Design Knowledge Intermediary
5th International Forum of Design As a Process

Submission: Closed
Opening: Closed
Closing: Closed

The Latin Network for the Development of Design Processes and the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Guadalajara, invite you to participate in the 5th International Forum of Design as a Process «Advanced Design Cultures. The shapes of the future as the front end of design driven innovation», which will be held at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Guadalajara (Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico), from 22 to 24 May 2014

What is Advanced design?
What we call Advanced Design (ADD) is an articulated set of design processes that try to give shape to products and services destined for the future. Processes that are intended to produce goods for complex contexts, through the involvement of very large groups of designers. Projects that are often not requested by specific clients; projects that often tackle situations which do not have links of continuity with the present, nor productive sectors to refer to as they are extremely innovative and unusual -compared to the common panorama of goods produced for immediate consumption.
ADD deals with projects that often have no destination market, no referential productive sector and no competitor yet.  These are projects that usually have more than a single creative author and are often destined to other designers rather than to the final consumption market.
ADD is placed at the front end of design driven innovation, so it requires continuous theoretical reflection founded on practise for the construction of its own corpus and the paths that may be followed in order to give the future with original shapes. The purpose of ADD is to turn each discovery, each new degree of knowledge and each invention into continuous innovation, not only adapting them to the expectations and needs of the production system and of the final consumer market, but contributing to create new producers, new production processes, new users and new markets to spread innovation.

Four areas of Advanced Design
In our opinion, ADD can take four main directions, all of which are very different but all coherent with the definition given above. These four directions represent the tracks on which the conference will be structured.

Track 1: design and time

The ADD’s most characteristic feature is the time factor. We talk about ADD when the project’s time frame is significantly shifted along a time line. In this situation, it usually becomes necessary to work out solutions that do not incrementally improve what we have, but instead indicate unprecedented and highly original directions and trajectories of innovation. This is the meaning assigned to the term ADD by the first productive sectors that internally developed centers appointed to design ADD solutions: the automotive sector (concept cars, dream cars, advanced prototypes, etc.); the consumer electronics sector, etc.

In this area, we would like to attend the results of projective research related to problems of anticipation and of its materialization and storytelling. We would expect projects dedicated to the construction of scenarios within relatively distant futures, and at the development of solutions intended to explore the future of different goods and services productive sectors.

Track 2: Extreme design
There are design driven innovation processes that seek innovation outside their referential productive sector or in places situated geographically and culturally very far from those towards which the design results will be intended for. This is an “exotic” direction of research which witnesses the materialization of something new generated by a courageous transferal of innovation through some connections and logics that usually can be considered compatible. This kind of connections is often used for ethno-anthropological research, with strong integration between humanities and design.

This track expect to host project research results regarding the production that have  tangible outcomes and products or services which have gone into production starting from the exploration of very different contexts to the one to which the project is intended for.
These can be activities that research on the past to determine potential returns or cyclic conditions as well as periodical trend revivals. These can also be activities observing preindustrial behaviors to determine post-industrial stimulus for everyday use and consumption. They might regard explorations of extreme design approaches where experiments are accomplished to track such stimuli that could be difficult to notice in a regular context of use. The discussion here will be about the transfer of innovation from users and uses, contexts and conditions that are barely correlated with those where design is required to project.

Track 3: Shelf innovation and research tool design
ADD is also often characterized by being business to business  oriented in this sense that it is addressed to other operators, designers, innovators, businessmen, etc., who may use the innovations designed as instruments and semi-finished products useful for the acceleration and strengthening of the innovation ability itself, materializing a real chain of design driven innovation.
The contemporary designer works in mature contexts crowded by intermediate operators, players who develop single parts of the complex innovation process. In all these cases, we can see the growth of designers’ profiles who intended to design from the very beginning the traditional design processes, as well of the processes of semi-finished products and even the design instruments stimulate the project (i.e., trend books, future scenarios, user-centered research paradigms…).

This track looks for design research related to the production of instruments and processes that trigger, fertilize, systematize and encourage the development of products and services. These are projects in which other designers are involved: creators, entrepreneurs and innovation operators as users. These are people who have to reach high-performance levels in very short time frames; people who hold such a specialized expertise levels that are not compatible with the long time frame of research. This is why this area of ADD might be defined as the area of designing process design.

Track 4: Design without market
This ADD type can be defined as lacking a market because it is characterized by the absence of industrial requirements in the traditional sense of the term.  This is, a client (a company) that will carry out the project’s outcomes, remunerating operators involved in ways envisaged by the traditional project market. Here the absence of a specific demand or need entails a gain of importance to the designer’s action as self-producer of the brief and of the requirement framework for the project’s constraints.

This track look for results of research and for projects generated by social request, by the involvement of practices communities, by creative communities, by the bottom-up triggering of the need for design, by the autonomous witnessing of needs and desires that are not filtered by marketing or by entrepreneurs who are committed to the resolution and transformation of tradable goods or services. Included in this track are design researches and projects that require the construction of briefs and scenarios containing the need to create new organizational forms or start-up companies planned around the project itself as, in that moment, there is no subject capable of materializing the good or service.

Important dates:
•    Call opens: May 30th 2013
•    Call closes: (deadline for paper submission): October  15th 2013
•    Announcement of selected papers and notification of review results: December 2013
•    Early Bird registration: January 2014
•    Regular registration: March 2014
•    On-site registration:  May 2014
•    Forum: 22nd -24th May 2014