audience(s) and possible outcomes as part of your online submission form. Your important role will add lasting value and meaning to our research community by making the outcomes of your session accessible beyond the conference. (See additional submission details for facilitators below.)
The Design Educators Community, DARIA, and Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design want to ensure that this conference is informed and enriched by many perspectives. The Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design will provide ten $1,000 travel grants to actively support more diverse participation at Decipher.
Faculty, graduate students, and practitioners who identify as members of underrepresented groups (see list below), have interest in pursuing design research, and who submit successful conference proposals are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Candidates will be selected to attend Decipher, the 2018 Design Educators Research Conference at Stamps School of Art & Design, University of Michigan, September 27–29, 2018.
Scholarships include conference registration, and up to $1,000 toward lodging at the conference hotel and travel to and from Ann Arbor.
Decipher Equity Scholarship applicants should identify as a member of one or more of these underrepresented groups:
Ariel Waldman makes “massively multiplayer science”, creating unusual collaborations that infuse serendipity into science and space exploration.
Ariel Waldman sits on the council for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts, a program that nurtures radical, science-fiction-inspired ideas that could transform future space missions. She is the co-author of a congressionally-requested National Academy of Sciences report on the future of human spaceflight and the author of the book What’s It Like in Space?: Stories from Astronauts Who’ve Been There.
Ariel is the founder of Spacehack.org, a directory of ways for anyone to participate in space exploration, and the global director of Science Hack Day, a grassroots endeavor to prototype things with science that is now in over 25 countries. In 2013, Ariel received an honor from the White House for being a Champion of Change in citizen science.
2017 Adobe Creative Resident and Motion Infographic designer Jessica Bellamy, tells visual stories using data and personal narratives. As a Design Justice advocate, Jessica started her design career working with nonprofits and community groups to create compelling explainers that break down complex service and policy information.
In 2015, she created a small design agency called GRIDS: The Grassroots Information Design Studio in Louisville, KY. In 2017, she created a hands-on workshop called Infographics for Social Change: A Graphic Ally Hackathon. Since then, she has given Graphic Ally Hackathons at several conferences and at three major universities (Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, and Yale). The hackathon focuses on teaching creatives how to make information graphics in partnership with nonprofits.
She is also the creator of the Infographic Wheel. The Infographic Wheel is a handheld design tool that helps creatives select a visual layout for any dataset.
Jon is a Partner at Modernist Studio and the Founder of Austin Center for Design.
He was previously the Vice President of Design at Blackboard, the largest educational software company in the world. He joined Blackboard with the acquisition of MyEdu, a startup focused on helping students succeed in college and get jobs.
Jon has also held the positions of Executive Director of Design Strategy at Thinktiv, a venture accelerator in Austin, Texas, and both Principal Designer and Associate Creative Director at frog design, a global innovation firm. He has been a Professor of Interaction and Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he was instrumental in building both the Interaction and Industrial Design undergraduate and graduate programs.
Jon is the author of six books, including his most recent, Creative Clarity.
You can read some of Jon’s writing at http://www.jonkolko.com
Ruki Ravikumar is the Director of Education at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. She loves being a design educator and leader of a dynamic team that inspires, educates and empowers people through design. Her team offers educational programs nationwide for audiences of varying backgrounds, ages and levels of exposure to design. She has served in leadership roles on the Oklahoma chapter board, national design educators steering committee, diversity and inclusion taskforce and national board of AIGA, the professional association for Design. In 2015, she was awarded the title of Fellow by AIGA Oklahoma for her advocacy and leadership as a design educator. When she is not teaching, leading her team, speaking or consulting, she is experiencing the world through travel and food.
John Zimmerman is an interaction designer and researcher, and Professor of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon. Zimmerman teaches courses on interaction design, service innovation, design theory, and human-computer interaction (HCI) methods. His research falls into four areas: interaction with intelligent systems; designing for the self; public service innovation via social computing; research through design. His research is concerned with the process of making things as the mechanism to explore possible futures. Zimmerman studies how design inquiry can be integrated with scientific and engineering inquiry. His academic contributions are seminal in the field of HCI, primarily, in matters concerned with research through design and interaction design. Zimmerman is the author of the book Design Research through Practice.
Jane Prophet is the Associate Dean for Research, Creative Work, and Strategic Initiatives at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. Her practice-based research and writing emerge through collaborations with life scientists such as neuroscientists, stem cell researchers, mathematicians and heart surgeons. She works across media and disciplines to produce objects and installations, frequently combining traditional and computational media to produce apps, objects, and installations. Her research foci include the apparatus of contemporary neuroscience experiments, and blended online/offline identities via augmented reality and ubiquitous computing. Prophet’s papers position art in relation to contemporary debates about new media and mainstream art, feminist technoscience, artificial life and ubiquitous computing.
For design educators in higher education, the emergent nature of design research paired with the lack of (or limited) training in academic writing and research methods make the actual practice of design research unnecessarily challenging. Despite these difficulties, utilizing institutional resources and establishing support networks with other academics can provide the necessary support for overcoming barriers. We therefore propose a conversation that dissects the challenges of scholarly practice for design educators by sharing our collective experience participating in a virtual writing group over the Fall 2017–Spring 2018 academic year. This group, comprised of design academics from both large and small institutions in higher ed, has created a strong support network and we’ve accumulated a number of valuable resources, activities, and insights that we will share with the conversation group.
Struggling to succinctly articulate your research focus? Learn strategies for finding the through-line of your work and develop your pitch!
This workshop will help participants learn to effectively locate and frame their research.
Demystifying Collaboration explores best practices for doing and disseminating rich collaborative work in academia and industry.
Visit microcollections of design objects at our campus art museum. The University of Michigan Museum of Art has been recognized as the top public university art museum in the Country by Best College Reviews. Available only to conference attendees.
How design professors utilize design research to solve racialized design problems within project-based learning environments.
UX practitioners at Decipher are invited to a session to recap what they have gotten from learning about and discussing the academic version of design research.
Design researchers are invited to also join us, to share what they have gotten out of having UX practitioners participating in the conference.
We will see what next steps emerge.
The value of design in scholarly publications across disciplines and future practices for publishing design research.
Between urban/social injustice and the spaces and audiences needed for justice is the research and practice employed to do so- Critical Race Design Studies. CRDS examines racism and oppression as systems that are imagined, designed, and executed. Treating graphics, designed objects, and illustrations as indexes for these underlying structures that can possibly be re-designed is one of the main theories around this new area of study.
This activity group aims to identify opportunities and develop best practices for integrating Critical Race Design Studies into academic classrooms and urban communities as well, as an urban pedagogy to address issues of race and oppression. There is an opportunity to explore intersections between academia and industry by defining the next design classroom as a fluid space where classroom walls are not fixed and problem-solving for justice happens within the academy AND amongst the public.
Brief Workshop Description: A design educator collaborates with a licensed performance psychologist in the classroom to show benefits of incorporating key components of performance psychology (primarily mindfulness-based strategies) into the design process. Emphasis will be placed on building mental resilience, increasing capacity for empathy, supplementing existing design methodologies/skillsets & improving the quality / authenticity of creative outcomes amongst students participating in collegiate design programs.
The IBM Incubator drives the teaching, doing, and disseminating of design research at scale for IBM.
This conversation unpacks the scholarly and pragmatic challenges and benefits of incorporating discipline-specific writing into design education.
603 E Liberty St,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104