Design semantics—or 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, extending the parameters of semantic interpretation.
Swift, on-going shifts in the ‘vocabulary’ of design suggest that it is time to revaluate our understanding of ‘semantics’, posing new questions for present and future practice:
What new engagements are being created and what boundaries are being crossed or blurred in the digital age?
How is digital design and manufacturing changing relationships between designers, producers, and users?
What role does the ‘material’ play in an increasingly ‘immaterial’ culture of design?
Can we maintain notions of creator and ownership when all objects are digital and effortlessly duplicated?
How will the products of design be valued when the engines of creation become both powerful and commonplace?
DeSForM 2012: MEANING.MATTER.MAKING will critically address these questions and others, exploring the design of physical and digital things, systems and environments with the aim of articulating how meaning is both created and conveyed in the twenty-first century.
Emphasizing future-oriented design, MEANING.MATTER.MAKING invites a broad range of scales and approaches, from the singular to the multiple, the hand to the machine, the conceptual to the self-organising, and the sensory to the theoretical.
DeSForM 2012: MEANING.MATTER.MAKING asks researchers, designers and students to share their ideas, methods, and theories about the creation and communication of meaning through design semantics.
Key themes for the conference include, but are not limited to:
- the body: posture, gesture, touch, vision, smell
- physical and digital environments/space
- immaterial forces: light, sound, vibration, memory, etc.
- the performative, emotive and aesthetic
- interfaces and experience
- methods and modes of making
- generative design
- code and form
- digital manipulation and fabrication
- the craft and crafting of design
- distribution or dissemination
Reciprocal Systems (the environment)As environments and contexts merge, expand and perhaps, momentarily link, what dynamic reciprocities are creating from these connections and new interactions? Is our identity just a collection of data, or can it be designed? How might radio-frequency identification (RFID), wireless networks and smart systems become more reciprocal or interactive? How can we utilise these technologies for more than harvesting data, but rather as a means of increasing communication and creating more meaningful interactions? This stream will explore the potential of ‘reciprocal systems’ across a diversity of technologies and environments and scales of experience, including but not limited to:
- smart systems
- RFID technology and ethics
- serious games
- audio visual culture
- interaction design
- interactive spaces
- nano to global (scales of reciprocity)
- physical and digital environments